West ham 3 (Haller 22, 26, Anderson 79) Charlton 0.
Charlton slipped quietly out of the Carabao Cup on Tuesday evening at an East London athletics stadium masquerading as a football ground. West Ham experienced no more difficulty in dismissing them than the Addicks themselves encountered at Crewe three days previously. In each case the losers were put firmly in their place by their superiors.
A Hammers selection including only one survivor from their opening day defeat by Newcastle was still surprisingly strong and was never seriously troubled as they coasted into the third round. Sebastian Haller's quickfire double midway through the first half prematurely decided the issue, with Anderson applying the coup-de-grace ten minutes from time.
The result, of course, meant little to Lee Bowyer, who understandably was more interested in gleaning positives from his team's performance -of which there were plenty. At times, particularly during a vastly improved second period, the resurgent visitors hung in with their Premier League hosts. To be honest, they rarely looked like reducing their arrears but the chivvying, scurrying Jonny Williams twice inconvenienced Darren Randolph with uncharacteristically powerful shots from distance. Alfie Doughty (pronounced Doe-etee by West Ham's irritating commentator, also the owner of an eagle-eye which detected three clearcut penalties for handball, all of them outrageously denied the Hammers by Andre Marriner) was a pacy, direct threat to David Moyes' often startled defence.
In central midfield, meanwhile, loanee Dyland Levitt operated under the radar but showed enough, with cool, constructive passing, that his Manchester United pedigree will eventually out. Elsewhere, Deji Oshilaja and Darren Pratley stuck gamely to their guns while Charlie Barker was irreverently underawed by the company he was keeping.
In the attacking third, where the solitary Macauley Bonne toiled fruitlessly, Charlton were no match for the East Londoners, whose clinical finishing, as exemplified by Haller, was different class. Haller had already made a mess of an early chance laid on for him by Ben Johnson before he delivered the one-two combination which ended the contest. His opener was served up on a plate by Andriy Yarmolenko, who moved through spreadeagled resistance on to Josh Cullen's lofted pass before squaring for Haller to tap home from three yards. Four minutes later, the towering striker rose effortlessly above an overmatched Deji Oshilaja to head Robert Snodgrass' accurate cross beyond Ben Amos into the top left corner. With over an hour left, both sides were already going through the necessary motions.
While enjoying a fair share of the exchanges after the break, Charlton were handed another lesson in finishing by Moyes' second-string Irons. Manuel Lanzini was making heavy weather of sorting out his feet before scoring when Felipe Anderson stepped in to drill past Amos from the penalty spot.
Despite on this occasion reporting in hospitable conditions from the civilised end of the Blackwall Tunnel, your reporter confesses to chronic apathy about competitions like the Carabao Cup. In fact, there are times when that apathy morphs into downright hostility. So for the time being, that's all she wrote. Or, more accurately, he wrote.
West Ham: Randolph, Balbuena, Yarmolenko, Lanzini, Diop, Anderson, Snodgrass (Coventry 83), Haller, Masuaku, Johnson (Ashby 83), Cullen. Not used: Martin, Fornals, Bowen, Silva, Alese. Booked: Johnson, Masuaku
Charlton: Amos, Lapslie, Barker, Oshilaja, Pratley (Gilbey 77), Purrington, Williams (Washington 73), Oztumer, Levitt, Bonne (Aneke 46), Doughty. Not used: Maynard-Brewer, Forster-Caskey, Morgan, Vennings.
Referee: Andre Marriner.