By William Wood | In Match Reports - Away Games
Manchester City cruised to a comfortable 3-1 victory over West Ham United at Upton Park, with a Yaya Toure brace sending Roberto Mancini’s men up to second in the Premier League.
The manager will be delighted with the win and the professionalism of his players, with only Mario Balotelli’s reaction to being substituted a negative footnote on the day.
Jerome Boateng came into the starting 11 whilst Micah was among the substitutes, whilst Jo and Balotelli were up front for the visitors.
And it was the former who went close early on as he struck on goal from the edge of the box only for Robert Green to gather, whilst the latter was inches from putting City in front as he failed to make a strong enough contact with a cross.
At the other end, some fine build up play involving the in-form Scott Parker allowed Junior Stanislas to get his shot away, but Joe Hart was more than equal to it.
City found a way through, however, after half an hour as Gareth Barry slipped Yaya Toure through and the Ivory Coast international unleashed an unstoppable left-foot shot to make it 1-0.
A lull period ensued as City sat comfortably on their lead, and it wasn’t until the 54th minute that there was another effort that looked likely to add to the score-line.
Toure worked a yard of space 25-yards from goal before firing straight down Green’s throat, whilst Mancini’s decision to bring Balotelli off didn’t go down too well with the striker soon after.
Just as the hosts looked to be getting a grip on the game, Yaya Toure charged into the Hammers’ box before firing in again with his left foot, beating Green at his near post only for the ball to ricochet off the post and back into the net off the keeper’s back.
With West Ham reeling, City finished the game off with a fine third. David Silva – as impressive as ever – picked out Adam Johnson and the winger took the ball round Green to make it 3-0.
the game was all but dead and buried, and whilst West Ham managed to grab a late consolation through James Tomkins’ header, in truth the outcome never looked likely to be anything other than a City win.
West Ham: Green, Faubert, Tomkins, Upson, Ben-Haim, Barrera, Spector, Parker, Stanislas, Piquionne, Obinna. Subs: Stech, Reid, Dyer, Cole, Boa Morte, Kovac, Hines.
Man City: Hart, Boateng, K Toure, Kompany, Zabaleta, De Jong, Barry, Jo, Y Toure, Silva, Balotelli. Subs: Given, Richards, Milner, Adam Johnson, Santa Cruz, Lescott, Vieira.