Toure inspires City to 3-1 win over West Ham

Manchester City convincingly beat West Ham 3-1 at Upton Park yesterday afternoon to move joint top of the Premier League.

Roberto Mancini’s team were missing top scorer and talismanic captain Carlos Tevez, but produced a controlled performance which underlined their title winning credentials.

Without the suspended Tevez, Mancini moved Yaya Toure into an advanced midfield role where he supported the attacking trio of David Silva, Jo and Mario Balotelli.

The decision paid off with West Ham unable to deal with City’s pace and movement. Balotelli missed a glorious chance to put the visitors ahead on seven minutes when he side footed wide from two yards, but Toure made no mistake on the half hour.

The Ivory Coast international hammered an unstoppable rising shot past Rob Green in the West Ham goal following a left wing run and lay off from Gareth Barry.

The Hammers fought hard to get back into the game early in the second half and were unlucky not to win a 66th minute penalty when Yaya Toure appeared to handle the ball.

However, the former Barcelona midfielder was central to City’s second goal which put the result of the match beyond doubt. Toure picked up the ball on the left wing before ghosting past James Tomkins and firing a low shot off the post and into the net via the unlucky Green’s back.

Substitute Adam Johnson made sure of the win 10 minutes from the final whistle when he collected a beautiful pass from Silva before rounding Green and firing home. Tomkins scored a late consolation goal for West Ham, but it was too little too late.

Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United all face each other in the next month while City’s next four matches are against Everton, Newcastle United, Aston Villa and Blackpool. A run of good results could see them move ahead of their rivals by January.

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