It was a rather grim evening for West Ham fans.
Out of the Capital One Cup and mired in Premier League mediocrity, the FA Cup presented the Hammers with one final opportunity to enjoy at least a few special moments this season.
But boy did they waste that opportunity.
Article continues below
Manchester City bullied Slaven Bilic’s team in their own stadium, cruising to a 5-0 win.
The Croatian was understating when he said it “wasn’t good enough”.
Article continues below
Goals from Yaya Toure, David Silva, Sergio Aguero and John Stones, as well as Havard Nordtveit’s own goal, sent City through to the fourth round.
Bilic believes the contest hinged on two moments in the first half - Sofiane Feghouli’s missed open goal and Michael Oliver’s decision to award City a penalty when Angelo Ogbonna was adjudged to have fouled Pablo Zabaleta.
The 48-year-old said, per BBC Sport: “The penalty was the turning point because we looked good until then. It was maybe a soft one.
"We had a great chance to equalise but we didn't. We made mistakes after the goal and started to chase the ball. Quickly it was 3-0 and game over.”
The penalty split opinion. In the BBC studio, Gary Lineker, Alan Shearer and Ian Wright doubted it was a penalty but Frank Lampard thought Oliver’s call was correct.
Yet City were so devastating that they probably would have won the match regardless if the referee had pointed to the spot or not.
Pitch-invaders lifted spirits
In the dying seconds of the contest, two pitch-invaders tried to lift the spirits of those West Ham fans who stayed until the end by re-enacting the penalty.
BBC's cameras cut away from the pitch but thankfully one fan captured it on his mobile phone.
One was dressed as Spider-Man while the other had a West Ham shirt on. It was probably the highlight of the match for the home supporters.
Video: Spider-Man re-enacts the penalty
Funny stuff. Yet it won’t hide the fact that this season has gone terribly for the east London side.
Lampard: The players are at fault. Not Bilic
Lampard, who came through the academy at West Ham, believes the players - not Bilic - are to blame.
“It doesn’t look to me like the problem is him," Lampard said, per the Mirror. "I think the problem is on the pitch, I think the problem is the players.
“It does look like they are shirking, but I think there is a real lack of confidence at the bottom of it.
“You look at their best player [Dimitri Payet] who came on at the end there, the signs are that he might want to go and then you really worry about where they go from there."
Who is to blame for West Ham's troubles? Let us know in the comments section below!
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms