Manchester City hosted David Moyes’ Sunderland for the first game of the Pep Guardiola era. A pacey run from Sterling earned a penalty, which Sergio Aguero slotted home. That was followed by an extended period of pressure from City sprinkled with a few good chances for Jermain Defoe and co., who should have equalized from close range shortly before halftime.
Manchester City pressed on for more goals in what turned out to be a largely uneventful second half, till Defoe tore up the script and scored the equalizer for Sunderland, only for new boy Paddy McNair to concede and own goal at the death and let City secure all three points.
Here are the five biggest talking points from the opening weekend of the Premier League
#1 Shock exit on the cards for Joe Hart?
It seemed Pep Guardiola planned to give his new club and their fans a treat in return for the wonderful welcome and ceremony they hosted prior to their first game of the season. An incredible 4-1-4-1 formation featured the star cast of Raheem Sterling, David Silva, Kevin de Bruyne, Nolito and Sergio Aguero made for an exciting day on the field. And with the world’s second-most expensive defender thrown in for good measure, the fans were brimming with excitement.
However, the biggest shocker apart from Alexander Kolarov playing in central defence turned out to be between the sticks. After a terrible summer at the Euros, a pre-season full of exit-rumours and public taunts by arguably the world’s best manager, Joe Hart found himself benched to Willy Caballero. The only time that had happened so far in his career was in case of injury or the League Cup.
Caballero’s near disastrous clearance straight to a Sunderland player at the first application of pressure only reconfirmed that he is seen as a backup, though he did sweep up whenever Defoe threatened to catch the City defence out. However, Defoe did manage to get the last laugh, and expect Guardiola to splash the cash on an elite sweeper-keeper. Marc-Andre Ter-Stegen of Barcelona seems the most likely candidate.