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Page last updated at 17:02 GMT, Sunday, 24 August 2008 18:02 UK

Man City 3-0 West Ham

By Chris Bevan

Vincent Kompany congratulates Elano after his second goal of the game
Vincent Kompany congratulates Elano after his second goal of the game

Manchester City eased to their first Premier League victory of the season against 10-man West Ham.

City hit the woodwork twice through Tal Ben-Haim's deflected shot and Martin Petrov's free-kick before West Ham had Mark Noble sent off for two bookings.

The visitors were under the cosh but held out until Daniel Sturridge rifled into the roof of the net on 65 minutes.

Stephen Ireland crossed for Elano to smash in a second before setting up the Brazilian to volley home City's third.

The result was a welcome lift for City manager Mark Hughes, who had a difficult summer off the pitch at Eastlands then saw his side collapse at Aston Villa last weekend.

More goals will be the order of the day when City travel to Denmark on Thursday to attempt to make up a 1-0 deficit from the first leg of their Uefa Cup qualifying tie with FC Midtjylland.

But Hughes's men will approach that game with added confidence after completely dominating the Hammers.

In front of their owner Thaksin Shinawatra, who was watching his first game since being hit by charges of charges of corruption and abuse of power in his native Thailand, City began brightly.

Mark Hughes was delighted by his team's performance

West Ham, who would have gone top of the embryonic table had they won, also knocked the ball about nicely in the opening stages.

But, while they failed to test home goalkeeper Joe Hart, City were soon creating chances.

Their first near-miss came in an almighty goalmouth scramble when Ireland's shot was headed off the line by Callum Davenport, who recovered to deflect Ben-Haim's follow-up shot on to the crossbar.

Petrov was the next City player to hit the woodwork, curling a beautiful 30-yard free-kick on to the outside of the post with Robert Green stationary.

By now, West Ham were being forced to defend in numbers but their cause was not helped by Noble's needless dismissal on 38 minutes.

Alan Curbishley was unhappy with his players

The England under-21 midfielder's first yellow card, for a handball after he slipped, was foolish and he gave referee Howard Webb no choice but to send him off when he lunged in on Michael Johnson soon afterwards.

It could have got worse for the Hammers before half-time but Webb ignored City's claims for a penalty despite a clear handball by Lucas Neill at a corner.

And Green had to make a stunning save to keep the scores level, pushing Johnson's shot around the post after Ben-Haim had advanced unchallenged to the edge of the area.

The second half began with a seven-minute delay while Micah Richards received treatment after a clash of heads with Ben-Haim, and the defender was taken to hospital with concussion.

But, when the game resumed, it was still City who were well on top.

It still took them a while to find the net, however, but when they did it was with a thumping finish.

Matthew Upson only cleared Petrov's cross as far as Sturridge, who took a touch before burying the ball past Green.


The goal brought relief for Hughes but it was almost short-lived as West Ham launched a swift attack from the restart.

Sadly for the visitors, Matthew Etherington and Julien Faubert got in each others way after running clear and the chance was gone.

And City were soon out of sight - Vedran Corluka and Ireland combining down the right to tee up Elano on 70 minutes before the same trio linked up to add a third goal seven minutes later.

Both teams ended up with just 10 men on the pitch, as City substitute Kelvin Etuhu limped off soon after becoming his side's third replacement of the game.

But, despite a mammoth 10 minutes of added time, West Ham could still not muster a shot on target on a miserable afternoon for Alan Curbishley's men.

Curbishley, who could see defender Anton Ferdinand sold to Sunderland next week, lost Carlton Cole to injury after just 31 minutes and the striker becomes the latest name on a lengthy injury list at Upton Park.

Manchester City boss Mark Hughes:
"There have been a lot of negative things said about the club in the past week and it was nice to get back to football.

"The response from my players was excellent - right from the start they had the right attitude and tempo.

"Irrespective of West Ham having a man sent off, I felt we would have won."

West Ham boss Alan Curbishley:
"I am desperately disappointed for our fans. We started quite well but, as the game wore on, City got on top.

"We could not cope with it and when Mark Noble was sent off, it became very, very difficult for us.

"With 10 men, everything has got to go for you and you have to defend properly and we didn't for their first goal."

Man City: Hart, Corluka, Richards (Hamann 54), Ben-Haim, Michael Ball, Ireland, Kompany, Johnson, Petrov (Etuhu 77), Elano (Evans 77), Sturridge.
Subs Not Used: Schmeichel, Garrido, Gelson, Caicedo.

Goals: Sturridge 65, Elano 70, 76.

West Ham: Green, Behrami, Davenport, Upson, Neill, Faubert, Noble, Parker, Etherington (Boa Morte 74), Ashton, Cole (Sears 31), Sears (Mullins 46).
Subs Not Used: Lastuvka, Reid, Bowyer, Spence.

Sent Off: Noble (38).

Booked: Behrami, Noble.

Att: 36,635

Ref: Howard Webb (S Yorkshire).

BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Manchester City's Martin Petrov 7.58 (on 90 minutes).

Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.

see also
Richards released from hospital
24 Aug 08 |  Man City
How to watch Match of the Day
08 Oct 07 |  Match of the Day
Premier League as it happened
24 Aug 08 |  Premier League
Sunday's football photos
24 Aug 08 |  Football

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