Manchester City: Gabriel Jesus (25″), Raheem Sterling (51″, 75″, 91+1″), Sergio Agüero, Penalty (85″)
West Ham United: No score.
Manchester City’s 2019-20 Premier League campaign is, as expected, off to a flying start with a 5-0 win. Gabriel Jesus’ opener, followed by Raheem Sterling’s second-half hat-trick and a penalty from Sergio Aguero, secured an emphatic win for the defending champions at the London Stadium. But while Guardiola was happy in the end, he was unconvinced performance of his team.
As It Progressed
He selected a team with Bernardo Silva and Aguero on the bench. Kevin De Bruyne looked close to his best again. Rodrigo had a solid debut in the Premier League. The champions have not needed much of a tweaking this summer to look as hungry and as formidable as they did last season. This was a West Ham team that will surely play better this season. At times they looked remarkably vulnerable when City outnumbered them in key areas of the pitch or broke forward with quick passing moves.
Pellegrini’s played the club’s record signing Sebastien Haller alone in attack. Manuel Lanzini just behind Haller and it was, all told, a quiet start for the Frenchman. Of West Ham’s five-man midfield, only two finished the game, each of Michail Antonio, Jack Wilshere, and Felipe Anderson substituted as Pellegrini tried to make changes. There was one hint of frustration at his former club whom the Chilean accused of specialising in tactical fouls drawing attention to a foul count of 13 for the visitors to five for the home team.
VAR makes its debut
There were numerous VAR incidents in this game, including a disallowed goal because an armpit was offside. Similarly, a goal that looked off initially was reviewed and given, and we even had a penalty kick retaken because of players infiltrating the box too early. While City rolled and looked good in the process, it’s not what anyone will remember from this game.
Gabriel Jesus thought he had his second of the day, but VAR rules offside! pic.twitter.com/DdE1mTj3KB
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) August 10, 2019
Guardiola joked later that he liked VAR for the retaken penalty, less so for the offside decision against his team. As for the way it killed the atmosphere, he said he had already been through the worst of that. “Listen, after what happened against Tottenham in the [Champions League] quarter-finals – where we have scored in the 95th minute and we were there, all the 60,000 in joy, dancing, jumping and one second later, we lost because it was offside – now I’m used to live these situations. It will never be comparable with what we lived together last season.”
XI | Ederson, Walker, Stones, Laporte, Zinchenko, Rodrigo, Silva (C), De Bruyne, Mahrez, Sterling, Jesus
Subs | Bravo, Gundogan, Aguero, Bernardo, Cancelo, Otamendi, Foden
— Manchester City (@ManCity) August 10, 2019
— West Ham United (@WestHam) August 9, 2019