There will be a new name on the Carabao Cup for the first time since 2018 thanks to West Ham. And the way their season is going, why can’t it be them?
Fourth in the league, one foot already in the Europa League last-16 and now a place in the League Cup quarter finals after becoming the first side to win a tie against Manchester City in this competition for five years.
West Ham won at Old Trafford in the previous round too so nobody would argue they fully deserve their spot in the last eight too.
Phil Foden missed his penalty kick as Manchester City were eliminated from the Carabao Cup by West Ham on penalties
Pep Guardiola (right) and his staff saw their title defence in the tournament come down to one missed penalty by Foden
West Ham midfielder Said Benrahma (right) did brilliantly to seal victory with the Hammers’ scoring all five of their penalties
Foden (left) was the only player to miss from City with Jack Grealish, Gabriel Jesus and Joao Cancelo all finding the net
West Ham: Areola, Johnson, Dawson, Diop, Masuaku (Fornals 62), Soucek, Noble, Cresswell, Vlasic (Benrahma 62), Lanzini (Coufal 82), Yarmolenko (Bowen 62)
Subs not used: Zouma, Randolph, Ashby, Chesters, Baptiste
Manager: David Moyes
Man City: Steffen, Walker (Cancelo 46), Stones, Ake, Zinchenko, De Bruyne (Grealish 83), Fernandinho, Gündogan, Mahrez (Foden 72), Sterling, Palmer (Jesus 76)
Subs not used: Dias, Laporte, Rodri, Carson, Edozie
Manager: Pep Guardiola
Referee: Jonathan Moss (County Durham)
City may well have had occasions like this before during that 21-tie run when they have been below par but always had enough quality to find a way to victory.
But not on Wednesday night. On one of those rare occasions when they needed a little fortune on their side too it evaded them and out they went on penalties.
Phil Foden’s penalty was in keeping with a City performance that was below their usual standards and handed West Ham the initiative in a penalty shootout that they needed.
After Mark Noble – following his recent miss against Manchester United – converted before Foden’s miss, Jarrod Bowen, Craig Dawson, Aaron Cresswell were all accurate from the spot, paving the way for Said Benrahma to score the winning kick.
While his successful effort sparked delirium around the London Stadium, David Moyes was the coolest man in the ground, celebrating with an understand punch of the air.
Inside he must have been feeling very different.
‘You win some, you lose some,’ said West Ham coach Stuart Pearce, who unforgettably experienced all the emotions that come with penalty shootouts as an England player.
‘With the resilience of the team in our defensive work over 90 minutes and the honesty they showed, they deserved to get over the line.
‘It’s a really good night for this football club. Absolutely superb and the players deserve all the credit and I have to give some credit to our manager.
‘He drives this club on a daily basis and anyone approaching 1000 matches has to be taken very seriously and he has done a wonderful job at the club.’
Cole Palmer led the attack for City but it proved difficult to break down West Ham’s resolute defence as they played off ball
Palmer is a rising star in City’s first team squad and with few attacking options he is getting plenty of opportunities to play
Ilkay Gundogan went close but he found his close-range effort thwarted by an inspired Alphonse Areola (right) in goal
Foden has been a star once again this season but he was below par on the night as City were largely kept at bay by West Ham
Both sides made wholesale changes – City nine to West Ham’s eight – but the holders still had 10 full internationals while the hosts’ priorities were clear with Declan Rice and Michail Antonio given the night off.
Despite dominating though City failed to do enough to win the tie in 90 minutes and eventually paid the price.
They again started with a false nine – the exciting Cole Palmer filling the role Foden did so effectively at Brighton – and their fluid movement caused West Ham problems.
But so often when needed West Ham got a body in the right place at the right time.
On the occasions they did not, City’s finishing was wayward with Nathan Ake heading one of their better chances wide just before half-time.
West Ham spent most of the game diligently defending their goal but did have occasional flurries of activity at the other end.
During one at the start of the second half Arthur Masuaku fired over and then had a shot saved before Andriy Yarmolenko’s follow up was blocked.
That sparked City into life. Alphonse Areola, who denied Palmer with his feet in the first half, acrobatically tipped away a John Stones header as the holders stepped it up again.
West Ham striker Andriy Yarmolenko got a rare chance on the night for the hosts but he was unable to find the target
West Ham are flying high in the Premier League and proved once again they can make life difficult for sides as good as City
Much has been made of Raheem Sterling’s future at Manchester City and he was given a chance from the start in London
West Ham boss David Moyes (right) looked pensive throughout but it was relief coursing through his veins after the shootout
Areola also saved at the feet of Ilkay Gundogan and held onto a Raheem Sterling header during the second half while Tomas Soucek was unable to take two presentable opportunities that fell West Ham’s way.
And it was not until penalties that the two teams could be separated.
City manager Pep Guardiola said: ‘It has been an incredible run so one day it should finish. We finish in a good way in terms of performing.
‘We play a really good game and created good chances against a team that defend deep and so well. On penalties unfortunately they were better. Congratulations West Ham for qualification and next year we come back.
‘Phil had the courage to be the first taker and unfortunately he missed it but when you live this kind of experience the next time will be better.’