How the game was won – Manchester City vs West Ham United
Manchester City 6-0 West Ham United
West Ham United set out in a 4-3-3 formation for the first leg of their Capital One Cup semi-final this evening in the hope that the three man midfield would be able to withstand the likely barrage it would face from City’s potent attack. Sam Allardyce veered away from his usual 4-2-3-1 system used at West Ham due to the sizeable gaps that get created in between the lines with such a flat two man midfield as anybody who has watched Swansea City regularly this season can confirm.
Throughout the evening Manchester City perfectly illustrated the art of impressing without actually trying too hard, almost every single goal was gifted to them by a woeful defensive performance from the visitors. Take nothing away however from the performances of Alvaro Negredo who scored his second hat-trick for the Eastlands club and David Silva who pulled the strings effortlessly from just behind the two forwards.
The key factor of how the 6-0 result came to be was West Ham’s simply awful defending. Admittedly it was the first time the central defensive partnership of Roger Johnson and Joey O’Brien had played together yet it evidently looked like it on the pitch. The first goal was a prime example of the slack concentration in the minds of the two West Ham centre halves, a route one pass from the middle of midfield somehow caught O’Brien and Johnson both flat-footed and Negredo had ultimately no offside trap to beat in order to get into the position to score an excellent opening goal.
Things didn’t get any better for West Ham at the back, there were no lessons learned throughout the ninety minutes with Joey O’Brien monumentally out of position for Yaya Toure’s goal and Manchester City’s third, leaving Roger Johnson too much to do on his own with Guy Demel unaware of the situation and the need to move across and cover for the absent O’Brien.
Manchester City passed the ball around well, especially in the middle of midfield with Javi Garcia putting in a quiet yet impressive shift alongside Yaya Toure and later Martin Demichelis however West Ham’s defensive movement far too often created a huge gap particularly on the left wing which made up the mind of a City player before he had chance to make it himself.
Guy Demel was caught out of position too often at right-back and one of David Silva or Samir Nasri made a run into the space and put several good crosses into the box and it was only courtesy of West Ham’s man of the match, goalkeeper Adrian that the scoreline didn’t move into double figures.
The fifth and penultimate goal added final insult to injury for West Ham when Joey O’Brien was caught completely lost inside his own penalty area and allowed Edin Dzeko to get a run on him and then slot the ball into the back of the net with O’Brien scrambling to reach the Bosnian, the lack of awareness that was evident throughout the night was illustrated perfectly in that one goal.
Written by Chris Winterburn
Follow Chris on Twitter @Chriswin4
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