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West Ham 0-5 Manchester City: 5 Hits and Flops

ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
2.22K   //    11 Aug 2019, 01:20 IST

Manchester City players celebrate during their thumping 5-0 win over West Ham to start the season in style
Manchester City players celebrate during their thumping 5-0 win over West Ham to start the season in style

Raheem Sterling netted his third career hat-trick, while there were also goals from Gabriel Jesus and substitute Sergio Aguero as Manchester City flexed their creative muscle to devastating effect against West Ham with a thumping 5-0 win at the London Stadium.

Manuel Pellegrini's side, buoyed by six acquisitions and £71m spent this summer, enjoyed a positive start to proceedings in east London but the Citizens' pressure ultimately told after 25 minutes. As time wore on, they only continued exploiting a vulnerable Hammers backline while keeping a clean sheet despite allowing some promising chances in an impressive victory.


VAR made its Premier League debut: overturning a goal and causing a penalty to be retaken for the first time in the 2019/20 campaign, causing controversy and confusion aplenty among some players in the process. With all of that in mind, here's a look at five hits and flops from an intriguing watch:


#5 Flop: Aaron Cresswell

Cresswell struggled defensively and was exploited against a rampant City attack
Cresswell struggled defensively and was exploited against a rampant City attack

As previously mentioned, West Ham started brightly and matched City in the early stages. Naturally this gave supporters plenty of optimism but it was short-lived to say the least. Aaron Cresswell's inability to effectively defend against Riyad Mahrez and an overlapping Kyle Walker proved pivotal as the visitors gradually asserted their dominance.

Granted, it's easier said than done. But it's not as though the 29-year-old doesn't have ample top-flight experience - 158 league games and counting - nor that the combination play between Mahrez and Walker isn't preventable.

He should have had more support from teammates further forward but even still, Mahrez left him for dead on far too many occasions and this only boosted the Algerian's confidence to roam forward. So much so that Walker too was flying forward with regularity, because they knew they could exploit his tentative nature out of possession.

Mahrez could have scored City's opener, which too came directly down his side. Despite a fortuitous deflection into Jesus' path, he should have done more to prevent Walker flying past him (with a head start!) into the box to deliver the goal-creating cross.

Only Fabianski and Antonio - who came off at half-time - had worse than his 74.2% pass completion rate, while only completing one tackle and block over the 90 minutes. 

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