West Ham United 0 Manchester City 3 match report: Stroll in park as ruthless City show little mercy in Capital One Cup semi-final

9-0 aggregate win shows gulf in class between the two sides

Upton Park

This was one of the strangest, flattest, easiest semi-finals that will ever be played in the League Cup. Manchester City strolled to a 3-0 away win that was desperately simple, providing the unnecessary confirmation of their place in the Capital One Cup final, completing their 9-0 aggregate defeat of West Ham United.

Under normal circumstances, losing 3-0 at home might be a shock but even this performance, short on ideas and spark, riddled with defensive errors, was no real surprise. Allardyce said before the game that he wanted a performance, to win on the night, and to get injured players back fit. He did not get the first two and while Andy Carroll did play 45 engaging minutes, he lost Joe Cole and Mohamed Diame to groin and knee injuries in the second half.

“The real negative side,” said Allardyce afterwards, “bigger than the defeat, is two more injuries.” It is a shame that a cup semi-final should only matter in terms of setting up the last four months of the league season, but all competitive tension had been burned out of this tie in the first leg in Manchester.

It made for a unique atmosphere at Upton Park, with an official attendance of 14,390, but some blocks almost entirely deserted. Never before can a semi-final have been played in front of such hopeless disillusionment.

West Ham did not give their supporters much to cheer about and when, at 1-0 down on the night and 7-0 on aggregate, they greeted a few consecutive passes between claret and blue shirts with ironic shouts of 'ole'. That was one of West Ham's better spells but this was barely a recognisable football match, with nothing at stake, in front of a quiet crowd, and Manchester City simply scoring goals when it suited them.


City chose to go ahead in just the third minute, Rony Lopes dashing down the left wing and crossing to Alvaro Negredo at the far post. It was shamefully simple, and Allardyce admitted afterwards that it was “so difficult to take, there is nobody to blame but your defenders”. The opening goal did not even kill off the contest, which was dead on arrival.

West Ham threatened to improve, but then City scored again. Lopes ran through the middle, shrugging off far bigger, more experienced men in Alou Diarra and Roger Johnson, before playing the ball through to Aguero. Razvan Rat and Matt Taylor collided, and the finish was simple.

This was just Lopes' second senior start but the 18-year-old looked more than comfortable, enjoyably direct, skilful and enthusiastic. The return of Aguero, making his first start for nearly six weeks, was more important. He scored on substitute appearances against Blackburn Rovers and Cardiff City and seems to be back in full form already, which will be crucial as City chase the quadruple.

Pellegrini must know how unlikely that is, and simply said afterwards he hopes City continue playing like this. “We are the only team still in four competitions, the only team that can do it,” he said. “We are going to continue with the same winning and ambitious mentality.”

Even as City scored goals 104, 105 and 106 of this unprecedented season, they never looked at full capacity. The second half was much quieter, West Ham starting on top and having two penalty shouts turned down before Negredo took it on himself to add another, charging through far less interested and committed players before lifting the ball over Jaaskelainen. Had City wanted more, they certainly could have had them. Allardyce must be pleased that they did not. Chelsea, next Wednesday, might not be so relaxed.

Man of the match Lopes.

Match rating 3/10. 

Referee C Foy (St Helens).

Attendance 14,390.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave long-running series
Arts and Entertainment
Game Of Thrones
Uh-oh, winter is coming. Ouch, my eyes! Ygritte’s a goner. Lysa’s a goner. Tywin’s a goner. Look, a dragon
tvSpoiler warning:The British actor says viewers have 'not seen the last' of his character
The Etihad Stadium, home of Manchester City
premier league

The Independent's live blog of today's Premier League action

Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
Radamel Falcao was forced to withdraw from the World Cup after undergoing surgery
premier leagueExclusive: Reds have agreement with Monaco
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: 'Time Heist' sees a darker side to Peter Capaldi's Doctor
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam