Negredo hat-trick studs City's big win

Alvaro Negredo plundered a hat-trick as Manchester City destroyed hapless West Ham United 6-0 at the Etihad Stadium to all but qualify for the League Cup final.

West Ham had seen a second-string team embarrassed 5-0 at Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup on Sunday, but even the return of several first-team players could not prevent a mauling by City’s ruthless forwards in the semifinal first leg.

A smartly taken brace from Negredo and a goal from the marauding Yaya Toure put City 3-0 up, with Negredo completing his hat-trick in the second half before Edin Dzeko sealed victory with two goals of his own. Manuel Pellegrini’s City have now scored 59 goals in their 15 home games to date this season and their place in the final appears a formality ahead of the return leg at Upton Park on January 21.

For injury-ravaged West Ham, meanwhile, focus will reluctantly return to the fight to haul themselves out of the Premier League relegation zone.

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce made eight changes to the team thrashed at Forest, handing a debut to new loan signing Roger Johnson, while Toure and Vincent Kompany were among the returning players in a strong City XI.

Speaking ahead of the game, Allardyce admitted that a draw would be an ideal result, but the visitors quickly found themselves overrun. Samir Nasri had driven a low cross across the face of the goal and Javi Garcia had headed wide from a David Silva corner by the time Negredo broke the deadlock in the 12th minute. 

It was a goal of arresting simplicity, with Negredo haring onto a raking 60-yard pass from Toure and lashing an impeccable left-foot volley into the bottom-right corner. Negredo carried on the momentum and West Ham crashed.

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