Collison strike sinks City

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West Ham's Jack Collison was the match-winner as Manchester City's European success in midweek was quickly replaced by familiar struggles in the Barclays Premier League and a 1-0 defeat.

City dumped FC Copenhagen out of the UEFA Cup on Thursday but again saw their domestic ambitions dented by a lacklustre display at Upton Park.

Robinho was sorely off-form for City, drifting in and out of the game and tapping wide from two yards, but they nearly stole a point when Elano's 90th-minute free-kick clipped the post.

After 14 minutes, Robinho almost had the ball in the net from the daintiest of touches. A mistake by Matthew Upson gifted Stephen Ireland possession and when his cross was cleared Vincent Kompany volleyed for goal.

His shot was weak but Robinho, given onside, flicked his boot at the ball and almost succeeded in steering it past the sprawling Robert Green. The Brazilian then missed a sitter in the 22nd minute.

The hard-working Craig Bellamy was the architect, breaking free on the left byline before cutting the ball across goal for Ireland.

The midfielder dragged it first time to the far post where it fell to Robinho, who missed the target from just two yards.

Just 90 seconds after the restart Collison was inches away from capping a fine West Ham move with the opener, but just failed to connect with an attempted volley and the danger was cleared.

With 71 minutes gone Collison did have the opener when he pounced after Savio's effort was parried out by Shay Given and lifted the rebound into the top corner with the side of his foot to beat the scrambling goalkeeper.

A late free-kick almost made it 1-1 when Elano's flighted effort struck the post via Lucas Neill's head, but West Ham held on.

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Matthew Upson
Stephen Ireland
Manchester City
Craig Bellamy
Premier League
Vincent Kompany
Lucas Neill
Shay Given
Jack Collison
Robert Green

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