Unbeaten Away Record Continues
By Tom Dowsett
Sunday 20 Sep 2015 13:22:00
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When the 2015/16 fixture list was released in June, most West Ham United fans must have thought that their team would do well to get anything from the first three away games. Well, they have actually taken maximum points from all three as they ended Manchester City's 100% record this season by producing another excellent performance to win 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday evening.

Slaven Bilic made three changes to the team that beat Newcastle United on Monday night, as Adrian returned to the starting line-up in place of Darren Randolph, Carl Jenkinson came in for the injured Angelo Ogbonna, Cheikou Kouyate picked up a knock in training on Friday, so, Pedro Obiang, who had recovered from injury himself took his place.

The home side tested Adrian as early as the third minute but the Spaniard was equal to Fernandinho's close range header.

The Hammers were also quick out of the blocks and were controlling possession well. They stunned the home side by taking the lead just two minutes later, when Dimitri Payet found Victor Moses in the box and the Chelsea loanee unleashed a powerful shot, giving Joe Hart no chance and sending the away fans ballistic.

There was a massive let off for the visitors just four minutes later, as a poor backward header from Aaron Cresswell found the feet of Sergio Aguero, who burst past Adrian and only had to slot the ball in, only for his effort to go wide of the post. 

City went close again on 13 minutes, when summer acquisition Nicolas Otamendi saw his close range header go over the bar.

There was more joy for the travelling contingent on 31 minutes, after Diafra Sakho had put them further ahead after Payet had sent a corner over on 29 minutes, Winston Reid then saw his header blocked before the Senegalese striker smashed the ball past Hart. Shortly after, he had to leave the pitch for treatment.

City were piling on the pressure and only a fine save from Adrian to keep out Jesus Navas prevented them from adding a goal of their own. Minutes later, the Spaniard was performing heroics again as he made a number of stops to keep the scoreline down.

The East Londoners were looking comfortable by this point and could have had a third as the first-half entered four minutes of stoppage time but Sakho just couldn't get a good enough connection on the ball.

Just before the break another summer arrival found the net for the home side as Kevin De Bruyne beat Adrian with a powerful shot from the edge of the box.

With that, referee Robert Madley blew the half-time whistle and the visitors knew they had work to do if they were going to withstand the threat of Manuel Pellegrini's side.

The Hammers had to stop wave after wave of attacks in the second-half, as the Citizens weren't about to give up the unbeaten Premier League start lightly.

Adrian had to keep Yaya Toure at bay. Shortly after the action had restarted, which he did superbly.

Toure tried to get the better of the Hammers' keeper again on 54 minutes, but it was the Spaniard who again proved why Bilic had thrown him straight back into the team.

Four minutes later, the Irons almost put a stop to the home side's pressure and go further in front, but Sakho again missed the opportunity. Having watched the hosts dominate since the break, the manager decided to introduce Michail Antonio for his debut in place of Moses.

Toure seemed to be orchestrating matters since the break and had another chance but fired past the post just after the hour and just five minutes later, he directed his latest effort wide of the post.

Bilic had seen how much pressure the hosts were applying and on 69 minutes, he decided to make a second change with Nikica Jelavic replacing Manuel Lanzini.

There was respite for the visitors, as they were awarded a freekick but they were unfortunately unable to make anything of it, as City were quickly back on the attack.

West Ham were glad to see Madley turn down Aleksandar Kolarov's claim for a penalty on 75 minutes.

Jelavic had the chance to increase the advantage for the visitors but missed the connection with Sakho's through ball.

As the game entered its closing stages, it was all hands to the pump as the home side piled more pressure on and even the late introduction of James Collins due to Jenkinson's cramp didn't stop the home side from pummelling the Hammers' goal.

Another four minutes of stoppage time were added before Bilic's men could celebrate three consecutive wins for the first time since February 2014.

The Irons are back in action midweek as they begin their Captial One Cup Campaign with a trip to the King Power Stadium to face Leicester City on Tuesday night.

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