A bizarre own goal from West Ham’s James Collins helped Manchester City back to winning ways in the Premier League but its 2-0 victory on Sunday was overshadowed by a head injury to David Silva.
Man City manager Manuel Pellegrini said Silva was hospitalized after his clash with Cheikhou Kouyate.
”He’s now in the hospital. We will see what will happen (with his) cheekbone. At this moment, we don’t know,” Pellegrini told Sky Sports.
Sergio Aguero was also on target for City as the fallen champions, after a horrendous run of six defeats in eight games, claimed a welcome and routine win at the Etihad Stadium.
It was Aguero’s 26th goal of the season and his 20th in the Premier League, taking him above Harry Kane and Diego Costa in the top scoring charts.
Collins set City on its way when he accidentally lobbed his own goalkeeper Adrian after an attempted interception went wrong before Aguero added to the tally before halftime.
It was not enough to lift City back into the top three but at least increased the gap to fifth-placed Liverpool to seven points in the race for Champions League positions.
The only obvious sour point was the serious-looking injury to Silva, who was carried off on a stretcher.
That added to a list of problems for City which was already without Vincent Kompany, Wilfried Bony, Gael Clichy, James Milner and Stevan Jovetic.
Veteran midfielder Frank Lampard came into the starting lineup to face his old club for probably the last time, while Eliaquim Mangala, Aleksandar Kolarov and Fernando also featured.
The Hammers had registered just one win in their previous 10 games and it never looked like this would be the occasion when their confidence returned.
City controlled possession from early on and gradually moved through the gears.
Silva fired an early warning over the bar before Aguero shot straight at Adrian and Kolarov’s free-kick curled wide. Aguero blasted another effort into the stands before City claimed the lead in freak circumstances after 18 minutes.
Jesus Navas burst down the right and clipped a ball towards the box looking for the inrushing Aguero.
It initially appeared the Spaniard had been thwarted again as Collins stepped in to intercept but City got lucky. The ball bobbled, caught Collins on the shin and looped over the stranded Adrian, hitting the bar on its way down and then going in off the post.
West Ham offered little in response although the experienced Carlton Cole, making his first start since February following injury to Diafra Sakho, shot at Joe Hart.
City doubled its lead nine minutes before the break after Yaya Toure slid to cut out Stewart Downing’s pass and find Aguero. The Argentine sped into West Ham territory, skipping past Collins’ tackle and exchanging passes with Navas to fire home.
Silva was then caught on the side of the head by a stray elbow from Kouyate, who was booked. The City playmaker was down for around eight minutes, requiring lengthy and careful treatment before eventually being lifted onto a stretcher by medical staff.
Samir Nasri, recently out of favor, came on as his replacement for the closing stages.
City eased up as the game drifted towards a conclusion and West Ham enjoyed some decent possession but Hart _ on his 28th birthday _ came out to block the visitors’ one good chance when Kevin Nolan went through.