It may now be two days after Manuel Pellegrini’s West Ham United put eight past Macclesfield Town in an incredible Carabao Cup Round Three thrashing, but some Hammers still can’t believe their eyes when they see the scoreline. Today, we are going to break down and carry out a tactical analysis of each of the eight strikes at London Stadium.
After 29 minutes of threatening early on in East London, the home side would finally hit the front against the lowest-ranked team in the English Football League and it would be a relief, the visitors having tested Adrian San-Miguel, at the other end.
As we can see from the image, each image in this tactical analysis having been provided by our friends over at Wyscout, it was a fairly simple header for Michail Antonio, nodding down underneath Kieran O’Hara, after Declan Rice’s delivery, in the aftermath of a West Ham corner.
The advantage was doubled just three minutes later as Pellegrini’s men took a real stranglehold on the cup tie and it would be a peculiar goal, but one special moment for a certain Hammers winger.
We can see from the image, Robert Snodgrass tapping home for his first strike in Claret & Blue, the reason he is appealing is to try to claim the ball hadn’t already crossed the line after Grady Diangana’s parried shot caused some defenders to get in a tangle, it hadn’t, the goal was the Scottish International’s.
There was still some time before the break for the Irons to make it three and it would come from another netting for the first time, summer signing from Arsenal, Lucas Perez.
The third was made by left-back Aaron Cresswell, charging down the left side and pulling an accurate cross back for Perez to volley first time, below, we see the ball on its way to beating O’Hara all ends up and bulging the back of the net.
It would take the dominant Premier League outfit just six minutes of the second half to resume the scoring and for the third strike in a row, it was scored by a first-time scorer.
Yet another summer signing, ex-Fulham star Ryan Fredericks, was the man to get it and it was arguably the best goal of the evening and perhaps goal of the season so far for the East Londoners, stepping inside from the right to ferociously find the far top corner, once again, we see the ball on its way in, off the underside of the bar.
While not many members of the Claret & Blue Army were expecting to see the likes of Fredericks and Snodgrass score, it was no surprise when a League Cup scoring specialist netted his team’s fifth on 54 minutes.
This was another fairly direct goal, Snodgrass picking up his second assist of the night, picking out the head of the former Italy International from a corner, just hiding behind a defender, he would head it into the ground and up into the roof of the net, his fourth in the competition, since arriving in England.
The pattern of excellent team goals from the East London outfit would show little sign of letting up as the second half progressed, neither would West Ham’s knack of scoring, on the night.
From the below image, you can gather that it was a sweeping finish from Snodgrass as he timed his run to perfection to arrive in the box and guide the ball home, this came after some more excellent attacking play on the right flank from Fredericks, to assist him.
By the time the seventh goal was scored, the majority of the 24,833 fans inside London Stadium were quite literally in seventh heaven, dreaming of the Hammers breaking their record winning margin of 10-0.
A mere seven minutes ago, Snodgrass had made it six, now, it was the turn of debutante Diangana to get a deserved goal, you will have probably spotted, this was another off-balance finish under O’Hara, in the wake of an excellent exchange of passes between himself and fellow Academy of Football graduate and U23 comrade Joe Powell.
Powell and Diangana would combine once more for the eighth and final goal of the evening, during the Irons’ highest win at London stadium, but by this stage, the dreams of the hosts smashing their all-time record had all but evaporated.
This was due to the fact that it didn’t come until the 82nd-minute, and the image below tells us that it was another close-range finish from Diangana into the back of the net, putting the finishing touches on a delightful long-range pass from Powell, who is not in picture.
As we have found out in today’s tactical analysis, it wasn’t just the fact that Pellegrini’s Hammers scored eight goals in their Third-Round Carabao Cup clash, it was the quality of the strikes that will make them so excited.
The thought of the magnificent team goals that they were able to string together, albeit against League Two’s bottom side, will give the Irons plenty of confidence, going forward, especially in this competition, although first, for Saturday’s Premier League visit of Manchester United to London Stadium.