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West Ham United vs. Manchester City: 6 Things We Learned

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 19:   Sergio Aguero of Manchester City(2R) celebrates his opening goal with team mates during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Manchester City at the Boleyn Ground on October 19, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
Jan Kruger/Getty Images
Rob PollardFeatured ColumnistOctober 19, 2013

City got their first win away from home in the Premier League this season after beating West Ham 3-1. With their away form becoming a concern, it was vital they secure three points from the game. Sergio Aguero scored two, and David Silva wrapped things up late on with a lovely finish.

Here are six things we can take from the match.

 

Negredo Superior to Dzeko

Alvaro Negredo continued his recent good form with another great showing at Upton Park, as the chasm between himself and Edin Dzeko continues to increase each week. Dzeko was Manuel Pellegrini's first-choice Big Man in the opening weeks of the season, but Negredo's form has seen him dislodge the Bosnian, and he shows little sign of giving his place up.

Whereas Dzeko sometimes lacks quality, Negredo is technically excellent, with a brilliant first touch and eye for a pass. He also works harder than Dzeko, who too often goes missing during games and gives opposition defenders an easy ride.

Negredo's dummy for City's first goal was a brilliant example of his sharp footballing brain, and his effort that hit the bar in the second half demonstrated his instincts in front of goal.

City have landed themselves a gem who is now surely City’s first-choice No. 9.

 

Aguero Continues to Shine

A succession of niggling injuries prevented Sergio Aguero from ever hitting top form last season. He still managed 12 league goals and performed admirably, but in comparison to his debut season in England, where he scored 30 goals as City won the title, his level had dropped.

He's arguably been City's best player so far this season, with his pace and goals—six in the league already—providing City's most potent attacking threat.

He scored two, including his first headed goal in the Premier League, and assisted the third in what was a sparkling display. He was the clear Man of the Match, and if he can remain fit, City have one of the finest strikers in Europe who looks like scoring every time he goes on to the pitch.

 

Silva Central to City's Best Play

City sorely missed David Silva when he was out for a month through injury earlier this season. His performance on his return as a substitute against Bayern Munich reminded everybody of his ability, and his displays against Everton and now West Ham have further underlined his importance to side.

He can dictate play and control the pace of a game when he's on song, and his form is now somewhere close to his best. He will have a big role to play this season.

 

City Have the Best Squad in England

City surely have the strongest squad in the Premier League.

With Micah Richards, Stevan Jovetic and David Silva now recovered from the injuries which have blighted the start of their seasons, and the possible return of Vincent Kompany for next week's trip to Stamford Bridge, City look well capable of putting a run of good form together.

The partnership between Fernandinho and Yaya Toure is developing nicely as their understanding grows, and Negredo and Aguero are both scoring goals.

With other big sides stuttering, City will be desperate to see a string of positive results in the coming weeks.

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 19:  Manuel Pellegrini the Manchester City manager speaks with Sergio Aguero and Alvaro Negredo of Manchester City during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Manchester City at Boleyn Ground on October 1
Warren Little/Getty Images

 

City Can Be More Ruthless

If there is one criticism of City in this match, it was the lack of goals scored when they were so dominant in the first 45 minutes. A 1-0 scoreline after a half in which City were in total control of the ball wasn't good enough, and it's becoming a trend. The 3-2 defeat at Aston Villa was similar. Villa barely got out of their own half for the first hour, but some sloppy play (and, it must be said, poor refereeing) allowed them back into the game.

They may be the league's top scorers, but City can score more.

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 19:   Sergio Aguero of Manchester City celebrates his goal with team mates during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Manchester City at the Boleyn Ground on October 19, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo
Jan Kruger/Getty Images

 

City Must Use This to Kick-Start Their Away Form

A return of one point from a possible nine away from home before this match is a dismal record, but this showing at Upton Park should be used as a catalyst for better performances.

According to data provided by Squawka, City enjoyed 58 percent possession and completed 84 percent of their passes in a game they should have won by more. It was a solid display, and they must take this into to their next three matches—all away from home—against CSKA Moscow, Chelsea and Newcastle.

Rob Pollard is Bleacher Report's lead Manchester City correspondent and will be following the club from a Manchester base throughout the 2013-14 season. Follow him on Twitter here @TypicalCity.

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