London - Sergio Aguero and Yaya Toure gave deposed Premier League champions
Manchester City a 2-1 win at home to West Ham United on Saturday,
although victory also featured an uncharacteristic error from goalkeeper
Moments after being injured while making a save from
West Ham striker Andy Carroll, Hart allowed a shot from the same player
to squirm through his grasp, and his legs, as he gifted the visitors an
Earlier, Aguero's 16th goal of the
season, his 11th in the Premier League, put the hosts in control after
28 minutes of a contest that was predictably subdued, coming at the end
of a week in which City had finally seen their league title move across
the city to Manchester United.
Samir Nasri exchanged neat passes
with both Toure and David Silva on his way into the West Ham area,
where, having reached the left-hand by-line, he pulled the ball back for
Aguero to convert clinically from six yards.
City had to wait
until the 83rd minute to be certain of the three points, when Toure
collected a short pass from Nasri and sent a stunning 20-yard shot
soaring into the roof of the West Ham goal, but victory should have been
far more comfortable.
Moments after the opening goal, defender
Pablo Zabaleta almost doubled the lead when West Ham goalkeeper Jussi
Jaaskelainen failed to hold a sharp, long-range shot from Nasri.
The Finn made up for his error, however, with a reflex block to deny the Argentine's follow-up attempt.
was also a gilt-edged chance for Aguero mid-way through the half, after
Silva's pass had been deflected into his path, but on this occasion,
the City forward hit the foot of the post from 12 yards when a goal
looked a certainty.
In response, Carroll placed a header over the
crossbar, although the forward's major contribution to the first half
was a trip on Silva that earned him a 19th-minute caution; the fourth
consecutive game in which he has been booked.
The visitors opened
the second half in more enterprising fashion, although City came closest
to adding to the goals tally, after 54 minutes, when Nasri's excellent
pass split the West Ham defence and played in Carlos Tevez, who showed
poor technique in flashing a shot over the bar from eight yards.
returned the compliment six minutes later with a pass that put through
the Frenchman, whose fierce shot from the corner of the six-yard area
was well saved by Jaaskelainen.
As the City pressure mounted,
Tevez was again denied when a desperation block from Joey O'Brien
stopped his six-yard shot after more good approach play from Aguero.
Ham's increased desire to commit men forward was allowing City more
room to play and yet another incisive counter-attack ended with Tevez
delivering a superb low cross from the right with which Nasri somehow
failed to connect from point-blank range, with an open net gaping.
efforts from James Collins and Carroll threatened the home goal late in
proceedings, before the on-loan Liverpool striker embarrassed Hart with
a powerful shot from 12 yards.