Wednesday 22 January 2014
Manchester City cruised into the Capital One Cup final with a record 9-0 aggregate victory over West Ham United in the semi-finals.
With City holding a commanding 6-0 advantage from the first leg, the Hammers had it all to do in the return on Tuesday night and the hosts found themselves outgunned again, succumbing to a 3-0 defeat. Striker Alvaro Negredo, who scored a hat-trick in the first leg, was twice on target at the Boleyn Ground as City racked up a record aggregate winning margin for a League Cup semi-final.
"It was a very professional performance"
When Negredo headed in a pinpoint cross from City academy graduate Marcos Lopes after only three minutes it seemed as though another emphatic victory was in store for Manuel Pellegrini's charges, particularly when Sergio Aguero doubled the visitors' tally after 24 minutes.
However, the Hammers then came close to a goal themselves through Andy Carroll, who headed over, and half-time substitute Carlton Cole, who was denied by Costel Pantilimon, but they conceded once more, when Negredo - who later sustained a shoulder injury - wriggled through the Hammers' rearguard to beat Jussi Jaaskelainen in the 59th-minute and take City through to their first League Cup final in 38 years.
Ominously for City's Barclays Premier League rivals, summer signing Stevan Jovetic made his first substitute appearance since October, while West Ham's defeat was compounded by the loss to injury of Mohamed Diame, who was carried off on a stretcher, and Joe Cole.
City will learn who their final opponents on 2 March will be on Wednesday evening when Sunderland travel to Old Trafford to defend a 2-1 first-leg lead against Manchester United.
"It was a very professional performance," said Man City manager Manuel Pellegrini. "It was easy to think the game was finished from the 6-0 in the first leg but it was important to reach the final winning all the games. For Sergio Aguero, it was useful match as he played 60 minutes."
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce, meanwhile, rued his side's defending for the first goal, which arrived after 154 seconds. "The most disappointing thing was our defensive unit doing what it did in the first few minutes," he said. "Manchester City are a super, super team but it was not a super, super opening goal.
"Obviously we were disappointed to lose Joe Cole and Mo Diame to injuries, but we'll have to see how serious they are. Mo's injury might not have been as serious as it first looked."
Capital One Cup semi-final second-leg result
West Ham 0-3 Manchester City (Negredo 2, Aguero)
Capital One Cup semi-final second-leg fixture, 22 January
7.45pm: Manchester United v Sunderland (1-2), Old Trafford