Premier League
Manchester City 2-1 West Ham United 

Saturday, 27th April 2013
by Staff Writer

West Ham United were predictably - yet narrowly - beaten at the City of Manchester stadium in today's early kick off.

Goals from Sergio Aguero and Yaya Toure - one in either half - ensured the reigning Premier League champions won all three points in the day's lunchtime game, although Andy Carroll at least gave the travelling fans something to cheer about with an injury time consolation effort.

It is often said that incorrect refereeing decisions even themselves out over the season. However in terms of matches against the Premier League's established 'big four', that is most certainly not the case as far as West Ham are concerned this season.

Even prior to today's game, West Ham have been on the wrong end of a number of key decisions in these games since last August.

Two goals incorrectly ruled out against Chelsea (one home, one away), Robin Van Persie's offside goal at the Boleyn recently and Kevin Nolan's perfectly legitimate strike in the corresponding fixture against Man City back in November suggests that equality is not high on the agenda, nor ever likely to be achieved in a league which positively favours those at its zenith.

And so it was the case again this afternoon when City defender Pablo Zabaleta's arm twice made contact with the ball inside the penalty area in the second half - and twice saw appeals go in his favour.

In fairness to the Argentinian, the first incident - in which the ball was played against him - was certainly not a penalty and has it been given, would have been extremely harsh. However the second - when he leaned towards a shot and clearly made contact with his lower arm - definitely was.

One can only conclude that match official Howard Webb, whose impartiality has been called into question on numerous occasions, failed to spot the infringement.

In what was to prove a disappointing opening 45 minutes for West Ham, the Citizens scored the only goal of the half on 28 minutes when a move involving in excess of 15 passes on West Ham's right was completed by ??40million man Aguero, ghosting in on the blind side of the otherwise-impeccable Winston Reid, to finish from close range.

However Sam Allardyce's side were a different proposition after the break and, given a bit of luck, they may well have extended their unbeaten run to six games today.

James Collins, Andy Carroll and Kevin Nolan all saw good opportunitties spurned before Yaya Toure finally put the game beyond West Ham on the 82nd minute. Having picked up the ball outside the box, City's midfield driving force whipped a curling, dipping shot into Jussi Jaaskelainen's far corner.

To their credit, West Ham continued to push on and eventually got their reward - even if they did have to wait until the fourth minute of added-on time to get it. England 'keeper Joe Hart, who endured a bit of a nightmare today allowed Andy Carroll's header to squirm between his legs and over the line.

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Player Ratings

Jussi Jaaskelainen
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Guy Demel
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Joey O Brien
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James Collins
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Winston Reid
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Mo Diame
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Gary O Neil
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Matt Jarvis
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Ricardo Vaz Te
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Kevin Nolan
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Andy Carroll
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Jack Collison
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Matt Taylor
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Carlton Cole
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Stephen Henderson
Did not play.

Emanuel Pogatetz
Did not play.

Mark Noble
Did not play.

Joe Cole
Did not play.

Match Facts

West Ham United: Jussi Jaaskelainen, Guy Demel, Joey O Brien, James Collins, Winston Reid, Mo Diame, Gary O Neil, Matt Jarvis, Ricardo Vaz Te, Kevin Nolan, Andy Carroll.

Goals: Andy Carroll 90                  .

Booked: None.

Sent off: None.

Manchester City: .

Subs not used: .

Goals: .

Booked: .

Sent off: None.

Referee: Howard Webb.

Attendance: 47,189.

Man of the Match: Winston Reid.