Slick Man City showcase cup intent

West Ham 0 Manchester City 5: In the days leading up to what looked like a tricky trip to the capital, Pep Guardiola had promised two things.
Slick Man City showcase cup intent

First, he was adamant he was not planning on retiring from football management at the relatively tender age of 45 despite some comments to the contrary.

Second, he insisted he would be taking the FA Cup very seriously this year.

On the basis of this showing in London, where West Ham were swept aside, at least one of those is definitely true.

The Spaniard chose a near full-strength side and it showed, particularly during a ruthless 10-minute spell just before half time during which City scored three times without reply.

Yaya Toure got the first from a contentious penalty before Havard Nordtveit turned into his own net.

There was still time for David Silva to add a third before the break and Sergio Aguero made it worse for the hosts within five minutes of the restart.

John Stones added further gloss to the scoreline with a late header to ensure City stormed into next round in style.

“We were able to keep the ball more than the last games,” Guardiola said. “We created more chances. Before the penalty we had three or four clear chances. After the second and third goal it was easy in the second half.

“It’s important to win away but it’s not easy. I’d like to involve the fans and make them believe we are good. We are the good guys — we run a lot and fight.”

Guardiola made five changes to the side that narrowly beat Burnley on Monday with Pablo Zabaleta replacing the suspended Fernandinho as the holding midfielder and Willy Caballero preferred to Claudio Bravo in goal.

There was also a return to the starting line-up for Aguero who was introduced at half-time on Monday.

West Ham meanwhile, started without their talisman Dimitri Payet. The Frenchman was hooked after an hour of the 2-0 defeat to Manchester United here earlier this week but Slaven Bilic afterwards insisted he still considered him their ‘best player’.

He made way for Andy Carroll, who lead the line with Manuel Lanzini, Michail Antonio and Sofiane Feghouli, who had his ridiculous red card against United rescinded, supporting.

As if to remind everybody that he was playing, he had his first effort of the day after just 40 seconds but it flew over.

City, however, were far more considered in their attacks and Zabaleta had already had a decent effort blocked by Nordtveit before Silva forced Adrian into a smart save with his legs.

At the other end, all blood and thunder, Carroll was making a nusiance of himself during his many battles with City’s two centre-backs.

However, Michail Antonio should have done better with his head when he met Nordtveit’s hanging cross.

The visitors took the lead in the 32nd minute with a goal not without controversy.

Angelo Ogbonna thought he had got away with his challenge on Zabaleta, which left the Argentinian in a heap, as the linesman did not flag for a foul.

However referee Michael Oliver thought differently and pointed to the spot, much to Ogbonna’s horror.

Yaya Toure, who has retired from international football and was therefore not with Ivory Coast at the Africa Cup of Nations, made no mistake from 12 yards.

The Hammers, spurred on by their sense of injustice, really should have forced the equaliser two minutes later when Antonio’s strike was parried directly into Feghouli’s path by Caballero. But the home side’s fans might have wished his red card appeal had been rejected as he somehow prodded his follow-up wide from four yards out with the goal gaping.

And they were punished for the comedy miss before half-time as City scored two quickfire goals to end the game as a contest.

First Bacary Sagna’s cross was so delicious that Nordtveit, under pressure from the onrushing Sterling, could not help but turn the ball past his own goalkeeper.

Then Aguero nudged Sterling clear down the right and the England winger rolled the ball across the face of goal for Silva to tuck home.

It got worse for the hosts just five minutes after half-time when Toure’s low effort was cleverly diverted home by Aguero from close range as the evening threatened to become embarrassing for West Ham.

Curiously, with his side in desperate need of a goal, Bilic withdrew Carroll after just 58 minutes and pushed Antonio into the central striking roll. It changed little.

Guardiola, meanwhile, was able to withdraw both Silva and Kevin De Bruyne before the hour mark.

Even without that influential pair, they still managed to bag a fifth, six minutes from time, when Stones nodded in substitute Nolito’s corner in front of a by-now half-empty stadium.

WEST HAM:

Adrian 6; Nordtveit 5, Ogbonna 5, Reid 6, Cresswell 6; Obiang 5, Fernandes 6; Antonio 6 (Fletcher 72), Lanzini 5 (Noble 58), Feghouli 5; Carroll 7 (Payet 58).

Subs not used:

Randolph, Calleri, Oxford, Quina.

MANCHESTER CITY:

Caballero 6; Sagna 7, Otamendi 6, Stones 6, Clichy 7; Zabaleta 8, Toure 8 (Delph 77); Sterling 7, De Bruyne 7 (Garcia 68), Silva 7 (Nolito 57); Aguero 7.

Subs not used:

Bravo, Kolarov, Navas, Iheanacho,.

Referee:

Michael Oliver.

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