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Barclays Premier League

Upton Park (ATT 35,005) 3rd November 2012 - Kick off 17:30 Ref: H Webb

West Ham West Ham United vs Manchester City Man City

Manchester City slip to third as West Ham hold on for goalless draw

Last Updated: 05/11/12 4:34pm

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Mario Balotelli: Frustrated on the pitch before being hauled off

Mario Balotelli: Frustrated on the pitch before being hauled off

Manchester City missed the chance to join neighbours United at the summit after a frustrating stalemate at West Ham.

Best of the Match

  • Man of the match: James Collins. The West Ham centre-half put in a great performance in holding City before being replaced late on
  • Save of the match: Jussi Jasaskelainen saved well to his left to deny Samri Nasri's long range first half effort.
  • Attempt of the match: Andy Carroll's overhead kick took a deflection and went out for a corner.
  • Moment of the match. Kevin Nolan's early disallowed 'goal' which replays showed stood have stood.
  • Talking point: City remain unbeaten but lost ground on rivals Man United. West Ham earned a vaulable point.

The champions enjoyed ample possession in east London but their unbeaten start in the Premier League continues to be an underwhelming one and West Ham were denied what seemed a legitimate early goal.

Few more awkward-looking trips before Tuesday's must-win Champions League visit of Ajax could Roberto Mancini have picked out and his side would have gone behind inside five minutes had it not been for a wrongly-raised flag.

Kevin Nolan watched Mark Noble's lofted ball all the way over his right shoulder before lashing a fierce volley past Joe Hart but Sam Allardyce was left raging by the offside decision and he had a point.

Edin Dzeko was dubiously ruled offside at the other end but, in any case, missed his header on the rebound and while the hosts continued to knock the ball about with comfort, City struggled to find their groove.

Mohamed Diame cut inside and blazed goalwards, Yossi Benayoun watched a sidefoot volley hit the bar and Andy Carroll dragged a shot wide but the space Yaya Toure was allowed to stride into at the other end served as a warning.

City's best chance came from a Carlos Tevez inswinger but Mario Balotelli - wasteful on several occasions - lifted the ball over the bar from close-range and Mancini blew out his cheeks in frustration.

The Italian boss glowered in his dug-out for several minutes before his players returned but his verbal volley drew a response. City pressed higher up the pitch and a string of corners came, threatening the breakthrough.

Ex-Hammer Tevez looked like being the man, but sliced across the ball with the goal in his sight, and then Gareth Barry charged into the box only to poke past the post, that miss the cue for Sergio Aguero's introduction.

Jussi Jaaskelainen pushed away a fierce shot from the new boy, and James Collins threw his body in front of blue shirts to preserve a deserved deadlock.

Allardyce punched the air while Mancini wore a grimace: it was his side's first goalless draw since Boxing Day.

Mancini had sprung a surprise before kick-off by again tinkering with his starting line-up and the decision to start with Balotelli, Tevez and Dzeko in the same XI for the first time failed to deliver the goods.

After a three at the back experiment cost City against Ajax 10 days ago, Mancini's radical tactics are becoming reminiscent of another Italian, famously dubbed 'The Tinkerman', and we all know what happened to Claudio Ranieri.

He had also handed Kolo Toure his first league start since August and recalled James Milner, although he was forced into a last-minute change when the latter hurt his hamstring in the warm-up and was replaced by Barry.

And, on this evidence, City really will need the "miracle" Mancini predicted to rescue their Champions League campaign, starting in Tuesday's revenge mission against Ajax.


West Ham UnitedTeam StatisticsManchester City
0Goals0
01st Half Goals0
0Shots on Target5
5Shots off Target12
1Blocked Shots5
3Corners7
11Fouls12
2Offsides3
3Yellow Cards0
0Red Cards0
68.2Passing Success87
23Tackles9
78.3Tackles Success88.9
35Possession65
45.7Territorial Advantage54.3
283Total Passes570
26Total Crosses25
164Lost Balls160
49Recoveries58
371st Half Poss.63
29.72nd Half Poss.70.3

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Matches

Table

Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Liverpool 34 77
2 Chelsea 34 75
3 Manchester City 33 71
4 Arsenal 34 67
5 Everton 34 66
6 Tottenham Hotspur 34 60
7 Manchester United 33 57
8 Southampton 34 48
9 Newcastle United 34 46
10 Stoke City 34 43
11 Crystal Palace 34 40
12 West Ham United 34 37
13 Hull City 33 36
14 Aston Villa 33 34
15 Swansea City 34 33
16 West Bromwich Albion 33 33
17 Norwich City 34 32
18 Fulham 34 30
19 Cardiff City 34 29
20 Sunderland 33 26

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