Manchester City's first game since surrendering the Premier League title to Manchester United ended with a win over West Ham.
Sergio Aguero slotted in a low Samir Nasri cross to put the hosts ahead.
City failed to take their chances as Carlos Tevez blazed a shot high and Nasri mistimed a shot from eight yards.
Yaya Toure's strike into the top corner sealed City's win, although Andy Carroll's shot squirmed past Joe Hart for a late Hammers consolation goal.
However, with the FA Cup final against Wigan on 11 May, the hosts produced an impressive performance, which only lacked more of a cutting edge as they tightened their grip on second place.
West Ham, whose top-flight safety is all-but guaranteed, had their five-match unbeaten run ended by the defeat and, although they improved after the break, they struggled to create chances.
The match soon fell into the pattern of City trying to prise a way through the massed Hammers ranks and it did not take long for City's pressure and perseverance to pay off.
Only the woodwork denied the hosts after a David Silva pass deflected off Hammers captain Kevin Nolan to let in Aguero, who scuffed his shot against the post.
"West Ham proved to be a tough nut to crack. Manchester City might have scored more, while it was too little too late for West ham, who made a game of it in the second half."
The Argentine did not take long to atone for his miss. Yaya Toure, Silva and Nasri combined with some intricate build-up play before the latter teed up Aguero to slot in at the near post.
Almost immediately, City came close to doubling their lead when a Nasri shot was parried by keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen, who had to react quickly to turn Pablo Zabaleta's follow-up around the upright.
In a first half marked by a period of applause in a touching tribute to Marc-Vivien Foe, who played for both clubs and died playing for Cameroon nearly 10 years ago, West Ham's best chance came when Mohamed Diame's volley was saved at the second attempt by Hart.
City capitulated when 1-0 up last week at Spurs and, when Tevez blazed over after a well-worked move after the break, their failure to create more of a cushion kept the Hammers in the game.
The visitors thought they should have had a penalty when a Matt Jarvis cross struck Zabaleta's arm, although it was more ball to hand and the appeal was waved away by referee Howard Webb.
City could not find a finishing touch to some eye-catching passing moves as Nasri had a shot saved and a Tevez effort was diverted over by a lunging Joey O'Brien.
An unmarked Nasri's failure to convert a Tevez cross only added to City's anxieties and they were nearly punished for their profligacy when Collins sent a shot just wide after the home side failed to clear a corner.
Yaya Toure finally settled his side's nerves and he did it in style by sending a 20-yard left-foot shot into the top corner, with Carroll's late goal little more than a nuisance for the hosts.
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini:
"I'm happy with this performance. I'm unhappy for the goals we missed as we could have scored more goals but this has been our problem this season.
"I'm also happy we remembered Marc-Vivien Foe, who was a great player for Manchester City.
"West Ham are a good team and have had a good season but we deserved to score four, five or six goals."
West Ham boss Sam Allardyce:
"The second-half performance was more like us and, in the end, it was a stunning goal from Yaya Toure which secured the game for them.
"Our goals away from home have been poor this year and we must improve on that next season.
"We'll hopefully address that in the summer but before that we have got three important games and we will try to keep improving our performances."
