Hammers Head Home With Heavy Defeat
By Tom Dowsett
Wednesday 08 Jan 2014 22:22:00
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West Ham United's Capital One Cup run is effectively over as Manchester City take a 6-0 advantage to Upton Park for the second leg on 21 January.

As expected, Sam Allardyce recalled the majority of his senior side after the humiliating FA Cup exit at Nottingham Forest on Sunday and the team showed eight changes, with only Adrian, Modibo Maiga and Stuart Downing retaining their places.

Mark Noble returned from injury to take on the captaincy and because of the central defensive injury problems, new signing Roger Johnson was drafted straight into the side to make his debut.

City were quickly out of the traps and on three minutes Joey O'Brian's hurried clearance was deflected goalwards forcing a smart save from Adrian.

Eight minutes later the Irons' central defensive frailties were brutally exposed as City went route one to Alvaro Negredo who outpaced the defence to fire the home side in front.

Not surprisingly City started to take command of the midfield and on 22 minutes Adrian was forced into two smart saves, first from  David Silva and soon after from Samir Nasri. But the hosts were now in full flow and on 26 minutes Negredo finished with aplomb, racing through the vacant centre of West Ham's defence to extend their lead.

On 35 minutes the home side should have further increased their lead, as Nasri waltzed through the Hammers' defence  to set up Dzeko who wastefully blazed over from close range. But just four minutes later Yaya Toure was able to run through the centre unchallenged to make it 3-0.

Three minutes of injury time were signalled and in the second of these, Mohamed Diame at last forced a save from Costel Pantilimon.

Mr Moss brought the half to a close giving Big Sam lots to think over during the break. He responded by substituting Maiga with Carlton Cole.

Unfortunately for the East Londoners, within three minutes of the restart Negredo fired the ball into the righthand corner of Adrian's goal for 4-0.

West Ham were now in serious disarray and it was hard to see what Allardyce could do about it but his response was to replace the skipper with Alou Diarra on 56 minutes. However, it was to no avail as Edin Dzeko converted Gael Clichy's cross to make it 5-0 on the hour mark.

City were in full flow and Adrian was forced into a great save at his near post from Dzeko's free header on 70 minutes.

Four minutes later Allardyce made his final change of the evening as Razvan Rat replaced O'Brien.

On 82 minutes Adrian was forced into yet another great save from Dzeko while his defenders, not for first time during the evening, stood and watched. But the keeper had no chance on 89 minutes as Dzeko crashed in number six.

Jon Moss signalled two minutes of stoppage time which fortunately for West Ham did not produce further damage but the tie is surely well beyond them now. The real heros of the evening were the magnificent Hammers' supporters who made their voices and songs heard throughout; they deserved better.

The team are on the road again as they head to Wales to face Cardiff City on Saturday afternoon.

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