West Ham United v City Capital One Cup semi final second leg 21 January 2014 - Manchester City FC

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  • West Ham United

    West Ham  0

  • Manchester City

    City  3

    Negredo 3mins & 58mins, Aguero 23mins

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  • 21 January 2014 21:36
  • Posted by @markbooth_mcfc
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City are now four matches away from immortality after booking their place in the Capital One Cup final.

The club's 67-year old  22-match unbeaten record is now under threat after the Blues recorded a 3-0 victory at Upton Park to take them to 18 without defeat in all competitions.

A goal in each half from Alvaro Negredo and a first-half strike from Sergio Aguero ensured that City made the Capital One Cup final with a 9-0 aggregate win.

It sets up a sixth trip to Wembley in three years for the club who will now wait for events to unfold at Old Trafford on Wednesday night with interest.

City haven’t featured in a League Cup final since they won the unsponsored competition back in 1976.

Semi-final heartbreak had been tough to take from Manchester United in 2010 and Liverpool in 2012 but it was never a realistic prospect on Tuesday night after the handsome 6-0 first-leg triumph over West Ham at the Etihad a fortnight ago.

"A sporting miracle of near-unprecedented proportions was required for the East Londoners to overturn the deficit but Sam Allardyce received no mercy from his City counterpart."

...West Ham v City: Match report...

David Silva and Yaya Toure staying behind to rest in Manchester was the only detectable nod to the lop-sided nature of the tie but City’s relentless boss Manuel Pellegrini made few other concessions.

Playing the game independent of the scoreline has been a mind-set the Chilean has tried to impose in his players since taking up the role in the summer and this philosophy was clearly evident in his uncharitable team selection.

Sergio in action against West Ham.jpg

Negredo and Aguero’s partnership was reintroduced for the first time since the beginning of December, while Fernandinho, Jesus Navas and Javi Garcia were the experienced heads around 18-year old Marcos Lopes who made his second senior start for the club. 

Elsewhere, at the heart of defence Matija Nastasic and Joleon Lescott partnered up, with Dedryck Boyata and Gael Clichy on either side and Costel Pantilimon behind.

There was more good news in store for supporters as Stevan Jovetic was fit enough to return to the matchday squad for the first time since the fourth round win over Newcastle at the end of October – the Montinegrin was named on the bench alongside another recent injury absentee, Jack Rodwell.

"Allardyce promised to name a strong XI in a quest to restore pride and boost morale around a club becoming increasingly embroiled in the chaotic 10-team pile-up of a Premier League relegation scrap."

...West Ham v City: Match report...

He was as good as his word, recalling his previously suspended captain Kevin Nolan and handing a regular scourge of City, Andy Carroll his first start of the season.

An early home goal may have prompted the first few beads of sweat through the more wrinkled foreheads in the away end but it was City who allayed any lingering nerves by taking a third minute lead.

Clichy laid the ball out wide to Lopes on the left and the Portuguese tyro swung in an inviting cross onto the head of an unmarked Negredo who nodded home his 22nd goal of the season – the same number the hosts had managed in all of their Premier League games so far this season.

Web crop Negredo first goal celebration.jpg

That goal edged the Beast one goal ahead of his striker partner for the night but Kun would only be denied his place on the scoresheet until the 23rd minute and Lopes was once again the architect.

Lopes slalomed through a couple of defenders before slipping the ball inside for Aguero and the 25-year old did the rest, picking his way around a minefield of claret and blue bodies before tucking it past the goalkeeper for his third goal in three appearances since returning from injury.

sergio goal1.jpg

While the queue may be longer for starts in creative roles at City than at other clubs in desperate need of midfield reinforcements in this window, Lopes reminded the world that there is more than one gifted young playmaker in town with this man-of-the-match winning performance.

All night, the youngster took turns at tormenting Razvan Rat and Matt Taylor on either side of the West Ham defence, chasing down every lost cause and pressing with a hunger that made it appear as if it were actually City chasing down a deficit.

In the end, the home side were fortunate to only be eight goals behind on aggregate at the break but City only needed to add two more in the second 45 to set a League Cup record for most goals scored in a two-legged semi-final.

lopes action.jpg

Pantilimon was finally worked five minutes into the second period but the Romanian was alert to second half substitute Carlton Cole’s shot across him and deflected it away from danger.

An eight goal cushion became nine on 58 minutes when Negredo embarked on a one-man wrecking ball mission through the opposition defence, taking the ball all the way to the by-line and just when it seemed he'd gone too far, Alvaro slid and clipped the ball over the onrushing Jaaskelainen from the tightest of angles.

"There was a welcome sight left in store for supporters as Pellegrini brought Jovetic and Rodwell into the game on the hour for 30 minute run-outs but the tie had already been over for a long while."

...West Ham v City: Match report...

By that stage, City supporters had long been musing on the ultimate dilemma…

Sunderland, or United?

Status as heavy favourites, or the chance to lift a trophy in front of their oldest rivals in a first-ever all-Manchester cup final?

For now, fans can put that quandary to one side and enjoy a 24 hour head start in the race for hotel rooms in the capital.

Match details

Tuesday 21 January 2014, 7:45PM

Upton Park Att:14,390
Capital One Cup

Christopher Foy


West Ham United:

Jaaskelainen, Nolan, Tomkins, Rat, Carroll (C.Cole 45mins), Taylor, Morrison, Diarra, Diame (Collison 90mins), J.Cole (Downing 46mins), Johnson

Unused subs:
Jarvis, Adrian, Noble, Chambers

Diarra 37mins

Manchester City:

Pantilimon; Boyata, Lescott (c), Nastasic, Clichy; Fernandinho, Garcia (Rodwell 63mins), Navas (Kolarov 77mins), Lopes; Negredo, Aguero (Jovetic 64mins)

Unused subs:
Hart, Demichelis, Dzeko, Zabaleta

Aguero 30mins

All times are taken from a live feed and are approximate at time of publishing.
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