Manchester City's Aguero celebrates with teammmate Silva after scoring a goal against West Ham United during their English Premier League soccer match at the Boleyn Ground in London

West Ham 1-3 Manchester City: Aguero strikes twice as City grab first away win (video)

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Aguero added the first in the 16th minute, and then put City 2-0 up just after the break with a deft header. Ricardo Vaz Te briefly gave West Ham hope of a dramatic comeback, but Silva’s sumptuous late goal capped off a dominant display from City.

The victory, Manuel Pellegrini’s first PL away win as City boss, sends City fourth in the standings on 16 points, while West Ham lost for the third-straight game at home and fall to 14th.

Early on, the away side came flying out of the traps and City took the lead through Aguero’s fifth goal in the last five games. The Argentine forward beat the offside trap and tucked his shot past Jussi Jaaskelainen.

Many inside the stadium thought Aguero was offside, but the diminutive forward timed his run to perfection and slotted home coolly. In the last 31 PL games in which Aguero has scored, City haven’t lost and that run continues.

source: Getty Images
Aguero wheels away in delight as City streaked into a 2-0 lead.

Later on in the first half City almost doubled their lead as Spanish international striker Alvaro Negredo bundled through the Hammers defense and sent a rasping shot across goal and just passed the far post.

In the 41st minute City again went on the attack, and a horribly skewed clearance for West Ham’s Winston Reid saw Yaya Toure pick up the ball on the edge of the box, but the Ivorian’s shot was clawed away by Jaaskelainen.

The Citizens were dominant throughout the first half, as West Ham struggled to get any momentum going and went in 1-0 down at the break.

After the interval, the same theme continued at West Ham let City have far too much possession and they were soon made to pay for that in the 50th minute.

Silva clipped in a perfect free kick from the left side of the box, and Aguero was inexplicably left unmarked to head home his and City’s second.

But the second goal spurred the Hammers into life as Ricardo Vaz Te beat the offside trap to score in the 58th minute to hand West Ham a lifeline. However, soon after City nearly restored their two-goal lead as Negredo surged through and smashed his shot off the underside of the crossbar from a tight angle.

Aguero thought he had a hat trick in the 67th minute, but his curling effort was tipped away by the impressive Jaaskelainen as City stepped up through the gears in the final 20 minutes.

And in the 79th minute Man City sealed the win, with Aguero’s back-heel wonderfully set up the hugely impressive Silva to curl home a third and final goal.

LINEUPS

West Ham Untied: Jaaskelainen, Demel (O’Brien, 65), Rat, Tomkins, Reid, Noble, Morrison, Diame, Vaz Te (Jarvis, 65), Downing, Nolan, (Petric, 83).

Manchester City: Hart, Richards, Nastasic, Garcia, Clichy, Fernandinho, Toure, Nasri, (Milner, 74), Silva, Aguero, Negredo (Kolarov, 65).

West Ham want Payet to sign new contract for fear of losing him this summer

Dimitri Payet, West Ham United FC (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
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Dimitri Payet is going to be a red-hot commodity during this summer’s transfer window, there’s no doubt about it.

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Given he’s currently contracted to one of the Premier League’s “smaller” clubs — in comparison to some of the giants which are bound to be interested — West Ham United, there’s a decent-to-good chance he could be wearing a different club’s shirt come August. Especially if the 28-year-old attacker shows up and shows out at this summer’s European Championship in his native France.

If I can foresee the interest in Payet, then so too can the executives at West Ham, which is why manager Slaven Bilic took to the press on Monday to convey his desire for Payet to consider signing a new, increased contract at his earliest convenience — quotes from the Guardian:

“We are moving, the club is moving, with the new stadium, with the revenue and everything. We have to move and the most important move is to keep your best players and to add some new players who are needed and Dimitri Payet is our best player — I have no problem whatsoever to say that. Of course, I would love to have him happy, long term, at the club.”

Of course West Ham want Payet to sign a new deal immediately — doing so would accomplish two things in the club’s eyes: 1) increase the likelihood he remains at the club next season, or 2) insure the club receives a higher transfer fee for the player if he leaves in the summer anyway. The more total money remaining on his West Ham contract, the more they can demand of a prospective buyer.

