Manchester City’s grip on the Capital One Cup could barely have been tighter as they scored seven second-half goals to ease into the fourth round.
Frank Lampard launched the goal spree as City scored four times in 14 minutes just after half-time to instantly banish the memory of a lifeless first half.
Lampard also rounded off the night with the final goal in stoppage time, neatly book-ending a performance that was a reward for Manuel Pellegrini’s decision to pick a team designed to win with style and end a run of four games without victory.
Edin Dzeko also helped himself to two goals, Jesus Navas scored with a cracker and Yaya Touré contributed from the penalty spot. But as well as the established names, City also gave a nod to the future as José Pozo came off the bench to score his first senior goal.
This competition was the first one won by Pellegrini in England and the City manager paid it due deference by naming a side that would not look out of place in the Champions League.
City lined up with six of the side that started against Premier League leaders Chelsea last Sunday with Lampard, who came on to equalise so dramatically against his former club, promoted from the bench.
Wednesday made three changes themselves following a weekend win over Reading which pushed them into the Championship’s play-off places on the back of an impressive start to the season in which they had lost only once and saw them win at Burnley in the previous round.
Gary Madine was one of those given a chance to shine and the striker could have made a name for himself after just five minutes but failed to trouble Willy Caballero with a header from Jacques Maghoma’s cross.
Wednesday, backed by over 5,000 supporters in a nearly full stadium, were certainly not cowed by the opposition or the surroundings in the opening exchanges as City took a while to raise themselves.
When they did, it was invariably down the right side through Bacary Sagna and Jesus Navas that they stretched the visitors’ defence, Sagna crossing for James Milner after a quarter of an hour for a shot that one-time England international Chris Kirkland saved low down to his right.
Kirkland, whose appearances so far this season have been reserved for this competition, also held a Edin Dzeko header from another Sagna cross.
But in between, he would have had no chance with a thumping side-foot volley from Eliaquim Mangala which crashed against a post from Aleksandar Kolarov’s corner as the defender looked to continue the positive impression he made on his debut against Chelsea.
Despite that, there was nothing to suggest City would get the job done quite as ruthlessly as they did at the start of the second half once Lampard had broken the deadlock.
Twice a winner of this competition with Chelsea, the former England midfielder had shown his eye for goal on his first home appearance and he did it again when he beat full-back Lewis Buxton to Milner’s low cross and poked the ball home at the near post.
Lampard was then denied a second on the break by Kirkland’s fine save but within moments it was 2-0 as Dzeko side-footed home a Navas cross.
Navas then helped himself to the pick of the goals, dizzying Joe Mattock with a jinking run then crashing a shot into the roof of the net, before Wednesday’s evening went further downhill when Kamil Zayatte tripped Lampard as he stumbled into the box.
The defender was dismissed and Touré converted from the spot before making way for Pozo, an 18-year-old graduate of Real Madrid’s Academy to make his senior debut.
Milner then struck a post before Dzeko added the fifth, powerfully heading in a perfect cross from Kolarov to claim his 11th goal in as many games in a competition City are growing to love.
There was still time, however, for Pozo to make his mark as he side-footed in another Navas cross before Lampard came up with another trademark goal, arriving late in the box to slide home a shot and complete the rout.
Man of the match Navas.
Match rating 6/10.
Referee P Tierney (Lancashire)
- More about:
- Manchester City