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Published on January 9th, 2014 | by Ian Cheeseman

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It just gets better and better and better and ……

One of my earliest “special memories” as a City fan was going to the semi-final of the League Cup, a 4-0 victory against Middlesbrough. The atmosphere at Maine Road was electric, the performance by the Blues was fantastic.

This win against West Ham was only the first leg, but it felt every bit as decisive, and special, as that day back in 1976.
There were some good goals back then too. Peter Barnes and Joe Royle finished well, though a rare Alan Oakes drive into the bottom corner was my personal favourite. As good as that day and those goals were, they didn’t quite rise to the heights of the game of 2014.

The first goal by Alvaro Negredo was as good as anything I’ve ever seen. Yaya Toure’s delicious pass saw Negredo hit the perfect, accurate volley into the bottom corner of the net, having judged the flight perfectly over his shoulder. The technique of that goal was amazing.

The other goals were all good.

Who ever doubted that once Yaya Toure (a City liability according to Didi Hamann) strode forward, heading towards the West Ham end, that he would score?

The final goal, included a beautiful back heel by Marcos Lopes, an inch perfect cross by Aleksander Kolarov and a typically accurate finish by Edin Dzeko.

“How much of that performance was down to City’s brilliance and how much was it due to the failings of West Ham?”, I was asked en route home. The way the Blues passed the ball around, one touch, never doubting a team mate would instantly control the ball, tells me it was City at their brilliant best.

I wrote a blog, not very long ago, that suggested City had a “Super Eight”, perhaps it needs to be taken to nine, Alvaro Negredo has pushed his way in, and what a night and what a performance to do it. Wemberly, Wemberly – looks like the scarf “me Mam” knitted me for the 1976 League Cup Final, the one my son wore at the 2011 FACup final, could be making another visit to the National Stadium!

– Ian Cheeseman

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