West Ham vs Manchester City: 'We were just unlucky,' says Jesus Navas after champions lose

City were defeated 2-1 at Upton Park

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The Independent Online

Midfielder Jesus Navas has urged Manchester City to continue to show the mindset of champions despite Saturday's disappointing defeat at West Ham.

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City failed to make up ground on Barclays Premier League leaders Chelsea, who travel to Manchester United on Sunday, when they were outmuscled 2-1 at Upton Park, where Senegal forward Diafra Sakho netted for the sixth straight top-flight match.

Captain Vincent Kompany - who on another day could have been sent off for committing more than two bookable offences - insisted his side would be driven on by the defeat and posted on Twitter: "We will set things straight."

City host Newcastle in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday night, where manager Manuel Pellegrini is likely to utilise his squad ahead of next weekend's derby against United at the Ethiad Stadium.

Navas insists his side must remain focused on the positives from a largely impressive start to the domestic season, having won their previous three league games.

"We just need to keep going. There are plenty of (Premier League) games left. We just have to continue playing," Navas said on CityTV.

"We had plenty of opportunities against West Ham - we were just unlucky.

 

"We just have to be in the mindset that we are going to be winning games.

"We must remain positive."

Pellegrini refused to use City's midweek Champions League trip to Moscow as a factor for their below-par display.

West Ham were on the front foot from kick-off, with full-back Eliaquim Mangala given a torrid time by the marauding Enner Valencia, whose powerful run helped set up Morgan Amalfitano for a tap-in on 21 minutes.

City improved after the break and should have levelled when, on 65 minutes, Sergio Aguero crashed the ball against the crossbar from six yards before Yaya Toure's curling effort cannoned off the outside of the angle.

West Ham, though, always remained a threat on the counter, and their lead was doubled with quarter of an hour to go after a floated cross from left-back Aaron Cresswell was nodded down by Sakho at the far post. Goalkeeper Joe Hart clawed the ball out, but the Goal Decision System indicated it had crossed the line, and by some distance.

City hit back immediately when David Silva cut in from the right and unleashed a drive into the top corner, but the equaliser just would not come, as Adrian saved a rasping 25-yard drive from substitute Stevan Jovetic in stoppage time.

Pellegrini will try to establish just why his side came up short.

"We didn't play with our usual intensity in the first half, so we will look at that and analyse things later," the Chilean said.

"I thought we improved a lot in the last 30 minutes and had three or four really good chances to score, but we didn't take them and, in games like this, you have to make the most of the opportunities that come your way.

"We didn't make the most of the chances we created and also hit the crossbar twice when, on another day, those shots go into the net.

"But we must give credit to West Ham because they played very well."

West Ham are much improved from last season, with manager Sam Allardyce, once under pressure, having now overseen four wins from the last five league games to gatecrash the top four.

Midfielder Alex Song, on loan from Barcelona, impressed as he shielded the defence while helping release the energy of Valencia and Sahko, who will have a scan on a shoulder problem on Monday after being substituted in the second half following a collision with England goalkeeper Joe Hart.

"The key to the win on Saturday was team spirit. We attack together, we defend together and at the moment we are playing great football," he said, quoted on www.whufc.com.

"All the boys together are happy. We enjoy training together and that is why it is easier to play when you come to the pitch.

"Now we have to continue to improve game by game."

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