Manchester City all but guaranteed their place in the Capital One Cup final with an emphatic 6-0 demolition of West Ham at the Etihad.
A hat-trick from Alvaro Negredo, two goals from Edin Dzeko and a Yaya Toure goal sealed the win which only increases the pressure of West Ham boss Sam Allerdyce.
Allerdyce received criticism for leaving out a number of senior players against Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup on Sunday, a match which they lost 5-0 against the Championship side, in preparation for this game and from the moment the game kicked off his side were on the back foot.
Fans of the London club turned their anger onto their manager, who had received the dreaded vote of confidence from the clubs owners this week, with chants calling for his head being heard louder and louder the more goals went in at the Etihad.
In truth, as good as Man City were, West Ham were shambolic at the back, a defence which included debutante Roger Johnson who recently joined on loan from Wolves.
City took the lead on 12 minutes, when Negredo latched onto a stunning long ball from Yaya Toure, before finishing expertly for the goal of the game and from there on it was men against boys.
Allardyce’s defence had no answer to City’s attacking threat and the second goal was only a matter of time. Negredo was the scorer again, the recipient of Dzeko’s fine pass before sending a perfect finish past Adrian, who made a number of quality saves to keep the score down to six.
Yaya Toure made it three just before half time, capatalising on more woeful West Ham defending and with a quarter of the tie gone, it was effectively over.
The second half was more of the same and within four minutes of the restart Negredo completed his hat-trick with another moment of real quality, sweeping an accurate shot past Adrian after David Silva’s shot had been half-blocked by the West Ham defence.
Things continued to go from bad to worse for the Hammers as Edin Dzeko got in on the act to make it five. The Bosnia & Herzegovina international had played well and was rewarded with a goal of his own on the hour when he finished off a cross from David Silva.
With just short of 20 minutes to go, City introduced youngster Mesquita Lopes for his debut for the club. The highly rated 18-year-old joined the club from Benfica in 2011 and has scored 7 goals in 6 games for the Portugal Under 21’s in recent times.
Dzeko was on hand to double his tally for the night in the final few minutes, when he smashed in a cross from the substitute Kolarov.
In truth it could have been more for the rampant City, with Adrian making a number of fine saves but the tie is already over going into the second leg at Upton Park.
City mustered a staggering 32 attempts on goal and dominated with 69% possession.
Pelligrini’s men have won 14 of their 15 home games this season, with their only defeat coming in the Champions League against Bayern Munich and have scored and incredible 59 goals at the Etihad, conceding just 13.
West Ham join the list of teams including Arsenal, Spurs and Norwich to concede six or more goals at the Etihad as City look of course to remain unbeaten at home in the Premier League this season.
42 Yaya Touré (Demichelis – 66′ )
14 Javi García
09 Negredo (Kolarov – 79′ )
21 Silva (Mesquita Lopes – 73′ )
West Ham United
17 O’Brien (Rat – 75′ )
16 Noble (Diarra – 57′ )
11 Maiga (Cole – 45′ )
Ref: Jonathan Moss