Football: Di Canio canes Bradford

Bradford City 0 West Ham United 3 Di Canio 34, Sinclair 44, Wanchope 49 Half-time: 0-2 Attendance: 17,926

THE GULF in class between what Bradford City are and what they aspire to be was all too apparent as they were dismantled by a West Ham side playing in fits and starts.

The trouble was that when the Hammers - and Paolo Di Canio in particular - were good, they were very good indeed. For 15 minutes midway through this match they were close to irresistible, scoring three goals, all with the unmistakable stamp of quality in their execution. The Londoners also had their untidy periods, but had they kept constant pressure on City, the consequences could have been frightening.

West Ham, fresh from the boost to their morale and finances of Uefa Cup qualification, satisfied themselves about Bradford's toothlessness and gradually homed in on goal. In the 33rd minute, Frank Lampard, a source of energy and invention in midfield, played in the ball for Paulo Wanchope to chest down and Di Canio to strike home cleanly.

The second goal, immediately before half-time, was a testament to Di Canio's peripheral vision. Taking the ball from Wanchope with his back to goal, he sent Trevor Sinclair racing past him into the right side of the area and picked him out with a cleverly angled pass. Sinclair had an acute sight of goal with which to work but rifled his shot in for a memorable goal.

Half-time brought only a temporary respite, because, three minutes into the second period, the Hammers struck again, Di Canio latching on to a weak clearance to steer the ball into the path of Wanchope, who left Gary Walsh as helpless as he had been for the first two goals. Di Canio put a blot on his performance by being booked for diving at Gunnar Halle's tackle, but he had shown enough of the positive side of his football personality to make West Ham happy that he fell out with his previous employers.

West Ham could have had further goals, notably when Walsh made a fine, close-range save from Lampard and when Wanchope placed his shot past the post, but against a side that creates as few chances as Bradford one was always likely to be enough, never mind three.

The only real worry for the visitors - and for England - was the way that Rio Ferdinand limped off late in the second half after a challenge from Neil Redfearn.

"His ankle is very sore at the moment," his manager, Harry Redknapp, said. "He'll meet up with [England] anyway. We want him to be fit, so let's just hope he's going to be OK."

For Bradford, Paul Jewell admitted that it was "a great time to be taking a break", thus allowing the lessons of the first few weeks of Premiership football to soak in. "We've got an awful lot of work to do," Jewell said. "We expected that and haven't been disappointed."

Although he praised the willingness of his players to work a fairly hopeless cause, he is clearly aware of the limitations of his team. "We're not looking like scoring, so we've got to make it difficult for them to score against us," he said.

Yesterday, and especially for that 15 minutes when Di Canio was in command, they never looked like achieving that.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistant - Accounts Payable - St. Albans

£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Recruitment Genius: Installation and Service / Security Engineer

£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...

Recruitment Genius: Service Charge Accounts Assistant

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions