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Five Things We Learned: West Ham 0-0 (5-3 Penalties) Man City (Carabao Cup)

Four and out. Manchester City bowed out of the Carabao Cup via a 5-3 penalty shoot-out defeat to West Ham at the London Stadium on Wednesday night, after the game ended 0-0 in normal time.

It was bound to come to an end at some point.

Five years and one day since Manchester City were last knocked out of the Carabao Cup, Pep Guardiola's side suffered a 5-3 penalty shoot-out loss to West Ham.

The game ebbed and flowed, but no team really seized the initiative and created clear-cut opportunities. Maybe the best of the night fell to John Stones, whose flicked header was well saved by Alphonse Areola in the Hammers' goal.

After 93 minutes, referee Jonathan Moss brought the game to a close and it was time for penalty kicks - I think every Manchester City fan knew where this was going. 

Phil Foden dragged the first City penalty wide, and West Ham capitalised with five flawless spot-kicks to send the Hammers into the quarter-finals.

Here are five things we learned from the game!


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The Carabao dominance is over...

Sigh. The greatest cup competition in the world will not be won by Manchester City this season. Hang on, it's a tinpot trophy anyway - who cares, right?

Jokes aside, instead of reflecting on the disappointment of Wednesday night, think about how much joy winning such a random trophy has brought everyone over the past four years.

Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened. 


Raheem Sterling just can't find any form 

It's very frustrating watching Raheem Sterling play at the moment.

Not just frustration at his overall performance, it's frustration that he can be so, so much better.

The full repertoire was on display against West Ham; from taking one too many touches, to running into blind alleys.

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There's not much we can say anymore, let's just hope he can turn it around sooner rather than later - because it's gone past becoming a worry.


A mental block with penalties

Manchester City's issue with world-class players not being able to kick a ball from 12 yards into a massive goal is so bizarre. 

In all seriousness, I think most City fans knew when the final whistle was blown that we would not be in the hat for the quarter-final draw.

The players just don't ooze confidence when stepping up.

Phil Foden - who is a highly technical footballer - managed to miss the target completely, when he can sometimes stick it in the top corner from 30 yards. 

Maybe penalties are the new 'Typical City'.


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Let's have a chat about Kevin...

Only a short point on this because it's probably nothing.

Let's be completely honest, Kevin De Bruyne hasn't looked himself since his return from injury. He's had two pretty nasty ones in the past 12 months, so it's understandable, but at times against West Ham, he couldn't pass a ball two yards.

I hope it's just a bit of rustiness, but I just thought I'd bravely throw the suggestion out there in case anyone else agrees. 


End on the positives

There's one real positive to come from Manchester City's elimination - the players will get an extra few days rest.

Instead of a relentless schedule that would include a two-legged semi-final, the Blues will now have an extra few days of rest and recuperation in an already demanding winter schedule.

Onto Saturday!


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