LONDON (REUTERS) - Alvaro Negredo grabbed a hat-trick as Manchester City crushed West Ham United 6-0 in their League Cup semi-final first leg on Wednesday in another body blow for the beleaguered London club.
City effectively sealed their place in the final at Wembley with another one-sided demonstration of their attacking potency, Edin Dzeko with two and Yaya Toure joining Negredo on the scoresheet.
It was the second time in four days that West Ham have conceded more than five goals after they were knocked out of the FA Cup 5-0 by second tier Nottingham Forest on Sunday.
While City can now relax ahead of the return leg on Jan 21, the result ratcheted up the pressure on West Ham manager Sam Allardyce, whose side are 19th in the Premier League.
Providing City safely negotiate the return leg, they will face Sunderland or Manchester United in the final on March 2.