WEST HAM UNITED 0 CITY 2
11th August 2007
scorers Bianchi(18), Geovanni(87)
A packed Upton Park saw Sven’s team put on a display which bodes well for the rest of the season. Kasper Schmeichel was rushed into his senior team debut with Isaksson out for 6 weeks and Harte on the bench still recovering from a broken finger.Elano, Corluka, Garrido, Petrov and Bianchi were the other 5 players making their City Premiership debuts.
Fears that the team would struggle to gel were quashed as City controlled the first 20 minutes or so Culminating in a goal by Bianchi, a 3 foot poachers strike after a great run and low cross by the impressive Elano in the 18th minute. City looked comfortable for the rest of the half with Schmeichel rarely tested by West Ham.
City were put under a lot more pressure in the second half, however Micah Richards and Richard Dunne were stalwarts in defence meaning that again Kasper was rarely called upon to make a save The game was wrapped up by City when Unuoha made a Brazilian like run taking on over half the West Ham team before passing to Brazilian Geovanni who crashed his shot in from 12 yards. With a minute to go only a fantastic save by Green could stop Geovanni from adding a second.
WHAT THE PRESS SAID
SMILING Sven-Goran Eriksson labelled his critics “stupid” after he masterminded a 2-0 Manchester City win at West Ham. Eriksson had admitted that he had not seen some of the eight players he signed in the summer in a £40million spree funded by controversial new City owner, former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, play many live games.But two of them, £8.8million Italian striker Rolando Bianchi and free transfer Brazilian Geovanni, scored the goals which demolished dismal Hammers – and left the Upton Park fans applauding Eriksson.
Eriksson said: “It can only be stupid people who say I would sign players I did not know anything about. “Okay, I haven’t seen all of them play nine or 10 times but I have big scouting staff at the club and I have as many videos as I need to watch. I’ve always signed good football players. And with these ones, some are young and for the future and some, like (Martin) Petrov and Elano, are more experienced.”
It was Elano, another Brazilian who cost £8million from Ukraine’s Shakhtar Donetsk, who starred in City’s stylish performance as their new-look team – with eight debut-makers – repeated the win they had at West Ham last December and doubled the scoreline. He made a storming run and cross for Bianchi’s 18th-minute opener and often ran West Ham ragged in his support striker role. But he had been substituted when compatriot Geovanni clinched the three points with a rifling strike three minutes from time. Eriksson, brushing off questions about whether he enjoyed club football more than his ill-fated England reign, declared: “England is history for me today. I don’t think I had a player like Elano with England. “We are playing a different way with Manchester City. It is a big club and the aim is to make it much better. The owner has not asked me to win the Premier League – not this season anyway – or get into Europe, but we will see where we are when the squad is fully ready.”.
Eriksson added: “I don’t think I have anything to prove in English football, although at the start of a season everybody must prove they are the right man in the right place. I am delighted, of course, with the way we have started. I enjoy the club job more between matches than I did with England between matches. I enjoy being on the training field and in the dressing room. “But Jose Mourinho can still have all the headlines as far as I’m concerned. My job is to improve the club. We may sign one or two more players before the end of August I hope. We have two goalkeepers, 20 and 21, and another one (Andreas Isaksson) injured with a broken finger. We may have to look at that situation.” Eriksson called up Kasper Schmeichel, son of Danish legend Peter Schmeichel, to face the Hammers but the youngster was barely tested on his Premier League debut MEN ONLINE 11/ 8/2007