Manchester City embarrassed visiting West Ham United with a 6-0 drubbing at the Etihad Stadium on Wedensday, January 8, keeping their hopes of winning all four competitions they are campaigning in alive, one night after their local rivals Manchester United were undone by Sunderland in the other League Cup semifinal.
City were in devastating form throughout the match, with 69% of the ball compared to West Ham's 31% possession, attempting 32 shots with 11 on target next to the Hammers' three on goal with just one on target.
Costel Pantilimon - 7
Had to keep his concentration as, while the action ahead of him was near one-way traffic in the opposite direction, Diame curled one from distance that he had to provide a shield for.
Pablo Zabaleta - 7
Like Clichy, played the role of a defender/attacker hybrid from the flank. Created multiple chances, the first of which was for Nasri 20 minutes deep into the match-up.
Vincent Kompany - 7
Swept away any forthcoming crosses that entered his box but he was rarely challenged for the ball, as West Ham seemed loathe to commit players forward in case they got merked on the counter-attack.
Joleon Lescott - 7
Well-positioned to make timely interceptions but was rarely called upon due to the ridiculous form of the Citizens ahead of him.
Gael Clichy - 8
Ran his line well, particularly in the opponent's half, where he contributed to the attacking spirit that Manuel Pellegrini's team were exhibiting. Never gave up the fight... David Silva attempted a through ball to the flank but it was intercepted. Unfazed, Clichy harassed and retrieved possession successfully before creating a chance for David Silva.
Yaya Touré - 8.5
Played a perfect through ball over the top to set up Alvaro Negredo for the club's first goal of the night. Could have been devastatingly brought off due to injury after just 25 minutes, but soldiered on and ended up committing to a rampaging run straight through the middle... like an unstoppable tank with a Ferrari engine in a style so physically imposing Roger Johnson dared not attempt a tackle, before cannoning his shot into goal. Boom. Made way for Martin Demichelis.
Javi García - 7
Took City's first effort as he attempted to break the deadlock after just four minutes, with a header, from a Silva cross from left.
Samir Nasri - 9
Had a right-footed drive from distance denied by Hammers stopper Adrian Castillo, combined well with David Silva. While the Spaniard is often cited to be City's most creative attacker, Nasri too played multiple key passes - seven, after 90 minutes. Could have scored himself toward the game's death but struck too tamely.
David Silva - 8.5
With 45 chances created to his name in just 911 minutes of Premier League football, it was clear that the Spaniard would be one of the most creative players against West Ham. On Wednesday night, he played key passes to both Garcia (on multiple occasions) and Nasri, producing six clear chances in 72 minutes, when he made way for Marcos Lopes.
Alvaro Negredo - 10
The technique required to finish his first goal as well as he did, to keep his eyes on the ball as it sailed through the air from 45-yards back and over his shoulder, to then help it on it's way into the net, was exquisite. His link-up play with Edin Dzeko for the second was marvelous as he made an intuitive run, never breaking pace, before smashing a strong shot past Adrian. Unsurprisingly, had a hand/foot in the third goal, playing provider for Yaya before securing his hat-trick after the break with a golden left foot.
Edin Dzeko - 9
Perfect assist to Negredo for the latter's second goal of the night. Attempted a bogus bulldozer of a shot as the ball may have ended up in the parking lot - an impressive miss. Held the ball up incredibly well in the build up to City's fourth, before winning a free kick moments later. Scored the club's fifth from the corner of the six-yard box to maintain his record of returning a goal in every round of the competition. Was assisted by Aleksandar Kolarov for Dzeko's piledriving sixth.
Substitutions: Kolarov - 7, Lopes - N/a, Demichelis - N/a.
image: © Free-ers