NANJING, July 17 (Xinhua) — A 4-1 victory for Premier League champions Manchester City against West Ham greeted fans inside the Nanjing Olympic Stadium this evening.
City, who had only arrived in the country only 24 hours earlier due to a fiasco about flights, fought through the jet lag and the heat against a spirited West Ham to secure their place in the final against Wolves.
West Ham started the game brightly against City in the first half, pressing and playing against City on the break. Anderson, the Hammers attacking midfielder, showed great guile and touch to transfer the ball quickly through midfield into attack. On the 26th minute, the West Ham play paid dividends as City youngster Angelino, stretched by a ball hit across the face of the box, slipped and handled the ball inside the area. Mark Noble stepped up and slotted the ball home from the spot to give West Ham the early lead.
After the West Ham goal, however, City stepped up their play, desperate to get back into the game. As the half went on, the City pressure on the West Ham intensified until a wonder ball from starlet Ian Paveda across the box from deep found David Silva who slotted home comfortably.
Then just three minutes later Nmecha was brought down in the box which he stepped up to convert it himself. By the half time whistle, City were firmly in control.
Coming out for the second half, City continued in the same fashion as they finished the first. Spreading the play and dominating possession, City began to run West Ham ragged in the evening humidity of Nanjing.
By the 59th minute, Sterling found himself one on one with the West Ham keeper Fabianski and shot down low to put City 3-1 up.
Despite some West Ham chances on the break, City remained in control of the game and were rarely threatened by a Hammers attack that had been worn out by City’s relentless passing play.
15 minutes later from the third, Sterling added his second of the game as De Bruyne continued to cut open a disorganized defense.
This was a game City dominated, where the quality of their players and their play did not give West Ham much chance after the first quarter. They will now head to Shanghai for the final against Wolves on Saturday.