Allardichi 1 Pellegridyce 3 - But no disgrace in that.
Ok we lost and, if we are honest, we lost pretty heavily, but Man City were pretty bloody good and, our centre backs apart, we were decent. And to be fair to Tomkins and Reid, they were horribly exposed by Man City's quick passing football and excellent movement. Last game, Big Sam thought he was the dog's bollocks, now he understands that his claims to have revolutionised football with his 4-6-0 formation were pure bollocks.
First the goals. Agüero's opener was a bit tasty. True the ball travelled far too far through the middle of our midfield and defence, but the dummy by Negredo was breath-taking. The ball went so close to him that his decision to simply ignore it would have bemused Moore and Beckenbauer, never mind Tomkins and Reid. Agüero's run was perfectly timed and Reid was still on New Zealand time as the Argentinian ran in on Jussi and buried the chance superbly.
The second goal was not so easy to excuse. Reid was drawn out wide and was done all ends up by Negredo, who was then sandwiched as Demel joined the Kiwi in trying to close out the threat. The result was yet another stupid free kick conceded in a dangerous area. Over came the free kick and the only surprise was just how much space Agüero had on the edge of the six yard box as he rose to head home. Who was marking him? Nolan I think, but the entire West Ham team stood and watched as he scored - Jussi apart who valiantly tried to deflect the ball over and wide, simply pushing it into the top corner.
And that was that, we thought. It was now just a question of how many. And then up popped Vaz Te, who had been largely anonymous until then, with a deft overhead kick into the bottom corner. There were suspicions of offside in the build up - and I think Diame was off before he crossed - but who cares. 1-2 and game on!
Briefly, very briefly, Man City creaked, but as we pushed forward, more and more gaps appeared in the middle of the park, and Jussi made save after save. So when the third City goal came, it was no surprise. Agüero ran at the heart of the defence, Reid missed the opportunity to put in a tackle, Tomkins prevented him getting in a shot but the ball was pulled back to Silva, whose finish was sublime. 1-3. Job done for Pellegridyce's men!
And the bits in between? Well Noble was superb, putting in three fantastic tackles and recycling the ball superbly. Diame ran around a lot but looked uncomfortable in the formation much of the time. Nolan did ok, but he is wasted sitting deep and when he moved forward, he hardly got a sniff of the ball apart from deflecting wide after Hart had saved from Diame. Morrison was ordinary and received a timely reality check. Vaz Te was largely anonymous apart from his goal but the decision to withdraw him was still odd after he had scored. Downing was decent but never devastating.
Sadly, defensively, we were poor. Demel did well until he went off injured but O'Brien was far too easily bypassed after he came on. Boomtown was poor. And Tomkins and Reid had their worst games for some considerable time. Jussi, however, was excellent.
But let's not be too glum. Sunderland were thumped. So were Norwich and Cardiff. Palace will go down. So even without Carroll, we should have enough to stay up. Shouldn't we?
Player ratings: Jussi 10; Demel 7, Tomkins 4, Reid 3, Rat 4; Nolan 5 Noble 9; Morrison 5, Diame 6, Vaz Te 5, Downing 6 Subs: O'Brien 3, Jarvis 6, Petric (not on long enough to rate).