Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola opened his account in the FA Cup with a win away to the struggling West Ham. Guardiola fielded a near full-strength team against the Irons, with Sergio Aguero, Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva all starting.
West Ham on the other hand were boosted by the availability of Sofiane Feghouli who had his red card against Manchester United in the Premier League rescinded. Striker Andy Carroll also started for the home side in one of three changes by Slaven Billic.
Here’s three things were learned from the first FA Cup third round tie of the weekend:
City back to dominating sides
Aside from a 50/50 game in the first 20 minutes of the first-half, Manchester City switched on the style and upped the tempo. The away side were awarded a soft penalty kick by referee Michael Oliver on the 33rd minute when Angelo Ogbonna bundled in the box with City’s Pablo Zabaleta. Yaya Toure stepped up from the spot to open the scoreline and begin the flood of goal coming the home sides’ way. The Ivorian has never missed a penalty for City converting all 14 spot kicks he has taken. West Ham had the chance to level things soon after but Sofiane Feghouli failed to direct the ball into an open goal from a matter of yards out.
The first-half finished strongly for Manchester City with an own goal from Harvard Nordtveit and Man City midfielder David Silva making it 3-0.
The Hammers lost their way. The second half started much how the first finished striker Sergio Aguero scored the visiting side’s fourth as many were still returning to their seats. John Stones capped off a perfect evening out in London for Guardiola’s men with the fifth goal.
Not playing to Carroll's strengths
West Ham failed to play aerial balls to the tall centre forward to pressurise the Manchester City defence, leaving them to have an easy night out in East London. Considering how susceptible City are at the back, it was surprising how little they were challenged. Wingers Antonio and Feghouli seemed more intent on playing the ball on the floor which seemed the wrong tactic to play against strong opposition. On the few occasions high crosses were put into the box the home side looked dangerous.
Give the kid a chance
With his side 4 nil down and expecting to rest players ahead of their next league game at home to Crystal Palace, Slaven Billic made a double substitution taking off Manuel Lanzini and Andy Carroll for Mark Noble and Dimitri Payet. A comeback unlikely it would have been the perfect opportunity to play some of the fringe players on the bench. The likes of Reece Oxford, who recently signed a new contract with the Hammers must be thinking what more does he need to do to get some game time.
Man Of the Match: David Silva