Manchester City will move on to the fourth round of the FA Cup after a 5-0 thrashing of West Ham United at the London Stadium. While the first 35 minutes came with an even faceoff, a controversial penalty spiraled the match into a dominant City showing.
Many people did not expect City to send out a full starting side, but Pep Guardiola decided to play his usual bunch (with the exception of Claudio Bravo, replaced by Willy Caballero). However, the decision paid off, as City ran away with the game by the end of the firstst half with a 3-0 lead.
The 5-0 win was capped off with an embarrassing John Stones goal which truly summed up City’s hold on the match. Here’s a view on the match from a City fan’s perspective.
To anyone, a clean sheet looks great on paper, especially for critics who doubt City’s defensive scheme. Today, Pep and his men proved them wrong in style, as even John Stones got in the scoring mix for his first City goal.
West Ham only managed two shots on target the entire game, but their most convincing chance came in the 36th minute right after Yaya Touré’s penalty goal. Sofiane Feghouli missed a sitter to put the Hammers level, which would have made this a different game.
Soon, however, the dejected West Ham attack put little pressure on goal afterwards. Dimitri Payet invigorated a spark late in the game, but the game was all but over.
While Fernandinho was absent due to his four-game suspension, Guardiola ambitiously put Pablo Zabaleta in the midfield, which turned out to be a genius move. Yaya Touré and the Argentine defender looked years younger in this game, and they brought their talent to the attack and defense.
The attacking trio of David Silva, Raheem Sterling and Kevin de Bruyne once again proved deadly, as they constantly pressured the Hammers’ back line. Silva stood out, however, with a composed finish in the 42nd minute. He is playing at a very high level this season, and his form truly shined this game.
Sergio Agüero was once again clinical, scoring the dagger goal in the 50th minute with a solid finish. Besides his late mishap where he tried to ambitiously shoot instead of laying the ball off to Raheem Sterling at the end of the game, he looked to be back on form.
Overall, City put in a valiant effort to show the world what they’re made of, and a huge win could prove as a spark for a good run of form in the Premier League. Hopefully this confidence booster helps City become dominant once again and storm to the title in a tight race.