- 01 Hart
- 04 Kompany
- 05 Zabaleta Booked
- 06 Lescott
- 22 Clichy
- 08 Nasri (K Toure - 87' )
- 18 Barry
- 21 Silva (Milner - 78' )
- 42 Y Toure
- 16 Aguero
- 32 Tevez (Garcia - 84' )
- 30 Pantilimon
- 13 Kolarov
- 28 K Toure
- 33 Nastasic
- 07 Milner
- 14 Garcia
- 10 Dzeko
West Ham United
- 22 Jaaskelainen
- 02 Reid
- 17 O'Brien Booked (C Cole - 80' )
- 19 Collins
- 20 Demel
- 04 Nolan (Taylor - 80' )
- 07 Jarvis
- 21 Diame
- 32 O'Neil
- 08 Carroll Booked
- 12 Vaz Te (Collison - 66' Booked )
- 13 Henderson
- 18 Pogatetz
- 10 Collison
- 14 Taylor
- 16 Noble
- 26 J Cole
- 09 C Cole
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The referee signals the end of the game.90:00 +3:27
Assist by Guy Demel.90:00 +3:27 Goal scored
Goal! - Andy Carroll - Man City 2 - 1 West Ham Andy Carroll scores a goal from inside the box low into the middle of the goal. Man City 2-1 West Ham.90:00 +2:07
Matthew Jarvis sends in a cross, save by Joe Hart.90:00 +0:20
Pablo Zabaleta takes a shot. Jussi Jaaskelainen makes a save. Effort on goal by Sergio Aguero from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the goal.87:31
Andy Carroll takes a shot. Save by Joe Hart.87:00
Unfair challenge on Mohamed Diame by James Milner results in a free kick. Gary O'Neil takes the free kick.86:04 Substitution
Substitution Samir Nasri leaves the field to be replaced by Kolo Toure.86:04
Sergio Aguero takes a shot. Guy Demel gets a block in.83:38
Foul by Gareth Barry on Guy Demel, free kick awarded. Matthew Taylor crosses the ball in from the free kick.83:22 Substitution
Substitution Carlos Tevez goes off and Francisco Javi Garcia comes on.82:05
Assist on the goal came from Samir Nasri.82:05 Goal scored
Goal! - Yaya Toure - Man City 2 - 0 West Ham A fantastic goal is scored by Yaya Toure from just outside the penalty box to the top left corner of the goal. Man City 2-0 West Ham.79:13
Matthew Taylor takes the free kick. Matthew Jarvis takes a shot. Pablo Zabaleta gets a block in. James Collins produces a left-footed shot from deep inside the penalty box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.79:13 Substitution
Substitution Joey O'Brien goes off and Carlton Cole comes on.79:13 Substitution
Substitution (West Ham) makes a substitution, with Matthew Taylor coming on for Kevin Nolan.79:13
Free kick awarded for a foul by Gareth Barry on Mohamed Diame.77:07
Free kick taken by Pablo Zabaleta.77:07 Substitution
Substitution James Milner on for David Silva.77:07 Booking
Booking Pablo Zabaleta is cautioned by the ref for unsporting behaviour.
Booking The referee shows Joey O'Brien a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.76:23
Unfair challenge on Pablo Zabaleta by Joey O'Brien results in a free kick.75:34
Matthew Jarvis challenges Pablo Zabaleta unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Joe Hart.73:39
Gary O'Neil fouled by Yaya Toure, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by James Collins.72:43
The assistant referee flags for offside against Carlos Tevez. Free kick taken by Jussi Jaaskelainen.71:08
Kevin Nolan takes a shot. Yaya Toure gets a block in. Carlos Tevez crosses the ball.70:20 Booking
Booking Jack Collison is given a yellow card.68:29
The ball is delivered by Joey O'Brien, save by Joe Hart.66:26
The ball is delivered by Sergio Aguero, Carlos Tevez takes a shot. Blocked by Joey O'Brien. Corner taken by Samir Nasri from the left by-line played to the near post, clearance made by Andy Carroll.65:05 Substitution
Substitution Jack Collison comes on in place of Ricardo Vaz Te.64:17
David Silva takes a inswinging corner to the near post. The ball is delivered by Carlos Tevez.60:08
Shot by Samir Nasri. Jussi Jaaskelainen makes a save.59:09
The ball is swung over by Ricardo Vaz Te, Vincent Kompany makes a clearance. Headed effort from inside the area by Andy Carroll misses to the left of the goal.58:33
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Mohamed Diame by Gareth Barry. James Collins takes the free kick.56:52
Matthew Jarvis sends in a cross, save by Joe Hart.54:41
Inswinging corner taken by Gary O'Neil.54:04
Short corner worked by Carlos Tevez.53:48
Shot by Carlos Tevez. Winston Reid gets a block in.51:44
Shot from deep inside the area by Andy Carroll clears the bar.50:04
David Silva decides to take a short corner. David Silva delivers the ball, Kevin Nolan manages to make a clearance. Shot by Vincent Kompany from a long way out goes over the net.45:22
The ball is swung over by Gary O'Neil, Pablo Zabaleta makes a clearance. Corner from the left by-line taken by Gary O'Neil, clearance made by Sergio Aguero.45:01
The referee blows his whistle to start the second half.45:00 +1:10 Half time
Half Time The referee calls an end to the first half.45:00 +0:25
Matthew Jarvis produces a cross, Andy Carroll takes a shot. Blocked by Joleon Lescott. Gary O'Neil takes a outswinging corner.44:53
The ball is delivered by Kevin Nolan.39:15
The ball is swung over by Matthew Jarvis, Pablo Zabaleta manages to make a clearance.37:36
The assistant referee flags for offside against Guy Demel. Gael Clichy takes the free kick.35:24
Matthew Jarvis fouled by Vincent Kompany, the ref awards a free kick. Gary O'Neil takes the direct free kick. Matthew Jarvis is caught offside. Indirect free kick taken by Joe Hart.31:50
Gael Clichy gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ricardo Vaz Te. Gary O'Neil crosses the ball in from the free kick.30:40
Effort on goal by Gareth Barry from outside the area goes harmlessly over the bar.30:20
Sergio Aguero sends in a cross, James Collins manages to make a clearance.29:16
Carlos Tevez produces a drilled right-footed shot from 20 yards. Save by Jussi Jaaskelainen. Pablo Zabaleta takes a shot. Save by Jussi Jaaskelainen. Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Samir Nasri played to the near post, Andy Carroll manages to make a clearance.27:52
The assist for the goal came from Samir Nasri.27:52 Goal scored
Goal! - Sergio Aguero - Man City 1 - 0 West Ham A goal is scored by Sergio Aguero from close range to the bottom left corner of the goal. Man City 1-0 West Ham.26:51
Foul by David Silva on Kevin Nolan, free kick awarded. Mohamed Diame takes the free kick.25:45
Foul by Ricardo Vaz Te on Gareth Barry, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Gareth Barry.24:41
Corner taken by Samir Nasri from the left by-line to the near post, Winston Reid makes a clearance.23:21
Outswinging corner taken by Gary O'Neil from the right by-line, Vincent Kompany manages to make a clearance. Mohamed Diame has a volleyed shot. Save by Joe Hart.22:44
The official flags Sergio Aguero offside. James Collins restarts play with the free kick.21:49
Effort from inside the box by Sergio Aguero hits the post.20:15
Shot by Carlos Tevez from just outside the area goes over the net.19:01
Yaya Toure takes the free kick.19:01 Booking
Booking Andy Carroll booked.18:55
Sergio Aguero fouled by Andy Carroll, the ref awards a free kick.17:09
Samir Nasri takes the inswinging corner, clearance by Andy Carroll. David Silva produces a left-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide right of the goal.15:16
The ball is sent over by Samir Nasri, clearance made by James Collins.13:43
Samir Nasri produces a cross, blocked by Guy Demel.11:16
Free kick awarded for a foul by Mohamed Diame on David Silva. Direct free kick taken by Yaya Toure.10:32
The ball is crossed by Matthew Jarvis.8:58
Corner taken by David Silva played to the near post, clearance made by Andy Carroll.8:21
A cross is delivered by Pablo Zabaleta, Joey O'Brien gets a block in. Corner taken left-footed by David Silva from the right by-line to the near post, clearance made by James Collins.6:52
Carlos Tevez takes a shot. Save made by Jussi Jaaskelainen.5:16
Winston Reid challenges David Silva unfairly and gives away a free kick. Yaya Toure takes the direct free kick.4:06
The ball is delivered by Andy Carroll.3:32
Gareth Barry challenges Ricardo Vaz Te unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by James Collins.2:14
Winston Reid challenges David Silva unfairly and gives away a free kick. Yaya Toure takes the direct free kick.0:09
The assistant referee flags for offside against Carlos Tevez. Free kick taken by Jussi Jaaskelainen.0:00
The game gets underway.
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