City crush 10-man Hammers
Hughes' men make light work of hapless West Ham
By Chris Burton. Last Updated: 24/08/08 7:12pm
Elano: Bagged a brace
Manchester City made the most of their numerical advantage as they saw off West Ham 3-0 at Eastlands.
Mark Noble saw the first red card of the 2008/09 Premier League season, before Daniel Sturridge and a brace from Elano allowed Mark Hughes' men to ease home.
The Hammers rode their luck during an eventful first half, with Calum Davenport slicing onto his own crossbar and Martin Petrov striking the upright with a 25-yard free-kick.
However, the major talking of the opening period came eight minutes before the break when Noble was given his marching orders.
A needless handball saw the midfielder shown a yellow card just after the half-hour mark, before a reckless challenge on Michael Johnson saw him dismissed just five minutes later.
City felt hard done by after seeing a decent penalty shout waved away as the half drew to a close, while the opening to the second 45 minutes did little to improve their mood.
The sight of England international Micah Richards being carried off on a stretcher will concern all connected with the Blues.
However, their afternoon came good on 65 minutes when Sturridge made Matthew Upson pay for his sloppy clearance when he fired into the roof of the net.
Brazilian playmaker Elano then doubled the advantage when he found the bottom corner five minutes later, before wrapping up the points on 76 minutes when he coolly dispatched Stephen Ireland's pinpoint cross from the right.
City dominated the match from the off and came close to making the breakthrough in the 13th minute when Ireland's shot was cleared off the line by Valon Behrami.
Then Davenport almost scored an own goal, deflecting Tal Ben Haim's effort on to his own bar.
This was a promising start by City and they looked to be playing with renewed confidence after a 4-2 defeat to Aston Villa on the opening day.
Petrov came inches away from making the breakthrough in the 22nd minute, his superb 25-yard free-kick hitting the outside of the post.
Then Sturridge sliced a shot wide in a good spell of pressure by the home side.
West Ham striker Carlton Cole, clearly struggling with a knock, was replaced by Freddie Sears in the 31st minute.
Cole's injury was not what manager Alan Curbishley wanted as his side were finding it hard to get going at this stage.
City had the momentum and Ireland picked out Elano in the 37th minute, but his first touch let him down.
A minute later the Hammers suffered another blow when they were reduced to 10 men.
Noble was sent off by referee Howard Webb after getting a second yellow card for a stiff challenge on Michael Johnson.
City poured forward and Petrov skipped away down the right in the 43rd minute and delivered a good cross to the back post.
However, Upson stood firm and made a crucial clearance under pressure with Ireland waiting to pounce on any mistake.
Goalkeeper Robert Green then made a superb save from Johnson in stoppage time.
City regrouped after Richards was carried off 10 minutes into the second half and Elano sent a shot into Green's body from the edge of the area after 59 minutes.
They made the breakthrough seven minutes later after a mistake by Hammers defender Upson.
He lost his concentration following a cross from Petrov and his clearance landed at the feet of Sturridge.
The striker took full advantage, hammering a shot beyond Green to put his side in the driving seat.
City went 2-0 ahead in the 70th minute with a cool finish from Elano after he had been set up by Ireland, and it was no more than they deserved.
They kept the momentum going and made it 3-0 in the 76th minute thanks to Elano's second goal of the game.
The Brazil playmaker scored with a superb half-volley after again being set up by Ireland to seal a comfortable victory against a West Ham side that looked thoroughly dispirited.
|Manchester City||Team Statistics||West Ham United|
|0||1st Half Goals||0|
|6||Shots on Target||0|
|6||Shots off Target||2|
Barclays Premier League
|8||West Ham United||26||39|
|14||West Bromwich Albion||26||27|
|17||Queens Park Rangers||26||22|