Manchester City was knocked out of the Carabao Cup after West Ham United won 5-3 on penalties
Keep a record of the date. Manchester City has been eliminated from the Carabao Cup. West Ham United’s 5-3 penalty-shootout triumph after a 0-0 draw at the London Stadium terminated one of the most extraordinary records in top-flight football. It had been five years and one day since Pep Guardiola’s club was eliminated from the league.
City hasn’t lost a Carabao Cup tie since Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United — yep, Jose Mourinho. City has won four straight Carabao Cups since that 1-0 setback at Old Trafford in October 2016, equaling Liverpool’s record of four consecutive wins achieved between 1981 and 1984.
Liverpool’s streak ended in a third-round loss to Tottenham Hotspur in October 1984, so City may claim to have gone one better than Liverpool by extending their title defense into the fourth round of their effort to make it five in a row.
“A fantastic run has come to an end,” Guardiola stated. “We got off to a good start. We played exceptionally well, creating chances against a deep-defending opponent. They were superior on penalty kicks.
“But congratulations to West Ham, they are a fantastic team with a fantastic manager. But next year we will be back.”
Guardiola’s club had been so dominant in this league for so long that teenager Cole Palmer, who started the game in the City forward line, was still in school the last time they were knocked out before Christmas. All winning streaks and times of supremacy come to an end — just ask supporters of Barcelona and Manchester United right now.
However, City’s setback at West Ham does not spell the end of Guardiola’s winning streak. It simply goes to show how dominant they’ve been since the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach took over at the Etihad Stadium in the summer of 2016.
The first team to defeat Manchester City in the Carabao Cup in 1,827 days 😁 pic.twitter.com/q1JvmbeXQb— West Ham United (@WestHam) October 27, 2021
Only one player on duty for City that night, Raheem Sterling, is still at the club today, which is a noteworthy statistic from that defeat at Old Trafford five years ago. Six of United’s players from that win are still in the squad, highlighting City’s aggressive pursuit of success vs United’s more patient, and ultimately failed, approach across town.
City has always pushed to improve under Guardiola, so players have come and gone, but the winning attitude has remained the same. That’s why, against David Moyes’s team in London, City was still looking for a winner in the final seconds.
During the three minutes of stoppage time at the end of the 90 minutes, Phil Foden came close to scoring with a left-footed attempt from 20 yards, while Sterling forced Alphonse Areola into a critical save with a header with the game’s final touch. West Ham had also come close, with Tomas Soucek wasting two fine second-half chances, but City was the superior team after Guardiola’s starting eleven had performed admirably.
Moyes made eight changes from the team that beat Spurs at the weekend, with neither Declan Rice nor Michail Antonio included in the matchday squad, and it appeared to be a huge risk for the former Everton boss given Guardiola’s strength. West Ham, though, with the support of a sold-out crowd, was able to withstand moments of intense pressure and force the game to penalties.
Guardiola would have been confident in his team’s prospects after overseeing a perfect record of five wins from five shootouts as City manager, four of which came during the five-year streak in this competition. But Foden’s miss from the spot gave West Ham an advantage they did not waste, as Mark Noble, Jarrod Bowen, Craig Dawson, Aaron Cresswell, and, with the decisive kick, Said Benrahma all beat City keeper Zack Steffen.
Benrahma’s penalty sealed City’s fate and allowed them to relinquish control of the Carabao Cup. However, the fact that they went all the way to penalties demonstrated Guardiola’s and his team’s determination.
However, it was West Ham’s night. The Premier League, Champions League, and FA Cup are now City’s only concerns.