Carabao Cup
West Ham United 0 Manchester City 0

Wednesday, 27th October 2021
by Chris Wilkerson

(West Ham Utd win 5-3 on penalties)

West Ham took another step in their evolution this evening, knocking out League Cup holders Manchester City on penalties and advancing to the quarter final.

After drawing a tight game 0-0, all five West Ham players scored their penalties and punished the miss of Phil Foden.


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The Manchester giants were expected to win, Guardiola?EUR(TM)s side unbeaten in 21 ties and having lifted the trophy the last four years.

In fact, it had been five years to the very day since Manchester City had lost a League Cup tie, and it?EUR(TM)s not hard to see why when they able to bring in players like Sterling, Mahrez and even Kevin De Bruyne for this competition.

West Ham?EUR(TM)s eight changes certainly left with far short of the quality their opponents had, with only Johnson, Cresswell and Soucek from the starters that beat Tottenham three days prior.

The first half was dominated by the Premier League champions, often pinning the Hammers into their own half as the home side struggled to play through the high press.

With Antonio out of the squad entirely, Yarmolenko led the line. The Ukrainian has goalscoring prowess in his career, but he lacks the pace in his game to challenge many defenders on the turn. Whilst he was capable of hassling and holding the ball up, he was little threat over the top and so West Ham often had to build through City.

It was always a dangerous ploy, but there were moments Moyes?EUR(TM)s side moved the ball around with enough presence of mind and patience to finally find gaps. On other occasions, moving it forward quickly gave them a presence on the front foot.

Early signs were of a good contest between Johnson and Sterling, with the young full back twice winning the war in vital moments.

One where Sterling was played in behind in the area, only for Johnson to get in and take the ball. There was another soon after, the England international squaring Johnson up only to be dispossessed again by the defender.

Moments where West Ham created pressure were often followed by City counter attacks. A Noble effort down Steffen?EUR(TM)s throat was soon a big chance for De Bruyne, the Belgian midfielder close to scoring before a dramatic Dawson intervention.

There were a few occasions like this for both sides, and where a lack of presence in the box was often a weakness for the home side, the defence showed they could match the best their opponents threw at them.


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When they were breached, Alphonse Areola was excellent in goal. The goalkeeper has yet to really impress and put any pressure on Fabianski?EUR(TM)s place, but tonight was different. He is yet to concede in his four games.

A smart early save with his feet from Cole Palmer was his best of the opening 45 minutes.

At the other end, Yarmolenko and Vlasic were working hard, and the Croat was much better drifting inside off the right than he has been from the left.

Mahrez had a half chance, a Cresswell cross was dangerous but dealt with well.

There was little to really suggest a goal until the final seconds of the half. A cross from the right found Ake in space and close to goal, but his header was too soft and skidded off his head and wide. The centre back should have done better.

All square at half time, and Guardiola brought Cancelo on for Walker. West Ham remained the same and came out looking settled into their game. Manchester City have resources, a large squad and plenty of skill, but they were not blowing away their opponents at all at this point.

The game opened up a little as time went on, West Ham finding in this half that they had seemingly weathered the early pressing and found themselves getting out of defence a little easier.

There were bright moments, with Masuaku letting rip in the area twice from tight angles, one chance coming after Mark Noble rolled back the years with a clever shimmy and drove between midfielders and into space. The captain played well, covering smartly in gaps in midfield and moving forward with the ball well. Soucek was a little restrained, keeping deep to protect his partner, but the balance worked to keep things secure.

Moments later, Masuaku stung the palms of the City goalkeeper, the rebound falling down to Yarmolenko, who chose not to try an ambitious volley but was stopped shooting at goal.

It was in this half that Areola started to shine.

First he saved well when a De Bruyne shot deflected off a defender on its way to him, reacting well to the change in the ball?EUR(TM)s direction.


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The next minute, he was tested even more, Stones heading at goal from a De Bruyne cross, diverting a fast ball at goal with speed. Areola did well to save with strong hands and push the ball away.

West Ham instantly fired back, Masuaku and Cresswell combining to recover an overhit cross and get Vlasic into the box. The forward laid off for Soucek in the box, but the Czech midfielder hit horribly wide when placed to do better.

It was enough of a foothold in the game for Moyes to feel emboldened to act. Benrahma, Bowen and Fornals were reading, replacing Masuaku, Vlasic and Yarmolenko.

There was immediate action, the trio bringing energy and a little ambition onto the pitch. Benrahma orchestrated a threatening attack down the left hand side.

The City bench soon moved too, Foden and Grealish both given their time before the end of the game.

They caused issues, and there were large swathes of pressure. Johnson was again brilliant as he stopped another dangerous attack last second, but the best was coming from Areola.

One effort on goal bounced to Gundogan yards from goal with Areola already down. The midfielder?EUR(TM)s touch flicked it in front of him and the French goalkeeper reacted sharply to flick a leg out and stop the ball dropping for an easy tap-in.