[ MORE: Ronaldo commits himself to Real Madrid through 2018 ]

From Payet’s side — unless he has absolutely zero desire to move to a club like Liverpool, Chelsea or Manchester United, where he’d likely be paid close to $200,000 per week — he’d be crazy to sign a new contract at this point. Not only would it make a move this summer more difficult, but a strong showing at EURO 2016 could be worth another $15,000 or $20,000 per week on a new contract with West Ham.

With as many as five seasons still remaining on his current contract (a one-year club option can be exercised at any point), and his stock perhaps at an all-time high, the next six months could hold Payet’s last chance to get really, really paid before he hits the downside of his career.

USWNT players’ union responds in USSF lawsuit

FILE - In this Sunday, July 5, 2015 file photo, the United States Women's National Team celebrates with the trophy after they beat Japan 5-2 in the FIFA Women's World Cup soccer championship in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The U.S. Soccer Federation’s original lawsuit against the union for its champion women’s national team has been sealed after the governing body realized it had disclosed the home addresses and email accounts of many players, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016.(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
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(AP) — The union that represents the Women’s World Cup-winning American national team opposed an expedited schedule in the lawsuit filed against it by the U.S. Soccer Federation last week, insisting no collective bargaining agreement exists.

The federation sued in an attempt to establish it has a contract with the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team Players Association that runs through this year’s Olympics until Dec. 31. The union maintains the memorandum of understanding agreed to in March 2013 can be terminated at any time.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s USWNT coverage ]

The USSF filed a motion Friday in U.S. District Court in Chicago asking for an expedited schedule, and the submitted opposition papers Monday that claim “facts asserted in the motion are nowhere near accurate and are hotly disputed.”

The union also maintains the USSF knew about the disagreement since July but did nothing about it.

An initial status conference is set for April 4.

Lionel Messi to undergo tests for lingering kidney problems

FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi holds the ball during a quarterfinal, second leg, Copa del Rey soccer match against Athletic Bilbao at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
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BARCELONA, Spain (AP) Barcelona says Lionel Messi is to undergo medical tests to assess a recurrence of kidney problems.

[ MORE: Saturday’s La Liga roundup | Barca win on Sunday

Messi missed the Club World Cup semifinal in December due to a renal colic, an abdominal ailment often related to the presence of kidney stones within renal ducts.

Barcelona says in a statement Monday that the tests to be conducted by Tuesday at the latest, are “to assess the evolution of the kidney problem he suffered last December.”

[ MORE: Champions League returns next week — KO round matchups ]

The statement says Messi will resume training with the squad on Wednesday, when Barcelona travels to Valencia for the return leg of the Copa del Rey semifinals in which it carries a 7-0 lead.

Qatari official says World Cup drunks will be treated “very gently”

In this photo taken during a government organized media tour, laborers work at the Al-Wakra Stadium that is under construction for the 2022 World Cup, in Doha, Qatar, Monday, May 4, 2015. Qatar’s top labor official told The Associated Press Monday that Qatar’s inability to ensure decent housing for its bulging migrant labor population was “a mistake” the government is working to fix as it prepares to host the 2022 World Cup, vowing his country would improve conditions for its vast foreign labor force. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)
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One of the biggest unanswered questions still hanging over the 2022 World Cup — at least for fans traveling to Qatar for the tournament — has to do with the rules and regulations placed upon their consumption of alcohol.

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On Monday, Hassan Al Thawadi, the head of Qatar’s 2022 World Cup committee, attempted to ease those fears when he said that not only will the consumption of alcohol be permitted during the tournament in six years’ time, but that in the event of public drunkenness, the visitors in question will be dealt with quickly and “very gently” — quotes from the Guardian:

“I know in South Africa there where specific courts established during the World Cup for this kind of thing, and that is something we were discussing with FIFA.”

“In relation to drunk fans it will be as it is anywhere else, anyone who is rowdy, anyone who breaches the law, will be very gently – depending on how they react – taken care of in a manner to make sure that people are not disrupting the public order. Everyone will be able to have fun and be exposed to Qatari culture.”

“We welcome everyone in the world. We’ve hosted many people, from many places and [drinking] was never an issue. This will be a fun World Cup. It will be one of the best cups out there.”