Tag: James Collins

Premiership: Man City 2-0 West Ham

Manchester City firmed up their grip on a top-four place as they beat West Ham to secure their first win in three Premier League games.

James Collins looped an attempted clearance from a Jesus Navas cross into his own net to give City the lead.

Navas set up Sergio Aguero to slot in a second after a slick counter-attack.

With the game won, City playmaker David Silva was carried off on a stretcher after being caught in the face by Cheikhou Kouyate’s right elbow.

Silva appeared to be given oxygen as he received eight minutes of treatment prior to his departure in the 75th minute.

Before the game, City boss Manuel Pellegrini conceded he could be sacked if his team do not finish in the top four to claim a Champions League place for next season.

But while speculation about his future continues given their tame title defence, the chances of missing out on a place in Europe’s elite club competition receded with this victory.

With five matches remaining, Pellegrini’s side are seven points clear of fifth-placed Liverpool, who have a game in hand, and a point behind derby rivals Manchester United.

Read more at BBC Sport

FA Cup: Everton 1-1 West Ham

Romelu Lukaku earns replay for Everton against West Ham with late leveller.

Everton striker Romelu Lukaku’s added-time equaliser in the FA Cup tie against West Ham eased some of the mounting pressure on his manager Roberto Martinez.

The Belgium striker’s smart turn and finish – his fourth goal in as many matches for the Toffees against the Hammers – earned a 1-1 draw and at the very least postponed another inquest into what is going wrong at Goodison Park.

Lukaku’s first in seven matches ended a four-game losing streak and ensured they live to fight another day in the competition after James Collins’ 56th-minute header had exposed the Toffees’ defensive Achilles heel – only QPR have conceded more in the Premier League this season.

West Ham were on the verge of their first victory in 15 attempts since 2007 against their perennial bogey side.

Everton’s current figures do not make for much better reading. They have won just once in the last 10 matches and their last clean sheet came against Europa League opponents Wolfsburg in late November immediately prior to their current slump.

The goal was the least Lukaku, in his first start in three matches, deserved.

It looked like the rest had done him some good as he twice forced Adrian to fumble shots, the West Ham goalkeeper recovering once to deny Kevin Mirallas on the rebound and then being bailed out by Winston Reid.

The Belgium striker also rolled an effort wide of the far post after he was picked out in the inside-left channel by an eye-of-the-needle pass from Ross Barkley, who appeared to lurch from brilliant to dreadful and back again in the first half.

Lukaku has been criticised for not playing like a B£28million striker but he was offering plenty to the team, with his brilliant ball over the top picking out Steven Naismith, who shot from such a narrow angle it beat Adrian but eventually rolled out for a throw.

Seamus Coleman, who just failed to connect at the far post, and Mirallas both had efforts before Barkley showed the best and worst bits of his game as a 60-yard drive at the West Ham defence ended with him passing tamely into the path of Reid as he tried to pick out Lukaku.

The visitors were not without their chances with Stewart Downing, who drifted effectively across the pitch, forcing Joel Robles to tip over and Morgan Amalfitano firing wide.

Everton’s opportunities began to dry up in the second half as, for all Lukaku’s good early play, the side were lacking runners to get beyond him.

The visitors sensed their chance and after defender Carl Jenkinson had driven through the left of Everton’s defence, only to be denied by a good, low near-post save by Robles, they took the lead.

Sylvain Distin, whose scalp did just enough to divert wide Downing’s drive, was partly to blame after losing Collins at the resulting corner but the Wales defender was still allowed to get between Naismith and Muhamed Besic to head in at the near post.

Robles, deputising for the injured Tim Howard with his own position under threat, reacted well to tip over Enner Valencia’s header while Lukaku’s own header was ruled out at the other end as he had climbed all over Aaron Cresswell to get to the ball.

Martinez had labelled the match as the most important of their season so the significance of Lukaku pouncing on Bryan Oviedo’s cross late on could not be underestimated.

Read more at ESPN

League 2: Exeter 3-2 Shrewsbury

Tom Nichols scored in stoppage time as Exeter came from 2-0 down to end Shrewsbury’s run of six successive League Two wins.

James Collins gave the Shrews a two-goal lead with a long-range strike and a tap-in.

Nichols reduced the deficit when he turned in Matt Grimes’ cross, with David Wheeler heading the equaliser.

Nichols nodded over keeper Jayson Leutwiler for the winner to lift Exeter to ninth in the table.

Shrewsbury Town manager Micky Mellon told BBC Radio Shropshire:

“The disappointing thing today is that we have three big centre halves who have been brilliant all season – but today we weren’t close enough to people.

“To get to the second half with a two goal lead and lose an early goal so easily, when you are playing three centre backs, that was not good enough.

“Credit to Exeter who have thrown everything at us, to turn around a two goal lead and score three times in the second half is something you can’t afford to let slip through your hands.

“It’s difficult to blame the whole group of players from our point of view – but today we were a bit loose in the box and we got punished for it.”

Read more at BBC Sport

FA Cup: Walsall 2-2 Shrewsbury

Walsall top scorer Tom Bradshaw scored twice against former club Shrewsbury Town to earn an FA Cup first round replay.

After Bradshaw found the bottom right corner to cancel out defender Mark Ellis’s early first-half opener, James Collins put Shrewsbury back in front.

His shot from outside the box looked to have avenged Shrewsbury’s 3-0 Cup first-round exit at Walsall a year ago.

But Bradshaw levelled again to rescue Dean Smith’s Saddlers on 90 minutes.

He deflected in a shot from Paul Downing for his ninth goal of the season just when the League Two side, who put out three higher-ranked teams on their way to this season’s League Cup fourth round, were scenting another upset.

Town led inside five minutes when an inswinging corner from Liam Lawrence was only partially cleared and big defender Ellis slammed a low drive into the net from 10 yards.

Bradshaw then equalised in the 56th minute with a low drive from Romaine Sawyers’ pass, only for Shrewsbury to regain the lead five minutes later, when Collins deflected in Andy Mangan’s free-kick.

But Bradshaw popped up again to book his return to the Greenhous Meadow on Tuesday week (18 November, 19:45 GMT).

Read more on BBC Sport