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Last Updated: Saturday, 11 August 2007, 15:56 GMT 16:56 UK
West Ham 0-2 Man City
By Chris Bevan

Geovanni celebrates with fans after scoring City's second goal
Geovanni celebrates with fans after scoring City's second goal
Rolando Bianchi and Geovanni scored on their debuts as Sven-Goran Eriksson's new-look Manchester City side got off to a winning start at West Ham.

The Hammers toiled unconvincingly early on and City were well on top by the time Bianchi slid in to score at the far post after Elano's impressive run.

West Ham came back strongly but the closest they came to an equaliser was when Dean Ashton's volley flashed wide.

Geovanni's low shot sealed City's win after good work by Nedum Onuoha.

It was a display that was sure to have pleased watching City owner Thaksin Shinawatra, who has bankrolled Eriksson's spending spree.

The Swede gave debuts to five of his foreign summer signings - Vedran Corluka, Javier Garrido, Elano, Martin Petrov and Bianchi - with three other recent arrivals on the bench.

But there was plenty of home-grown talent on display too with Kasper Schmeichel, making his first start in goal, bringing the number of academy graduates in City's side to four.

And any fears that Eriksson's hastily-assembled team would take time to settle were dispelled by a confident start by the visitors.

Bobby Zamora holds off Elano
Bobby Zamora holds off Elano's challenge

In fact it was West Ham who seemed like a team of strangers in the opening 20 minutes and Alan Curbishley's side soon found themselves behind.

The impressive Elano picked up the ball inside his own half and ghosted past Matthew Upson into the area before turning in a low ball that Bianchi turned home.

Inspired by Elano, City's passing and movement was causing the Hammers all sorts of problems and the home side's own debutants, Freddie Ljungberg and Craig Bellamy, were having little joy.

Bobby Zamora's long-range shot was the best effort Curbishley's side could muster until just before the break when they at last began to threaten and Ljungberg's snapshot was well saved by Schmeichel after Luis BoaMorte's mazy run.

The tide was beginning to turn and, after Matthew Etherington and Hayden Mullins came on at half-time, the Hammers continued to improve.

Micah Richards had to clear City's lines from Ljungberg's dinked cross before Zamora dragged his shot wide from the edge of the area.


Etherington was unlucky that no-one could reach his drilled cross which flew along the goal-line soon after and at times City were defending for their lives.

But an equaliser would not come for the Hammers despite the best efforts of Ashton.

The big striker almost celebrated his return from a year out with injury with a goal when he smashed a volley just wide after coming off the bench.

And City made sure of an opening day victory in the closing minutes when Onuoha made good ground down the right and teed up Brazilian substitute Geovanni, who fired low into the far corner.

  • West Ham manager Alan Curbishley:

    "I am massively disappointed. That was an unbelievably flat performance considering it was the start of the season.

    "City started well. They got their goal then sat back and we had no answers.

    "Apart from Robert Green in goal I don't think too many of our players can come out of the game and say to themselves 'we did alright'."

  • Manchester City manager Sven-Goran Eriksson

    "I'm delighted. My first match in the Premier League and three points away - that's really good.

    "We played some really good football - not for 90 minutes because we suffered as well but we started well and the last 15 minutes we did very well again.

    "If we are talking about points then it was the perfect start but we won't get carried away."

    West Ham: Green, Spector, Ferdinand, Upson, McCartney (Ashton 63), Ljungberg, Bowyer (Mullins 46), Noble, Boa Morte (Etherington 46), Zamora, Bellamy.
    Subs Not Used: Wright, Gabbidon.

    Man City: Schmeichel, Richards, Corluka (Onuoha 62), Dunne, Garrido, Elano (Geovanni 80), Hamann, Johnson, Petrov, Ireland, Bianchi (Bojinov 61).
    Subs Not Used: Hart, Gelson.

    Booked: Garrido, Ireland, Elano, Geovanni.

    Goals: Bianchi 18, Geovanni 87.

    Att: 34,921

    Ref: Peter Walton (Northamptonshire).

    Live - Premier League
    11 Aug 07 |  Premier League
    Saturday's football photos
    11 Aug 07 |  Premier League


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