Manchester City suffered a blow to their title hopes with a shock 2-1 loss to West Ham at Upton Park.
Diafra Sakho’s sixth goal in his sixth Premier League start was enough to give West Ham a deserved 2-1 win over Manchester City.
City began much the brighter, with Sergio Aguero always looking threatening, and a number of free-kicks awarded for niggling little fouls.
But West Ham reasserted themselves. In the 19th minute a goalmouth scramble resulted in Joe Harttaking a blow to the face courtesy of a flailing Enner Valencia limb; and then two minutes laterMorgan Amalfitano opened the scoring with a tap-in from close range after tenacious work from Valencia.
Neither Hart nor Pablo Zabaleta could reach the ball as it was squared across the box, despite both throwing themselves desperately towards it.
Sakho doubled the hosts’ lead in the 75th minute with a fine leap and downward header, which Hart thought he had clawed away but goal-line technology confirmed had crossed the line.
David Silva’s fine individual effort gave the champions some hope two minutes later as he cut in beautifully, dummied and let rip with a gorgeous strike.
Yet West Ham were firm in defence and were not cowed, holding on for their three points to consolidate their fourth place in the Premier League table.
1’ CHANCE – ISH? First shot significantly off-target from Enner Valencia. Guess that's a demonstration of confidence if nothing else.
19’ OUCH! Goalmouth scramble! A long free-kick reaches Valencia, who runs into Joe Hart, who's utterly floored.
21’ GOAL! Amalfitano proceeds to scamper into the crowd with utter glee after he taps in from close range, but the work has all been done by Valencia, who takes the ball and runs in brilliantly. Zabaleta and Hart both dive towards a ball that has already passed them and is at the feet of Amalfitano, who makes no mistake.
45’ SMART! Cleverly-worked free kick routine! Noble plays it neatly and acutely down the left into the box, and Collins hurls himself towards the ball and can't connect.
65' WOODWORK! I genuinely thought that was in there! Aguero hits the underside of the bar, but it bounces out - Toure gets to the rebound and Adrian makes the save.
75’ GOAL! Goal-line technology gets the second, with a little help from Sakho. Terrific leap at the back post and Hart thought he'd clawed it out, but it was actually in by miles. Quite rightly given.
77’ GOAL! One back for City as Silva cuts in, shapes to shoot, moves in, and lets rip with a fabulous strike.
West Ham lost four times to City last season (twice in the league and both legs of the League Cup semi-final).
Diafra Sakho is the first player in Premier League history to score in six successive Premier League appearances.
Manchester City have lost the last seven Premier League matches that they have been losing at half-time.
West Ham have now scored in eight successive Premier League games; their best run in the competition since November 2009.
Can West Ham seriously maintain this kind of form? It's a marathon, not a sprint, and all that - but two months into the season and they're looking good value.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Alex Song. Tireless.
West Ham – Adrian 6, Reid 6, Cresswell 8, Downing 7, Sakho 8, Noble 7, Jenkinson 7, Collins 7, Amalfitano 7, Song 8, Valencia 8. Subs - Jaaskelainen, Kouyate 7, Vaz Te, O'Brien, Poyet, Cole 7, Nolan 7.
Man City – Hart 7, Zabaleta 7, Kompany 6, Mangala 7, Clichy 7, Navas 7, Toure 7, Fernando 7, Silva 7, Aguero 7, Dzeko 7. Subs - Caballero, Kolarov 7, Demichelis, Sagna, Fernandinho, Jovetic 8, Milner 7.