West Ham crushed again as Manchester City show no mercy
21:49 08 January 2014
Capital One Cup semi-final 1st leg: Manchester City 6 West Ham United 0
Woeful West Ham’s Capital One Cup hopes were washed away in a Manchester monsoon, where City rendered the second leg of this semi-final in 13 days time meaningless.
Three days after their Nottingham annihilation at the City Ground, the Hammers vociferous, saturated support were left facing another comprehensive cup exit as West Ham simply gave themselves nothing to cling on to in the Upton Park return on Tuesday January 21.
Alvaro Negredo’s first half double plus Yaya Toure’s strike put City in control by the break and after the Spaniard completed his hat-trick with his 18th goal of the season, Edin Dzeko then completed the rout with a late double.
The Hammers had gone for a more experienced line-up as they made eight switches from the side that had been felled 5-0 by Forest, but it made absolutely no difference to the outcome.
Debutant Roger Johnson was joined in a back four by Guy Demel, Joey O’Brien and George McCartney, while Matt Taylor, Mohamed Diame, Mark Noble and Joe Cole returned to a new-look side.
City – sitting in second spot in the Premier League 17 places and 29 points above the visitors – made a quartet of changes as Vincent Kompany, Samir Nasri, Pablo Zabaleta and Yaya Toure were recalled
And it was Negredo, who almost unwittingly opened the scoring on three minutes when Johnson’s attempted clearance ricocheted off the Spaniard’s knee and into the clutches of the diving Adrian, who then saw his compatriot, Javi Garcia, head David Silva’s corner just inches wide.
West Ham’s luck did not hold out for long, though, and with a dozen minutes on the clock, Toure lofted an inch-perfect ball from halfway and racing between McCartney and O’Brien, Negredo nonchalantly watched the ball fall out of the dark, Manchester night before sweeping a first-time volley past Adrian.
Although the Hammers forced a quartet of corners in reply and Diame sent a low 20-yarder skidding across the greasy grass and just past the base of Costel Pantilimon’s right-hand post, that was to prove only token resistance against the home attack.
Midway through the half, Adrian brilliantly pawed away Silva’s 20-yarder and with the danger still not cleared, the Hammers keeper then turned aside another stinging shot from Nasri.
On 25 minutes, though, Negredo plundered his second goal of the evening, when Dzeko invited him to race on to a defence-splitting pass and with McCartney and Demel all at sea, City’s £20m striker lashed a low 12-yarder beyond fellow countryman Adrian.
That was the cue for shooting practice against the orange-shirted Hammers keeper as Negredo went in search of that match-ball, while Dzeko and Silva all tried to Tango the West Ham stopper.
Five minutes before the break, the club tailor found himself reaching for his tape in preparation of measuring Manuel Pelligrini’s men for their Wembley suits, when more dire defending allowed City to treble their lead before the interval.
This time, Toure collected the ball on the halfway line and with Johnson backing off all the way to his own penalty area, the marauding midfielder drilled a low 15-yarder past an apoplectic Adrian.
Although Diame’s late 20-yard curler was comfortably gathered by the hitherto redundant Pantilimon, the first half damage had been well and truly done.
Carlton Cole replaced Modibo Maiga for the restart but he had only been on the pitch for four minutes when Negredo became the second player – after Forest’s Jamie Paterson – to bag a hat-trick against the Hammers in the space of three days.
This time Nasri collected Silva’s half-cleared corner and following a probing run into the heart of the Hammers defence he slipped the ball to Dzeko, who found Silva and his threaded pass allowed Negredo to bend a clever 15-yarder beyond the outstretched right palm of Adrian, once more.
Toure and Dzeko then peppered the Hammers keeper from range, while Alou Diarra’s arrival allowed Noble to leave the Etihad slaughterhouse.
On the hour, City drew yet more blood, when Gael Clichy charged down the left and crossed into the near post, where Dzeko slid home the fifth home goal of the evening.
Still City were not finished and in the dying seconds, fellow substitutes Marcos Lopes combined with Aleksandar Kolarov deep on the left by-line and when the Serbian crossed into the six yard box, Dzeko slammed his second of the night into the roof of the net.
Mirroring their February 1990 Littlewoods Cup defeat at Oldham Athletic – Lou Macari’s last game in charge – the Hammers now go into a meaningless second leg
facing a six-goal deficit and, although they struck a respectable three against Joe Royle’s side in reply, it is difficult to see them repeating the feat nearly a quarter of a century on.
CITY: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Clichy, Kompany, Lescott, Toure (Demichelis 66), Garcia, Nasri, Silva (Lopes 72), Negredo (Kolaroc 79), Dzeko. Unused subs: Hart, Nastasic, Fernandinho, Milner.
HAMMERS: Adrian, Demel, O’Brien (Rat 75), Johnson, McCartney, Noble (Diarra 57), Diame, Taylor, Downing, J.Cole, Maiga (C. Cole h/t). Unused subs: Jaaskelainen, Collison, Morrison, Jarvis.
Referee: Jonathan Moss