Zinchenko fired a rocket from 25 yards that was struck fiercely and saved acrobatically on the stretch by the goalkeeper, although it was one you?EUR(TM)d expect him to save.

Then West Ham had their last chance with only a few minutes to go.

After Fornals miskicked a volley, he controlled the bouncing ball and laid it off to Soucek. The big man again had a little time and tried to guide it in, but his shot was poor like the first and floated harmlessly wide.

City probed until the very last minute. Sterling looked in down the left if not for the quick thinking and movement of Areola to anticipate the danger and rush off his line to grab the ball.


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A last minute freekick was hit into the wall before being gathered on the right. Sterling walked in for a free header but put it into Areola?EUR(TM)s arms.

The final whistle blew and having remained goalless, penalties beckoned.

A light tension about the stadium, West Ham started the shootout.

Noble scored confidently, passing the ball high down the middle as the goalkeeper dived to the corner.

Up stepped Foden, but the midfielder sent his shot wide and a bit of hope opened up.

Bowen scored, firing his into the corner, as did Cancelo. Dawson smashed his in with ease, whilst Jesus stuttered on the run-up and saw Areola move, rolling the ball into the opposite corner.

Cresswell scored with assurance, as did Grealish, leaving a moment of glory on offer for Sa??d Benrahma.

The Algerian hit his firmly with the side of his foot and into the corner, with enough power to make its way into the back of the net even with the touch of the goalkeeper.

A jubilant London Stadium erupted, the players celebrated and West Ham edged the tight tie to finally be the team that stopped the Manchester City dominance of the Carabao Cup.

Moyes takes his side into the quarter finals, with six other Premier League sides and League One Sunderland. Giants remain, but West Ham are massive.


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Player Ratings

Alphonse Areola
A performance he needed, the goalkeeper looked agile, in command of his goal and his area, reducing the pressure on his defence with good decision making.


Ben Johnson
Some absolutely vital interceptions catch the eye, but of more promise was how easily he handed Sterling in different situations. A very good defensive performance.


Aaron Cresswell
Quietly efficient at the back but without much threat going forward. He made his presence felt up there and joined attacks, but lacked a target for his crosses. Good penalty.


Issa Diop
Remained in control of the penalty area and stepped out a few times to defend well. The better of the two defenders, which would be a little unexpected given the rearguard action.


Craig Dawson
A good defensive performance and not particularly bothered by the movement and pace of Manchester City. Good penalty.


Mark Noble
Contributed at both ends. Not explosive, not eye catching, but smart and reliable.


Tomas Soucek
Responsible and very combative in midfield, gliding with the ball well moving forward too. His defensive performance was excellent, but loses a little shine with his poor finishing.


Manuel Lanzini
Combative when needed, so rarely loses the ball and especially responsible with it in deeper midfield areas. It isn?EUR(TM)t exciting always but it helps a team under pressure to have a player they can trust on the ball in whatever scenario.


Nikola Vlasic
Looked better off the right and had a turn of pace to get away from defenders, strong enough on the ball to stay in control. Brighter without being impressive.


Arthur Masuaku
Looked rusty, which is unsurprising considering his slow return from injury and lack of football. Sharp moments, bursts of pace but moments when his usual standards slipped. Shooting was threatening and had real spite in his efforts.


Andriy Yarmolenko
Has a enough of a presence up front to use muscle and his frame to protect the ball, but he isn?EUR(TM)t great at it consistently. Never really threatened but worked hard in a thankless role.



Substitutes

Said Benrahma
(Replaced Vlasic, 62) Brought on energy and had the skill to get round City players that seemed lacking from the team before. Took his penalty well under pressure.


Jarrod Bowen
(Replaced Yarmolenko, 62) Went up top and added pace to the side, which helped give a threat in behind and stop City defending so high with such ease. Good penalty.


Pablo Fornals
(Replaced Masuaku, 62) Created a chance for Soucek and was comfortable on the ball, more ambitious than the players who had been on before him. Was on the right but floated around, as he does.


Vladimir Coufal
(Replaced Lanzini, 82) Did his job, stiffening up the right but was barely noticed. Good to see him getting minutes to aid his return.


Darren Randolph
Did not play.


Harrison Ashby
Did not play.


Jamal Baptiste
Did not play.



Match Facts

West Ham United: Alphonse Areola , Ben Johnson, Aaron Cresswell, Issa Diop, Craig Dawson, Mark Noble, Tomas Soucek, Manuel Lanzini, Nikola Vlasic, Arthur Masuaku, Andriy Yarmolenko.

Goals: None.

Booked: None.

Sent off: None.

Manchester City: Steffen, Walker (Joao Cancelo 45), Stones, Ake, Zinchenko, Fernandinho, Gundogan, Palmer (Gabriel Jesus 76), De Bruyne (Grealish 83), Mahrez (Foden 72), Sterling.

Subs not used: Carson, Dias, Laporte, Rodri, Edozie.

Goals: .

Booked: .

Sent off: None.

Referee: Jonathan Moss.

Attendance: 0.

Man of the Match: Alphonse Areola.