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Another Hammering sends City into final

IF those poor foolish souls who turned up at Upton Park last night - there were 14,390 of them - had bought a programme, they would have read rallying cries from Sam Allardyce, the club's manager, captain Kevin Nolan and co-owner David Gold.

Aguero scored and lasted 60 minutes to aid recovery from injury
Aguero scored and lasted 60 minutes to aid recovery from injury

The latter called for character and guts, but instead he got complete capitulation.

Manchester City subjected West Ham to another cruel beating, cruising into the Capital One Cup final with a 9-0 aggregate victory. Not for the first time this season it was City's dynamic duo of Sergio Aguero and Alvaro Negredo who did the damage in the 3-0 win. Negredo opened the scoring after two minutes with a close-range header and he rounded off the win in the second half after Aguero had made it 2-0. The strike pairing now have scored an incredible 45 goals between them this season.

"It was bog-standard defending, which was disappointing," sighed Allardyce. "You can't do mistakes at this level to the amount we did them."

West Ham, who were booed off the pitch, were always going to be up against it after the manner of their first-leg defeat, but the main thing that will worry Allardyce was his team's lack of fight on what was another depressing night for the club.Allardyce will also be concerned by the fact that Mohamed Diame and Joe Cole suffered injuries.

It all started so quickly. With just 175 seconds gone, Marcos Lopes was given a couple of yards of space down the left. He whipped in a pin-point cross for an unmarked Negredo who headed home.

City's noisy travelling support started singing about Wembley, although you wonder why they had waited that long. The home crowd sat in silence as Allardyce slumped into his chair with his arms folded.

Aguero and Negredo were combining superbly. Aided by the quicksilver teenager Lopes and Jesus Navas, City were a pleasure to watch going forward, though West Ham were making it all too easy for them.

Andy Carroll, making his first start of the season, briefly woke from his side's slumber to power a header high and wide in a rare home attack.

The inevitable second came with 23 minutes on the clock and once again City had Lopes to thank. The 18-year-old galloped forward and slipped past two West Ham players before finding Aguero - who went on to finish - via the boot of James Tomkins.

West Ham offered little more going forward and they soon found themselves 3-0 down. Negredo did nearly all the work this time. The Spaniard held off the challenges of three West Ham players before chipping the ball over Jaaskelainen from a tight angle.

"It was a very professional performance," said Manuel Pellegrini, the City manager. "It was important the way we reached the final, winning every game. Wembley is important."

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