Premier League 19/20: Manchester City thrash West Ham to get their title defense underway
Manchester City kicked off their Premier League campaign with a comfortable 5-0 victory over West Ham United at London Stadium, with goals from Gabriel Jesus, Sergio Aguero, and Raheem Sterling, who completed his hat-trick at the end. It was for the third consecutive time that Manchester City scored four or more goals in their visit to the London Stadium.
It took City almost 24 minutes to break the deadlock, when Kyle Walker, bursting down from the right, crossed low into the box, which was put into the net by Gabriel Jesus with a deft touch. The second came only a few minutes into the second half, when Riyad Mahrez broke West Ham's play and passed the ball onto Kevin De Bruyne, who waited for the perfect moment to pass the ball to Sterling. The former Liverpool star finished it off with ease past Fabianski to double City's advantage.
Soon after, VAR came into effect when Sterling was found a millimeter offside when he assisted Jesus for his second of the game. After reviewing, the goal was disallowed. But that didn't stop City on their tracks from scoring more. City scored their third, after a delightful lob over West Ham's defence from Mahrez from the right flank allowed Sterling to be one on one with Fabianski.
The City number 7 coolly lifted the ball over the keeper to score his second of the game. VAR again came into action, and this time Sterling was just onside with the West Ham defence, allowing the goal to stand.
Substitute Aguero scored City's fourth from the penalty spot after Mahrez was fouled by Issa Diop in the 18-yard box. VAR again had to intervene, when Aguero's initially penalty was saved by the keeper, but only asked to be retaken when Declan Rice, the West Ham midfielder kicked away the ball from the penalty box after the penalty was saved.
Sterling completed his hat-trick after a pass from Mahrez opened up plenty of space for the former to run in the West Ham box and slotting past Fabianski. It was Mahrez's second assist of the game. New signing Rodri initially had to deal with some pressure from the West Ham players. But as the game went on, he looked more and more comfortable.