Manchester City's dream of winning a successive fifth Carabao Cup title was thwarted on Wednesday night after West Ham defeated the defending Premier League Champions 5-3 on penalty shootout.


The match, played at West Ham's majestic London stadium witnessed a barren draw in regulation time and went straight to penalties, with West Ham scoring all five of their kicks and Phil Foden missing his for City.

West Ham have Alphonse Areola to thank for putting up a man of the match performance with many saves to prevent Manchester City's firepower from scoring.

Both Pep Guardiola and David Noyes made a combined 17 changes to their team, giving more fringe players game time in a busy campaign.

Chances were were far between in the first period and the first real chance fell to Mark Noble in the 19th minute, whose shot from range stung the palms of Zack Steffen in goal for City after a fine move by West Ham that allowed Manuel Lanzini tee up his captain.

From the resulting clearance by Fernandinho, Manchester City hit on the counter with Riyad Mahrez releasing Raheem Sterling, who waited for the run of Kevin de Bruyne, before setting up the Belgian for a shot at the near post, but his effort was well blocked by the Craig Dawson.

In the 24th minute, Manchester City went again on the attack. Oleksandr Zincheko's cross from the left missed everyone and the ball was picked up by Mahrez on the opposite side, who wriggles well to release Cole Palmer, whose shot was stopped by the legs of Areola. He was having a very busy night.

The final big chance of the half fell to the visitors after Lanzini was penalized for a foul close to the Centre circle. Mahrez lifting the ball into the 18-yard box, but Nathan Ake couldn't guide his free header on target.

Mark Noble led the charge for his teammates in the 49th minute. His surging run at the Manchester City defence allowed him to play in Arthur Masuaku free on the inside-left, but the Congolese's effort sailed well wide.

Palmer would, three minutes later turn provider as he placed a well-weighted pass to match the run of Ilkay Gundogan into the West Ham box. The German failed to hit the target from a close but tight angle with his left-footed effort.


Minutes later, it was Masuaku again at the top of it. This time, he was played in by Aaron Creswell who was playing in a more central role in defence. Masuaku's shot was punched backed into the box by Steffen and Andriy Yarmolenko followed up with the rebound but his effort was blocked by compatriot, Zinchenko.

De Bryune went on to test Arreola again in the 54th minute with a left-footed effort from about 20 yards out and the goalkeeper did well to save as West Ham conceded a corner. The Belgian took a quick short corner and on receiving the return ball, sent a cross into the middle where John Stones met it with a point blank header, which Areola showed good reflex to keep out.

Sandwiched between two glorious misses from Tomas Soucek from within 18 yards out was a stinging effort from the boot of Zincheko to force Arreola into another save of the game, before Sterling was presented with the last chance of the game with a free header, but he managed only to guide the ball straight at the goalkeeper as the game ended 0-0 at full time, leaving it to be decided on penalties.

Having lost his first ever penalty kick in his career the last time out against Manchester United, Mark Noble took the bull by the horn to lead his team into the shootout and scored the first kick. West Ham went all to score all five as Phil Foden was the only one who missed for City.

**Concluding Thoughts*

It has been a dream start to the season for West Ham as they set out to show that their performance from last term which earned them a place in this season's Europa League was not a fluke.

Following their victory over Manchester City, the Hammers may now be tagged as favourites having now orchestrated the elimination of the two Manchester Teams.

Definitely, a sense of belief would be running through the mind of David Moyes and his boys on the possibility of going all the way, having done th unthinkable eve without their star man, Michail Antonio

It was the end of an era for Manchester City as they lost their first match in the competition in 21 games, spanning about five years, having won the last four editions.

While they want to always compete on all fronts the Carabao cup may be the least on their mind and ironically, it may have been a good riddance for them in their pursuit of more luxurious defence of their league title and Champions League glory.