Manchester City completed their rout of West Ham United in the semifinals of the Capital One Cup as they won 3-0 at Upton Park to complete a 9-0 mauling on aggregate. As in the first-leg, it was Alvaro Negredo who did most of the damage, with the Spanish striker matching his two-goal haul from the clash at the Etihad. Sergio Aguero also matched his feats from two weeks ago when getting himself on the score-sheet.
Whether or not Sunderland hang onto their one-goal advantage over Manchester United in the second leg of the League Cup’s other semifinal on Wednesday, City will undoubtedly be heavy favorites at Wembley to claim Manuel Pellegrini’s first trophy for the club.
Despite any hope of making the final themselves having already been extinguished, Sam Allardyce selected a strong lineup, featuring Andy Carroll, likely in the hope of at least getting a victory on the night that could provide a morale boost to aid their hopes of Premier League survival. But much of that optimism may have already been sapped away in the dressing room when news of City’s team selection, spearheaded by Negredo and Aguero, emerged.
And it did not take long for West Ham to be subjected to more punishment. Spanish 18-year-old Marcos Lopes, who made an encouraging cameo off the bench in the first leg, provided further glimpses of his talent on his first start for the club. The attacking midfielder supplied a fine cross from the left that Negredo met with a booming header to put City in front in just the third minute.
Just over 20 minutes later the lead was doubled, with Lopes again heavily involved. This time he went on a mazy run through the middle of the pitch before prodding the ball through to Aguero, who made a mockery of two West Ham defenders as they fell over themselves trying to prevent him from delightfully dinking the ball over Jussi Jaaskelainen.
West Ham enjoyed their best spell of the entire tie early in the second half and probably should have had a penalty when Joleon Lescott clumsily brought Ravel Morrison down in the box. Fittingly, though, it was City and Negredo that would have the last word. Just before the hour mark, the former Sevilla man received a sharp one-touch pass into his path on the edge of the box before breezing past Roger Johnson and then holding off the attentions of Matthew Taylor to enable him to produce a left-footed finish from the angle.
Sports reporter, mainly focusing on my native sport of soccer, but also dabbling in some tennis and Formula One.