Manchester City completed their demolition of West Ham United by winning the second leg of their League Cup semi-final 3-0 on Tuesday to book their place in the final at Wembley Stadium 9-0 on aggregate.
Although the tie was effectively over after West Ham’s leaky defense allowed six goals in the first leg two weeks ago, City dished out some extra humiliation to the Hammers, with Alvaro Negredo scoring twice and Sergio Aguero also netting.
“It was a very professional performance,” City manager Manuel Pellegrini told Sky Sports after his side reached their first League Cup final in 38 years. “It was easy to think the game was finished from the 6-0 in the first leg, but it was important to reach the final winning all the games.”
City will face either Sunderland or local rivals Manchester United in the final on March 2, with Sunderland holding a slender 2-1 advantage heading into the second leg yesterday.
West Ham boss Sam Allardyce might have hoped to see City field a reserve team as he sought a morale-boosting, if purely academic, victory, but his luck was out as Negredo and Aguero led a potent lineup.
The home side’s hopes of salvaging some pride after the first-leg mauling were shattered after 2 minutes, 36 seconds.
Boos rang around Upton Park as West Ham’s comically disorganised defense did little to prevent Negredo opening the scoring.
Eighteen-year-old Marcos Lopes was given a free run down the left and his cross found the Spain international unmarked to head low into the net, catching West Ham’s nearest defender, James Tomkins, hopelessly off guard.
After West Ham’s Nolan had a goal rightly annulled for offside, the Irons’ shambolic rearguard again cost them dear after 24 minutes.
Lopes was again the creator, cutting through the heart of the defense before feeding Aguero, who chipped the ball over West Ham ’keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen as two defenders made a slapstick effort to tackle him, tripping each other up in the process.
It was 3-0 14 minutes after the break as Negredo grabbed his second of the night to produce the biggest margin of victory ever in a League Cup semi-final.
“You cannot do mistakes at this level to the amount we did them,” Allardyce said after the game.