Carlos Tevez scored twice as Manchester City outclassed his former club West Ham to clinch a 3-1 victory in the Premier League.
The Argentina striker struck after five minutes and headed in Craig Bellamy’s free kick in the 61st to return City to winning ways after losing to neighbour Manchester United earlier this month.
Tevez’s goals were his first in the league since joining as part of a recent $200 million pound spending spree and gave City its fifth win from the opening six matches - representing the club’s best start to a season since 1961.
City is now fifth in the standings, three points behind pacesetters Manchester United and Chelsea but having played a game less.
“Carlos was great - his movement and interchange with Craig Bellamy, Martin Petrov and the midfield guys,” City manager Mark Hughes said. “As the season progresses that will get better. Carlos is an outstanding footballer. He has awareness, an understanding of where others are and the way in which he can affect the game. With players of that ilk you have a heady mix.”
While Carlton Cole cancelled out Tevez’s first goal, Martin Petrov, making his first start this season, restored City’s lead with a free kick before the break as the Hammers were the home side’s attacking prowess.
Hughes also got a glimpse of how another attacking option will fit in at Eastlands.
Roque Santa Cruz, the off-season recruit from Blackburn, came on in the second half to make his first appearance after finally recovering from knee surgery.
“All night Carlos and Craig (Bellamy) were a real handful for the opposition, they couldn’t handle them,” Hughes said. “It was hard for West Ham to stop them from having an influence because their movement and energy was outstanding.
“We executed our game plan perfectly. I think the movement and positioning of our guys, getting into good areas and causing the opposition problems was there for all to see. We were also able to get Roque Santa Cruz and (midfielder) Michael Johnson, who has been out for a long time, on at the end so they were another couple of positives on a night of positives.”
By contrast, Gianfranco Zola’s side is in the relegation zone with just four points after six matches.
“I am angry with myself and the team,” Zola said. “I do not think anyone, including myself, is giving, or doing, what they are capable of. It is as simple as that. I expect much more.”
West Ham fell behind quickly when Petrov squared to Tevez to tap in from close range in front of the visiting supporters.
But there was a muted celebration from Tevez to his first league goal for City against the side he helped avoid relegation in 2007. It was stark contrast to Emmanuel Adebayor’s raging run toward Arsenal fans after scoring for City against his old club earlier this month.
“Great players like him are true gentlemen,” Zola said of Tevez. “Our supporters appreciate him for what he did for the club and his contribution for City was outstanding.”