Manchester City stormed into the fourth round of the FA Cup with a 5-0 thumping of West Ham at the London Stadium on Friday night.
Three goals in 10 minutes in the first half, courtesy of Yaya Toure, a Havard Nordtveit own-goal and David Silva, put Pep Guardiola’s team in a comfortable position.
Slaven Bilic’s West Ham struggled to muster any form of comeback, with Sergio Aguero and John Stones adding the final painful punches in the second 45 minutes.
Here, Newsweek looks at the talking points as Guardiola enjoys his first taste of the FA Cup:
Silva oozes class, composure and grace
When Raheem Sterling’s cross, two minutes from half-time, found Silva alone and unmarked in the West Ham penalty area, the Spaniard took his sweet time.
Instead of hitting it first time past Adrian, which he is more than capable of, Silva killed the ball with a touch the Premier League has been treated to for the past six years.
Adrian was already toppled to his right, face planted to the turf. His compatriot had outsmarted him—as he has done so many before. Silva slotted the ball into the back of the net and the home fans were silenced into embarrassment.
This is an emotion Silva has managed to conjure in many opponents since arriving in the Premier League in 2010. He has helped lift City into the powerhouse it is today. At 30 years old, enjoy him while you can.
Why West Ham is plunging into the January transfer window
We found that out on Friday night. Less than a week into the window opening, West Ham has had offers for Sunderland’s Jermaine Defoe and Hull’s Robert Snodgrass rejected. Celtic’s Moussa Dembele is also linked with a move.
Slaven Bilic craves creativity in his team. It has averaged little more than one goal per game in the 20 Premier League games played so far this season, with the hulking athlete Michail Antonio top scorer with eight and Manuel Lanzini next closest with three.
Even in the twilight years of his career, despite some time in Toronto, Defoe still provides the clinical edge that West Ham so desperately needs and desires in this window.
Here, before Manchester City roared out of sight, the hosts had managed to get at Guardiola’s team. Willy Caballero may have applied ointment to his palms at half-time after Antonio’s early long-range drive, while Sofiane Feghouli was dancing into dangerous positions without managing to find Andy Carroll up front.
Impeccable performance from Caballero. Bravo!
Pep Guardiola showed his intention in the FA Cup this season. A full strength City side was fielded in the club’s opening match in the competition this season, but for Guardiola’s number one in goal, Claudio Bravo.
The Chilean goalkeeper made way for Willy Caballero, who is deployed in City’s cup games, featuring in more Champions League games this season than Premier League.
And while Bravo’s performances since arriving from Catalonia in the summer have led to little applause, Caballero failed to put a glove wrong here. The early shot from Antonio was saved well, particularly after the ball deflected off John Stones, and 10 minutes later, again from Antonio, the Argentinian had to save low to his left, parrying wide to safety.
Guardiola will persist with Bravo but Caballero has shaken the mistakes he was making at the start of the season.
Traveling Mancunians rewarded for Friday night journey
After Pablo Zabaleta was tripped in the penalty area by Pedro Ogbonna, and Yaya Toure drilled the resulting spot-kick low and hard past Adrian, the lower level of the Sir Trevor Brooking Stand burst into life.
Eighteen thousand fists pumped toward the icy east London sky like pistons, chanting Toure’s and his brother, Kolo’s, name. After 10 more minutes, their team was out of sight. A Havard Nordtveit own-goal closely followed by David Silva adding a third saw City over the hill and far away.
This was something the 9,000 away fans deserved. A Friday night third round FA Cup tie, televised on BBC One, wouldn’t warrant the 400-mile round trip from the north-west of England to Stratford.