Classy Tevez sinks Hammers
While Tevez won't win any popularity contests at Manchester United after his acrimonious switch to City, he is fondly regarded at West Ham after almost single-handedly keeping them in the English Premier League during a loan spell three years ago.
The Argentina striker acknowledged that the Hammers still have a place in his heart as well as he waved an apology to West Ham's travelling supporters after opening the scoring at Eastlands. Carlton Cole equalised for Gianfranco Zola's team but Martin Petrov restored City's lead before half-time and Tevez settled an entertaining encounter with his second goal after half-time. Again he hardly acknowledged the goal that left West Ham stuck in the bottom three and lifted Mark Hughes's side, who have won five of their six league matches, into fifth place.
Hughes handed Petrov his first start of the season after Stephen Ireland was ruled out with an illness. Just as significant from West Ham's point of view was Matthew Upson's absence with a calf injury. With their England centre-back out of action, West Ham were unable to stem City's early onslaught and the hosts took the lead after five minutes.
Petrov was played in down the left wing and his low cross found Tevez in acres of space four yards from goal. Tevez easily converted the chance to claim his first league goal for City but there was no celebration in front of the West Ham fans at that end of the stadium. Unlike his team-mate Emmanuel Adebayor, who had raced the length of the pitch to taunt Arsenal's fans when he scored against his old club earlier this month, Tevez held out his arms in apology to the Hammers supporters and they responded by clapping their former idol.
City were rampant and Wayne Bridge forced a smart stop from Robert Green before Tevez turned onto a wayward effort from Gareth Barry and sent his shot narrowly wide. Tevez threatened again as he fizzed his strike just past a post. He then picked out Petrov with a superb pass but Green was equal to the winger's shot.
Remarkably, just as a second City goal seemed inevitable, West Ham punished slack defending from the hosts to snatch an equaliser in the 24th minute. Alessandro Diamanti's free-kick was only cleared to Radoslav Kovac and his shot was deftly flicked in by England striker Cole with his back to goal.
Parity for Zola's team was short-lived however as Petrov marked his return to action with a clever strike eight minutes later. Luis Jimenez fouled Nigel de Jong and Petrov stepped up to drive a low free-kick around the West Ham wall and past Green.
The Hammers had an equaliser ruled out when Cole barged Joleon Lescott before setting up Scott Parker for a tap-in, but Green had to be alert to keep out Craig Bellamy and Petrov before half-time. But Tevev put the result beyond doubt in the 61st minute. Bellamy, another former Hammer, curled over a free-kick and Kovac played Tevez onside, allowing the Argentina star to head past Green.
There was still time for Barry to bring a fine save from Green before Paraguay striker Roque Santa Cruz came on for his City debut after a lengthy spell on the treatment table following his move from Blackburn.