MANCHESTER, England — 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 what appeared to be a serious injury to David Silva.
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.
The 29-year-old Silva was stretchered off and taken to the hospital after suffering suspected cheekbone and collarbone injuries in his clash with Cheikhou Kouyate in the second half.
City manager Manuel Pellegrini said: "At this moment he is in hospital and they are checking if he has a broken bone in his cheek. It looked serious but we must wait (to see) what happens at the hospital."
The club confirmed Silva's collarbone was also being checked.
Silva later tweeted: "Many thanks to all the messages of support, all the tests have gone well and I'm already home.The 3 points is what was important!"
He gave no further details about his injuries.
In happier news for City, it was Aguero's 26th goal of the season — and his league-leading 20th with Tottenham's Harry Kane.
Collins bizarrely set City on its way in the 18th minute when he accidentally lobbed his own goalkeeper Adrian after an attempted interception went wrong before Aguero added to the tally in the 36th.
It was not enough to lift City back into the top three but at least increased the gap to fifth-place Liverpool to seven points in the race for Champions League positions.
Silva's injury 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.
Jesus Navas burst down the right and clipped a ball towards the box looking for the inrushing Aguero. 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's injury dominated the second half. The Spaniard was caught on the side of the head by a stray elbow from Kouyate, earning the West Ham player a 67th-minute yellow card. Silva was down for around eight minutes, requiring careful treatment before eventually being lifted onto a stretcher by medical staff.
Pellegrini expressed hope that Kouyate had not acted deliberately while West Ham boss Sam Allardyce leapt to the defence of his Senegalese midfielder, insisting the incident was entirely accidental.
Samir Nasri, recently out of favor, came on as Silva's 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.