MAN CITY 7, SHEFF WED 0
(Capital One Cup, third round)
Manchester City scored seven second-half goals, the first four in 13 dramatic minutes, to end their four game winless run and start their defence of the Capital One Cup in sensational style.
Once City belatedly got into their stride, they completely overwhelmed Championship club Sheffield Wednesday at the Etihad Stadium.
Frank Lampard set the ball rolling and also finished the scoring as he scored two of his full debut. Edin Dzeko also found the net twice while Jesus Navas, a penalty by Yaya Toure and a goal of his first senior appearance from teenager Jose Pozo completed the rout.
Indeed,City might have won by an even wider margin as they also twice struck the frame of the Wednesday goal.
City manager Manuel Pellegrini was delighted with his side’s second-half showing.
“May be we had a change of attitude in the second half and we were more aggressive,” he explained.
Pellegrini added that it is not an issue selecting Lampard saying: “It is never difficult to put good players in the team.
“Frank is an important player in our team though, at 36, he may not be able to play three games in a row, but he is a top player in every sense.”
Asked whether Lampard’s loan from New York City FC could be extended beyond January, Pellegrini says there is two or three months to decide what to do.
“We have time to decide what is best for the team and what is best for the player.”
Lampard was one of five changes from Sunday’s home league game against Chelsea. There were also starts for Willy Caballero, Martin Demichelis, Bacary Sagna and Navas.
It was a surprisingly strong City side which also included Toure, Fernandinho and Dzeko while there was also a return to the Etihad Stadium for Jeremy Helan who was on the Wednesday bench.
After a slow and laboured start, City eventually got into their stride as James Milner and Dzeko forced saves from Chris Kirkland while a thunderous volley from Eliaquim Mangala struck the upright.
The opening period was goalless as spirited Wednesday showed why they had lost only once in 10 league and cup games before their visit to Manchester.
The breakthrough came within two minutes of the restart when Lampard marked his first start with a goal as he lurked at the near post to bundle home a Milner cross.
Lampard, who had scored twice in under one hour’s playing time, had two good chances to add to his goal tally as City stepped up a gear.
It was not long before City were on target again as Jesus Navas cut the ball back for Dzeko to sweep home a low shot.
City were now firmly in the ascendancy as Navas added a third goal with a screamer which went in off the crossbar after Lampard had provided the assist.
That was soon followed by a fourth goal when Lampard was fouled when clean through on goal. Kamil Zayatte was sent off before Toure handed out further punishment as he scored from the spot.
Milner came within inches of scoring a fifth when he cut in from the right before striking the far upright with a terrific shot.
City added a fifth goal with 13 minutes left when Aleksandar Kolarov provided a pinpoint cross for Dzeko to plant a firm header past Kirkland.
There was even time for youngster Pozo, labelled the mini Messi, to find the net in the last minutes with a well-struck shot from a cut back by Navas.
City were in seventh heaven when they struck again in stoppage time when Kolarov cut the ball back from the left for Lampard to sweep home.