Oxford United 4-0 West Ham: League One side pull off shock

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By Phil McNulty
Chief football writer at Kassam Stadium
West Ham director Manuel Pellegrini took responsibility as his side have been bundled out of the Carabao Cup in fashion by League One Oxford United.
The Hammers arrived in the Kassam Stadium on the back of an outstanding win over Manchester United to achieve the peaks of fifth in the Premier League, however, Karl Robinson’s side beautifully outplayed and over-powered their illustrious opponents, that ended a complete shambles.
Oxford, now 12th in League One, were high on confidence following a record-breaking 6-0 win in Lincoln City at the weekend and that was a famous and richly merited triumph.
„The whole team did not play nicely. Not only did we concede four goals, but we didn’t create too many chances,“ Pellegrini said.
„We missed too many moves from the start and also the obligation is first on me since I chose the gamers, and also second on the staff that didn’t compete.
„It’s simple to say that we played very badly, but Oxford did whatever they needed to win this game. They played a lot of motivation, with desire and we didn’t play nicely.“
Both sides sides and the only surprise was West Ham endured for so long before withdrawing after 55 minutes when Oxford defender Elliott Moore shot across Roberto.
Oxford, who missed clear chances in the first half by Cameron Brannagan and Anthony Forde, nearly increased their lead promptly as Roberto saved brilliantly from Jamie Mackie.
But there was no escape for West Ham as replacement Matty Taylor switched in Mark Sykes‘ cross with 19 minutes .
Substitute Tariqe Fosu, a hat-trick hero in Lincoln City, raced clear from the halfway line to score with wonderful composure after 84 minutes to extinguish any hopes of a West Ham comeback.
The agony wasn’t over yet for West Ham boss Pellegrini and his abject facet as Shandon Baptiste deservedly capped a man-of-the-match showing with a fourth.
Oxford host fellow League One side Sunderland, who won 1-0 at Sheffield United, from the fourth round in the week beginning 28 October.
„Looking at the scoreboard – 4-0 against West Ham and an extremely powerful West Ham – this will go down as one of the biggest results in the Kassam in the past several years,“ Oxford boss Robinson explained.
The EFL Cup represented a sensible prospect for West Ham to win a prize, but Pellegrini lacked this jolt by making nine changes, leaving out danger men Sebastien Haller along with Felipe Anderson.
He reduced the price as the Hammers made a distressed display, much to the aggravation of those fans that packed one corner of the three-sided scene.
West Ham were slow off the pace and apparently complacent since they were hustled out of the stride since the track-suited Pellegrini didn’t inspire his group.
He maintained Haller back until they were a goal down but after which the momentum has been flowing in the direction of Oxford, who must have inflicted even deeper punishment since they ran riot to the end.
Jack Wilshere squandered an chance to stake a claim as he was over-run by Baptiste’s power. Wilshere looked a spent force in contrast.
This was reminiscent of West Ham’s loss at League One AFC Wimbledon in the FA Cup fourth round last season as they lacked heart and stomach for the battle, surrendering without implying for a moment they’d get back into this game after Oxford went forward.
West Ham have revealed evidence of stability and improvement from the Premier League, which was an altered line-up, but their performance was inexcusable and all the plaudits have to go to the underdogs.
„I thought it was a poor performance from everyone,“ explained Hammers captain Zabaleta.
„We feel sorry about the performance tonight and accountable to the outside fans who reached the game. It was just a terrible night.“
This competition gave Oxford the greatest day in their history when they beat QPR in Wembley in 1986 – and this can be a night which will even live long in the memory of the jubilant fans.
West Ham made changes but, for context, Oxford director Robinson also made six changes and his team coped better with those alterations.
Oxford were in control from the first whistle, setting immediately that West Ham were not in the ideal frame of mind to face a lower league competitor chose to inflict a jolt.
Robinson might have feared the first-half misses from Brannagan and Forde may haunt thembut they won at a canter and it wouldn’t have been unjust had they appreciated an even larger victory margin.
Oxford have scored 10 goals without reply in their previous two matches and this scoreline has been a greater than true reflection of the gulf between the two sides.
Baptiste was outstanding at midfield, the veteran Mackie had been a threat throughout and it is huge credit to Robinson and his players they took a backward step after Moore put them ahead 10 minutes after the break.
Oxford continued to be bold and move in search for intentions, and the celebrations on and off the pitch at the final whistle were completely deserved.
This was a night of pity for West Ham, but it would be an insult and dedication to downgrade the quality of Oxford’s performance that brought this phenomenal success.
„We had the impression in ourselves that we could get a result,“ Robinson said. „I am on the moon for the fans and the players.
„It’s all about the players, on the fans and also around the community of Oxfordshire and the significant factor for me today is the people who came here for the first time in quite a while, that they purchase a ticket and come back on Saturday [for the Celtics game against Gillingham].“

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