CITY 2 WEST HAM UNITED 0
FA Barclays Premiership
23rd September 2006
Scorer Samaras(50 & 63)
Ref C Foy
City Weaver, Richards, Dunne, Distin, Jordan, Miller, Barton, Hamann, Sinclair, Samaras, Corradi – Subs Ireland(89), Reyna(81), Beasley(unused), Hart(unused), Dickov(70)
West Ham Carroll, Dailly, Ferdinanad, Gabbidon, Konchesky, Benayoun, Mascherano, Reo-Coker, Etherington, Zamora – subs Mullins(22), Tevez(65), Cole(66), Green(unused), Bowyer(unused)
TWO GREAT GOALS FROM GEORGIO SAMARAS TO GIVE CITY THREE POINTS
HAMMERED Samaras spices up Stu… and Pard feels the heat
GREEK striker Georgio Samaras came up with the goals that boosted Stuart Pearce’s survival prospects, and heaped the pressure on the slumping Hammers and their boss Alan Pardew. City boss ‘Psycho’ came to the game with insiders warning that the visit of his former club was the start of a three game spell that would decide his fate.
But, after a dire first 45 minutes that did little to lift the gloom of the midweek Carling Cup exit at Chesterfield. Samaras popped up to silence the criticism surrounding his manager and club. Samaras, a £6 million signing from Heerenveen in the January window, has done little to justify his price tag since coming to Manchester. But he showed a lethal touch after 50 minutes when young debutant Ishmael Miller made a marauding left-wing run that ended with a shot which was blocked by Christian Dailly, The ball bounced invitingly into the path of Samaras on the edge of the box and after a neat bit of chest control he volleyed lethally past Roy Carroll.
Just 12 minutes later. Samaras wrapped up the points when a neat through ball from his strike partner Bernardo Corradi caught the Hammers` defensive line square. Samaras took the ball on before calmly lobbing it over the head of the advancing Hammers keeper.
Pearce said: “It`s probably unfair that the price tag is hanging over him, I view him as one of our Academy players because he came to us at the age of 20 from Holland, where the game tends to be more open and less in your face than the Premiership. “He’s learning the game and we’ve seen a steady improvement as the weeks have gone on, “He`s got a great attitude to learn and improve, he`s not claiming to be the finished article. He is going to have good days and hes going to have bad, “The difference is. if Ishmael Miller falls over the ball he’s just an Academy player but if George falls over he’s a £6m flop, and thats not fair? Fair or not, George’s genius eased the mounting criticism on his manager, although no-nonsense Pearce was genuinely unaffected by the criticism.
…There was no sign of the drama to come during a stale opening period that did little to lift the depression hovering over both teams. Samaras came closest to opening the scoring when he chased on to Miller’s pass down the left hand touchline and cut in before curling a shot that passed just beyond Caroll`s left hand post. The 21 year old Greek ace also came close when he whipped over a right wing cross that Carroll fumbled behind for a corner, Then. in injury time, the impressive Micah Richards made a committed run. pulled the ball back from the by-line and saw Corradi miss-hit from six yards.
The goals killed off the contest, aside from a late curling Warren Barton free kick that Carroll punched around his post, But the lack of bite was a clear problem for Pardew. who has failed to see his team win since the opening day of the season.
EXTRACTS FROM IAN WHITTELL’S MATCH REPORT IN THE DAILY MIRROR