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Last Updated: Saturday, 23 September 2006, 15:54 GMT 16:54 UK
Man City 2-0 West Ham
By Saj Chowdhury

Trevor Sinclair and Matthew Etherington
City's Trevor Sinclair battles with Matthew Etherington

Georgios Samaras scored twice to reward Manchester City with all three points at the expense of West Ham.

The Greek international volleyed in his first after picking up the pieces from 19-year-old team-mate Ishmael Miller's run and shot.

Samaras doubled City's lead when he clipped the ball over goalkeeper Roy Carroll after being played in by fellow striker Bernardo Corradi.

West Ham did not muster a shot on goal and lost Anton Ferdinand to an injury.

The result was a welcome one for Manchester City manager Stuart Pearce who endured a difficult few days following his side's embarrassing exit from the Carling Cup at the hands of Chesterfield.

Four points from five games had left City's boss feeling slightly beleaguered of late.

And after a first half that saw City get scant reward after creating a hatful of chances, it seemed the side would once again come away with nothing to show.

But thankfully for Pearce, Samaras produced two magical moments to alleviate the pressure.

The Greek international was a spritely figure all afternoon. He came close to breaking the deadlock in the opening half, but a shot from the edge of the area shaved the post before his intended cross from the right had to be pushed away by Carroll.

There was also more than a subtle hint of youthful exuberance in the City team, with Micah Richards and Miller an annoyance for the Hammers defence.

The big and burly Richards made two surging runs, but his first resulted in a scuffed shot and his second ended with a pass to Corradi, who sent his close-range effort wide.

A lack of maturity may have affected Richards' final product, but that was not the case for Miller when his direct run on the right led to the first goal.

The teenager eluded lacklustre tracking from Hadyn Mullins to run into the penalty area and fire in a shot that deflected off a defender and into the path of Samaras.

The Greek international controlled the ball before slamming home an unstoppable volley.

And it was not long before Samaras doubled the lead with another example of confident finishing.

It was game over after the second goal - West Ham offered little in the match.

If last week's performance against Newcastle was bad, then their efforts against City were worse.

Manager Alan Pardew decided to leave Argentine superstar striker Carlos Tevez on the bench and maybe his physical presence could have made City's defence work harder.

He did come on 20 minutes from the end, as did Carlton Cole, replacing the ineffective Bobby Zamora and Marlon Harewood, but that was not enough time for the bulldog to settle in.

The Hammers, who have lost three games in succession, need to regain their composure as they travel to Palermo in the Uefa Cup on Thursday trailing 1-0 from the first leg.


  • Manchester City boss Stuart Pearce:
    "They've been under the microscope especially after losing in the Carling Cup this week.

    "It would have been easy for the players to go under. I was pleased with the performance and effort.

    "They were fantastic goals from Samaras. He's only 21 and learning the game. He's an uncut diamond."

  • West Ham boss Alan Pardew explained why Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano had yet to have a positive effect:
    "We should not expect too much from them.

    "They are both 22 and neither had done any training until they arrived at West Ham.

    "Players like Andriy Shevchenko need time to adjust and it is no different with our two guys."


    Man City: Weaver, Richards, Dunne, Distin, Jordan, Sinclair, Barton, Hamann, Miller (Reyna 81), Samaras (Ireland 89), Corradi (Dickov 70).
    Subs Not Used: Hart, Beasley.

    Goals: Samaras 50, 63.

    West Ham: Carroll, Dailly, Ferdinand (Mullins 22), Gabbidon, Konchesky, Benayoun, Mascherano, Reo-Coker, Etherington, Zamora (Cole 66), Harewood (Tevez 65).
    Subs Not Used: Green, Bowyer.

    Att: 41,073

    Ref: C Foy (Merseyside).

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