LONDON: The manner of Manchester City’s destruction of West Ham in East London was a clear indication that Manuel Pellegini has turned them back into serious league title contenders.
The Chilean has seen some early stumbles this season, partly through his own learning curve, but he has found a tactical blend which suits his most creative players. That was never a factor under predecessor Roberto Mancini who always appeared to be experimenting with tactics and selection from game to game.
David Silva was outstanding at West Ham, dictating the pace of the game with a facility which proved he has now recovered from a series of minor, restrictive injuries.
Alvaro Negredo and Sergio Aguero, up front, both benefited to keep the West Ham defence – which had last denied Tottenham – at full stretch.
A superb dummy from Negredo over a long through ball from Yaya Toure opened the way for Aguero’s early opening goal. The Argentinian scored a second soon after the interval following a Silva free kick. Silva completed the scoring shortly before the end after Ricardo Vaz Te had given West Ham brief, unlikely, hope.
Pellegrini evidenced the significance of a first away win in his comments of relief after the game.
He said: “Winning the game was most important thing for us. We scored three goals and the best player for West Ham was their goalkeeper [Jussi Jaaskelainen].
“Having players of the quality of Silva, Aguero, Nasri, Dzeko, I think this team must always play on the attack. That’s why for us it’s very important to have players of good quality because we have a lot of games to play this year.”
Those games include two important ones in the next six days – at CSKA Moscow on Wednesday in the Champions League and then at Chelsea in the Premier League.