WEST HAM 0, MANCHESTER CITY 5
Raheem Sterling scored a hat trick as Manchester City thrashed West Ham at the London Stadium to kick off their Premier League title defence in style.Embed from Getty Images
VAR came into operation in the Premier League for the first time and three correct marginal decisions saw Manchester City score twice and have a goal ruled out.
Raheem Sterling was involved twice with one goal ruled out and one given while Declan Rice was penalised for encroachment during a missed Sergio Aguero penalty.
City boss Pep Guardiola had earlier named Ederson in goal rather than Claudio Bravo with new signing Rodri starting in midfield, Gabriel Jesus starting instead of Sergio Aguero, and Riyad Mahrez taking the injured Leroy Sane’s place in the side.
New signing Joao Cancelo was named on the bench along with his fellow countryman Bernardo Silva.
Jesus had put a dominant City in the lead after 25 minutes when Walker raced up the right flank and his cross was converted by the Brazilian.
New Hammers striker Sebastien Haller gave Ederson something to think about with the home side’s only shot on target in the first half.
But City extended their lead when Raheem Sterling scored five minutes after the restart when Kevin De Bruyne sailed past Fabian Balbuena before picking out the England winger with a cross which he converted.
Jesus thought he had scored his second of the day after a dizzying move just two minutes later after Oleksandr Zinchenko, David Silva and Sterling pinged the ball between them before the Brazilian pounced but VAR ruled it out for a marginal offside on Sterling’s shoulder.
The Brazilian was replaced by Sergio Aguero in the 69th minute but it was West Ham who went close next.
VAR awards Sergio Aguero a penalty re-take after encroachment by Declan Rice
Ederson made a superb double save from Javier Hernandez and Manuel Lanzini to prevent the home side from getting on the scoresheet before City stepped up a gear and blew the Hammers away.
Sterling had the ball in the back of the net again with a lob over Lucasz Fabianski from 7 yards out with 15 minutes to go but had to wait for VAR to confirm the goal after more suspicion of offside following Mahrez’ ball down the channel for him.
De Bruyne and Silva made way for Ilkay Gundogan and Phil Foden with 11 minutes to go and city were awarded a penalty after Mahrez was felled by Issa Diop.
Despite Sterling being on a hat trick it was Aguero who stepped up but his poor penalty was scuffed and saved by Fabianski but the City striker was relieved to see referee Mike Dean order a retake.
It seemed the Polish goalkeeper had been penalised for being off his line and encroaching according to new penalty rules but it was Declan Rice who was penalised for entering the box as Aguero ran up to take his first spot kick.
The Argentine had another go which was emphatically finished to the left a second time for give City a 4-0 lead.
And Sterling finally got his hat trick in added time after another VAR stoppage when Mahrez released the England winger who made space for himself and fired into the bottom right corner of the goal.
MATCH STATS – West Ham 0, Manchester City 5
West Ham: Fabianski, Fredericks, Balbuena, Diop, Cresswell, Wilshere (Snodgrass 56), Rice, Anderson (Hernandez 66), Lanzini, Antonio (Fornals 46), Haller
West Ham Subs not used: Jimenez, Zabaleta, C Sanchez, Ogbonna
Booked: Balbuena 61, Anderson 63
Man City: Ederson, Walker, Stones, Laporte, Zinchenko, De Bruyne (Gundogan 79), Rodri, David Silva (Foden 80), Mahrez, Sterling, Jesus (Aguero 69)
Man City Subs not used: Bravo, Bernardo Silva, Cancelo, Otamendi
Booked: Walker 87, Sterling 90+3
Goals: Jesus 25; Sterling 51, 75, 90+1, Aguero 86 pen
Referee: Mike Dean