Manchester City began their title defence with resounding 5-0 win over West Ham United at the London stadium. First half strike from Brazil international Gabriel Jesus gave the Cityzens the lead with Raheem Sterling getting a hattrick but a controversial call from VAR denied City another goal in the game.
Pep Guardiola made a lot of changes to his team that defeated Liverpool in the Community Shield but surprisingly named Sergio Aguero and Bernardo Silva among his subs today, as he welcome Aymeric Laporte, Riyad Mahrez back to the team. Manuel Pellegrini gave his summer signing Sebastien Haller his Premier League debut against the champions playing off a familiar three-man attacking midfield of Felipe Anderson, Lanzini and Antonio. Fabianski missed last weekend’s friendly against Athletic Bilbao, but he has recovered from a minor injury to replace Jimenez in goal. Fornals, another player who has arrived at the London Stadium amid much fanfare, starts this opening game of the season among the subs.
The Hammers started as the best team in the early minutes but City got the first chance in the game. In the 10 minute, Mahrez drew a stunning save from West Ham goalie Fabianski. The AFCON winners comes inside from the right and curls a shot towards the bottom corner, but the Polish goalkeeper gets down to make the save.
After 25 minutes of play, the champions may have been below par in the opening quarter of the match, but they are up and running for the season with their first goal. Walker races in behind Cresswell down the right and cuts the ball back into a dangerous zone. Diop appears to get a small touch but the final touch is provided by Jesus at the near post.
Guardiola’s side were back in control of the game after a scary start. They are far from comfortable. De Bruyne takes matters into his own hands with a powerful shot from 15 yards following a quick one-two, but Fabianski is equal to it once again.
The Cityzens ended the first 45 minutes with a deserved 1-0 lead with West Ham giving them a run in.
The defending champions started the second 45 minutes just like they ended the first, and got quick two goals but one was cancelled by VAR.
After just six minutes of play the Cityzens made it 2-0, Sterling who was on target in the Community Shield last weekend, makes it two in two. De Bruyne carries the ball past a couple of players and slides it into the path of Sterling, who keeps his composure by slotting hit shot through the legs of Fabianski.
Sterling continues to dominate. #ManCity #EPLIsBack pic.twitter.com/OC28bXB3y2
— O-B (@Obnoxious_Sport) August 10, 2019
History was made in the Premier League in the 53rd minute, Jesus thought he has got a brace but his goal was ruled out by VAR after Sterling was caught offside.
Gabriel Jesus goal was chalked off because Sterling arm was offside #VARstrikes pic.twitter.com/YgdvP2XcT0
— The Sportz Zone (@SportzGlobal) August 10, 2019
In the 74 minute, Ederson made a superb double save, all of a sudden West Ham show some bite in the final third as Hernandez instinctively turns a cross on target from close range, forcing Ederson into the first of his saves. Lanzini then gets his head to the loose ball and Ederson dives across to his right to keep his clean sheet intact. City got their deserved third goal in the 75th minute with Sterling getting his brace in the game, and this one is allowed to stand after a VAR check. Sterling makes a good run through the middle, controls Mahrez’s pass and lifts a brilliant finish over Fabianski.
Sterling scores his second goal vs West Ham! #WHUMCIpic.twitter.com/ThF4OC96P1
— GoalLive (@GoalLive24) August 10, 2019
City were given a penalty in the 84th, Fabianski’s poor clearance puts his side in danger. Mahrez is brought down by Diop inside the box before he can think about shooting and Mike Dean points to the penalty spot. Aguero refuses to let Sterling take the penalty and he instead steps up. The spot-kick is poor and Fabianski makes the save, but it was retaken as Rice encroached into the box and the Argentine made no mistake by making it four.
Aguero makes it 4. Var thank you ? #MCFC
— ManCityzens.com (@ManCityzenscom) August 10, 2019
Sterling finally got his hattrick as he shows great composure to slot the ball past Fabianski. He takes Mahrez’s deep pass in his stride, taking a couple of touches to set himself before picking his spot. Fabianski could have done better, though.
Starting Line Up;
MAN CITY (4-3-3): Ederson; Kyle Walker, John Stones, Aymeric Laporte, Oleksandr Zinchenko; Kevin De Bruyne, Rodri, David Silva; Riyad Mahrez, Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling.
Man City subs: Nicolas Otamendi, Joao Cancelo, Phil Foden, Sergio Aguero, Ilkay Gundogan, Bernardo Silva, Claudio Bravo.
WEST HAM (4-2-3-1): Lukasz Fabianski; Ryan Fredericks, Issa Diop, Fabian Balbuena, Aaron Cresswell (c); Jack Wilshere, Declan Rice; Michail Antonio, Manuel Lanzini, Felipe Anderson; Sebastien Haller.
West Ham subs: Pablo Zabaleta, Angelo Ogbonna, Robert Snodgrass, Javier Hernandez, Pablo Fornals, Carlos Sanchez, Roberto Jimenez.