Two goals for Andy Cole — on the day after his 34th birthday — gave Manchester City victory over West Ham at Eastlands and moved Stuart Pearce’s side up to fourth in the Premiership.
The veteran striker was in fine form, scoring once in each half. The former Manchester United player said: “I’ve been through a lot in my career, it was a big challenge to come here and try to win over the fans. The team have been really good for me, superb, and so have the fans.”
Cole and strike partner Darius Vassell combined to create the first, Cole curling past Roy Carroll to give City the lead. The home side dominated, enjoying chance after chance, but it remained 1-0 at half time.
Hammers midfielder Matthew Etherington fashioned their best opportunity to equalise but David James showed he is still keen to win back an England place with a world class save.
City had a second 10 minutes after the restart. Vassell wrestled the ball off a defender on the edge of the box and passed to Kiki Musampa. His shot was blocked but Cole reacted first and tapped in unchallenged.
West Ham’s consolation came in injury time, Bobby Zamora scoring after chasing a good through ball from Yossi Benayoun. Defeat leaves Alan Pardew’s side in ninth place.