Belfast Telegraph

We were blown away, says under-fire Hammers boss

By Paul Hirst

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce admitted his side were blown away by superior opponents in the Capital One Cup semi-final first leg clash at the Etihad Stadium.

Manchester City cruised to a 6-0 victory with Alvaro Negredo helping himself to a hat-trick.

Edin Dzeko grabbed two and Yaya Toure also netted as City turned their sights on Wembley.

"We came in the hope we could do something like performing to our best but we fell foul to a Man City with simply great quality and great talent," said Allardyce.

"Our players could not cope with that. However hard they tried, and they did, was not good enough to stop the quality and talents Man City have bought on the finance that is available to them.

"On the finishing front it was a lesson of outstanding finishing throughout the game."

He added: "They are a side who have outstanding players because they spend outstanding money.

"What do you expect when you have free transfers against players who cost millions and millions?

"Let's face the fact, City have a miles better squad and are on miles better money. For us it is about not letting the players get too low. Because of the loss of our defenders, the goals have started to come thick and fast.

"Our best team simply wasn't good enough.

"Our players were running to try and stop them but because of their skills and abilities they couldn't get near them."

Allardyce can at least cling to the comfort that Hammers owners have backed him.

"They really mean it because we keep talking and communicating," he added.

"We are actively communicating between each other on the injured front and trying to bring players into the club."

Such was City's dominance against West Ham that even Dzeko lost track of the score.

Dzeko scored the final two goals in City's 6-0 rout, adding to Negredo's hat-trick – the first a beautifully-taken left-foot volley – and Yaya Toure's solo goal.

And the towering Bosnian said: "It's not easy to win 5-0 at home against another Premier League team.

"We still have to play away and this 5-0 – or 6-0, in the end – will give us the confidence for the second leg. The first goal is always important, then maybe we can open them up because they were defending with eight, nine players always.

"The first goal was also spectacular from Alvaro."

Negredo played down his personal contribution and said through an interpreter: "I'm very happy, obviously, but especially about the team. We got the victory so that's what matters in the end." On his partnership with Dzeko, the Spain international added: "People were able to see today, when we play together we feel comfortable. We try to find each other and we got the results tonight."

Manager Manuel Pellegrini was delighted to as good as clinch a place in next month's final at Wembley.

"Today was an important result to play at Wembley," he said. "In football it is never finished until the end but today we have one leg in the final. The most important thing was not to score the six goals, it is the way the team must play."

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