Manchester City vs. West Ham United: Final score 6-0, Citizens crush Hammers

Shaun Botterill

West Ham were predictably appalling and Manchester City were predictably rampant as Manuel Pellegrini's men all but secured their place in the semi-final by demolishing their opponents, aided by an Alvaro Negredo hat-trick.

West Ham offered little in the way of surprises as they were comfortably thrashed by a Manchester City side, 6-0, that was in their usual rampant home form.

There may still be a second leg to go, but the result of the tie now looks a foregone conclusion after City put five past the Hammers without reply, with Alvaro Negredo bagging a hat-trick. Edin Dzeko and Yaya Toure also scored in a scoreline  that, if anything, flattered the Hammers.

West Ham hardly got off to an encouraging start as some clownish defending almost immediately put City ahead, Jesus Navas sneaking up on Joey O'Brien unnoticed and then George McCartney almost deflecting a clearance off a City player and into his own net - a display that did not give viewers too much hope that the visitors would put in the required robustness in defence.

That was to be the case too, as Alvaro Negredo struck to put City ahead on twelve minutes with a fine finish but a far too simple move from West Ham's perspective. A long straight ball down the middle of the pitch somehow eluded the visiting defence and Negredo was able to calmly sweep it into the bottom corner beneath the marooned Adrian to make it 1-0.

West Ham did not look like getting into the game at all, and it wasn't long before City made it two. Edin Dzeko produced a fine pass to find his partner Negredo, whose first touch got him away from the defender before he finished smartly to leave West Ham staring down the barrel.

Some more abject defending was responsible for City's third of the day, a trademark Yaya Toure goal as he advanced straight through the middle of the pitch with the ball, marshalled completely ineffectively by new Hammers signing Roger Johnson. The former Wolves man's panicked retreat allowed Toure the room and space to simply shift his body and fire the ball into the bottom corner from the edge of the area.

The second half was not much better for the visitors, and Negredo completed his hat-trick just a few minutes into the half as a common sight in the game, pinball around the West Ham area with Sam Allardyce's men completely incapable of clearing their lines, resulted in the Spaniard firing home a loose ball from 12 yards.

West Ham's strategy of defending deep was not working at all, and there was simply no pressure on Samir Nasri to prevent him from scything the defence open again with a pass to Gael Clichy, and the left-back sent in a near-post cross which Dzeko diverted in from close range to make it a second consecutive game for West Ham where their defence has shipped five or more.

Dzeko, who had been just as influential in the game as his striker partner, was looking to plunder more goals too, and after being twice denied by Adrian, more fine play from City allowed him to power home Kolarov's cut-back.

Samir Nasri had a late chance to score too, but his finish was tame, sparing West Ham from yet further humiliation. The six will have been more than enough for the under-pressure Sam Allardyce to endure, and it should also be more than enough to ensure City's place in the final. A potential clash against their rivals Manchester United could await them, and they will have no fear in facing them on tonight's evidence.

Man City: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy, Nasri, Toure (Demichelis 66'), Javi Garcia, Silva (Lopes 73'), Negredo (Kolarov 79'), Dzeko.

Goals: Negredo 12', 26 49'', Toure 41', Dzeko 61', 90+1

West Ham: Adrian, Demel, Johnson, McCartney, O'Brien (Rat 75'), Joe Cole, Noble (Diarra 57'), Diame, Taylor, Downing, Maiga (C. Cole 46')

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