English Premiership

City stroll past West Ham

2015-04-19 16:35
David Silva (AP Photo)

London - Manchester City strengthened their grip on fourth place in the Premier League with a 2-0 win at home to West Ham on Sunday but at the cost of seeing David Silva carried off on a stretcher.

The influential Spanish playmaker was on the receiving end of what appeared to be an accidental elbow from West Ham's Cheikhou Kouyate midway through the second half and needed lengthy treatment on the field before being taken off the field amid concerns he might miss the rest of the season.

Reigning champions City's hopes of a successful title defence were all but over before last week's 4-2 derby defeat by Manchester United.

But this win saw them move to within a point of United and, significantly, go seven clear of fifth-placed Liverpool - in FA Cup semi-final action against Aston Villa on Sunday - having played a league game more than the Merseysiders.

For an injury-hit City side and their under-pressure manager, Manuel Pellegrini, this was a timely victory.

City were in complete command against the Hammers almost from the moment the match kicked-off and they went ahead in the 18th minute when West Ham defender James Collins sliced Jesus Navas's cross over the head of goalkeeper Adrian, the ball bouncing off the underside of the crossbar for a spectacular own-goal.

But there was no denying the quality of City's second, which came nine minutes before half-time, with winger Navas again a key figure in the build-up.

Yaya Toure won the ball from West Ham and England winger Stewart Downing to launch a rapid counter-attack.

Sergio Aguero took the ball forward and then exchanged passes with Navas, collecting a superbly-weighted return ball, before sliding a precise shot under Adrian.

Defeat meant mid-table West Ham had won just two of their last 16 league matches, with this reverse doing little to calm the speculation surrounding the future of manager Sam Allardyce at the London club.

Sunday's other top-flight match sees Tottenham Hotspur looking to strengthen their bid for European football next season away to Newcastle United, with some unhappy home fans planning to boycott the St James' Park clash in protest at what they see as owner Mike Ashley's mismanagement of the north-east club.

Read more on:    west ham  |  manchester city  |  super 15  |  soccer
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