Aguero stars in City revival against Hammers
Sergio Aguero moved to the top of the Premier League goalscoring charts as his effort in a 2-0 win at home to West Ham on Sunday bolstered Manchester City’s hopes of securing a top-four finish and Champions League football.
The Argentina international claimed his 20th goal of the season, after a James Collins own-goal had gifted last season’s English champions the lead, thus ending a run which had seen him fail to score a goal from open play at Eastlands since November 2.
After a run of just four victories from their last dozen league games, culminating in last weekend’s embarrassing 4-2 derby defeat at Manchester United, the win was sorely needed by a City side looking to hold off Liverpool in the chase for the top four.
City had already carved out half a dozen chances of note by the time they took a fortunate 18th minute lead thanks to a helping hand from Collins.
Jesus Navas’s counter-attack down the right ended with him crossing towards the far post, his pass being intercepted by Collins who sent the ball looping high over goalkeeper Adrian and into the goal via the underside of the crossbar.
It was a lucky, if deserved, lead for the home team and one which killed off any suggestion of Sam Allardyce’s out-of-sorts side taking anything from the game.
Just to make doubly sure, Aguero increased City’s advantage in the 36th minute with another goal on the counter-attack, although this one was far better worked.
Yaya Toure intercepted a badly-hit Stewart Downing pass deep in City territory and sent Aguero racing away.
The Argentinian fed Navas out on the right, receiving the return pass in his stride and sweeping home an unstoppable finish.
In between the two City goals, there had been glimmers of hope for the visitors, with Joe Hart racing smartly off his line to close down Carlton Cole as he threatened just inside the area before the England goalkeeper dealt comfortably with a routine, low 20-yard shot from Enner Valencia soon afterwards.
Those minor concerns aside, West Ham were perfect opponents for under-pressure City to face as the London club arrived in Manchester with just one league win from their previous 11 matches.