MAN CITY 5, WIGAN ATHLETIC 0
Manchester City’s abundance of riches was never more evident as they breezed through to the last 16 of the Capital One Cup.
Two goals from Stevan Jovetic – his first for the club – and one apiece from Edin Dzeko,Yaya Toure and Jesus Navas was reward for a dominant display from their new-look side which ought to have triumphed by a more emphatic margin.
Manager Manuel Pellegrini made 10 changes from Sunday’s derby triumph yet was still able to field a starting line up which contained 10 full internationals with a total transfer outlay of £152.8million.
It was a mind-blowingly strong side and was too strong for Wigan who themselves fielded a shadow side making nine alterations from the team which beat Ipswich Town on Sunday.
And of the line ups which kicked off the FA Cup final in May, City had Gael Clichy as the lone survivor while Wigan only had three who started at Wembley.
Pellegrini was delighted with the way his squad players stepped up to the plate.
He explained: “Before the game I told the players to play the same way. We can change names, but it is important we played as we did on Sunday with the same philosophy and performance.
“And scoring 12 goals in the last week is also very important.”
Pellegrini was pleased with impact made by the injury-troubled Jovetic saying he will become an important player for the club.
Former England under-19 keeper Lee Nicholls, handed his first-team debut by Wigan, could not have dreamed of a better start.
Twice in the opening five minutes Nicholls pulled off superb saves to turn over bullet headers from Micah Richards and Dedryck Boyata.
Edin Dzeko also headed over with the goal at his mercy as City dominated the opening stages of the game.
Portuguese under-19 international Marcos Lopes – the 17-year-old was making his debut – then rattled the crossbar with a fierce shot while Dzeko went close for a second time as City maintained a stranglehold on the game.
The breakthrough finally came in the 33rd minute when Brazilian Fernandinho played a delightful chip to Dzeko who slotted home a low shot from eight yards for his third goal of the season.
City ought to have increased their lead early in the second half when Dzeko forced another good save from Nicholls and James Milner, following up, saw his deflected angled shot strike the upright.
Yaya Toure, a half-time substitute for Fernandinho, then had a free header but was unable to hit the target from two yards.
City eventually got that all too elusive second goal on the hour when Jovetic saw his shot stopped by Nicholls only for the ball to ricochet back off the Montenegro striker and fly past the unlucky keeper for the first goal since his £22millions summer move from Italian side Fiorentina.
That was followed by a third goal in the 76th minute when Yaya Toure found the net with a sublime free kick which was curled over the defensive wall into the top corner of the net.
It was his fifth goal of the season and his third spectacular free kick.
Jovetic struck again with seven minutes left squeezing home a Milner left-wing cross and a fifth goal quickly followed when Alvaro Negredo released Navas on the right and he rifled home an unstoppable shot.