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Fifth Place Finish For Blues


Football - West Ham United v Manchester City Barclays Premier League

Shaun Wright-Phillips 20th minute goal earned City a share of the spoils at West Ham and ensured the blues achieved their highest finish in top flight football since 1992.

The winger showed he is still committed to the blue cause with an equaliser four minutes after the home side had taken the lead and, along with Adam Johnson, caused problems all afternoon for the Hammers defence.

The blues went into the game needing a point to secure a fifth place finish but manager Roberto Mancini tinkered considerably with his first team with Patrick Vieira replacing the injured Gareth Barry while Sylvinho, SWP and Roque Santa Cruz all making rare starts for the blues.

And it seemed Mancini’s gamble would fail as the Hammers took the lead after 16 minutes. Alessandro Diamanti’s cheeky back heel sent Luis Boa Morte through on goal and the former Fulham man made no mistake as he lifted the ball over the advancing Fulop and into the net.

But within four minutes, the afternoon’s goal scoring was completed when Wright-Phillips, who was probably the smallest man on the field, met Johnson’s right wing cross with his head to bring City level.

Johnson was denied a penalty when he charged into the area and drew a challenge from Matthew Upson, but the referee decided the Hammers defender got a touch on the ball.

Both teams went forward with Diamanti hitting the post and home keeper Robert Green making a reaction save from an Emmanuel Adebayor shot. City would have gone in 2-1 up at half time but Santa Cruz’s header failed to even be on target and flew harmlessly wide.

Araujo Ilan had a good opportunity after the break but his shot was blocked by City’s on-loan keeper Marton Fulop. Carlos Tevez came off the bench with 17 minutes left to play and was met by rousing applause from the home supporters.

And the Argentine had an opportunity to break his former adoring fans hearts but his chip over Green was also over the crossbar and landed on the roof of the net.

But the point meant the blues finished the season in fifth place and can now look forward to another summer of heavy recruiting and European football next season.

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