Manchester City had little trouble overcoming West Ham at the London Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Two goals from Erling Haaland on his Premier League debut were enough to seal the win for City who are bidding to defend their title. Kalvin Phillips also made his debut for Pep Guardiola’s side as a late second-half substitute. Over 62,500 fans were in attendance – a record West Ham home crowd.
Erling Haaland scored twice on his Premier League debut for Manchester City in a routine 2-0 win away to West Ham United.
After a decent start from the Hammers, the reigning Premier League champions dominated and hardly put a foot wrong with their passing in the first half.
A key moment was goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski, who had started the game well, being forced off with an injury around the half hour mark to be replaced by Alphonse Areola.
And it was Areola who conceded a penalty on 36 minutes after clumsily bringing down Haaland. The Norwegian picked himself up to dispatch the spot-kick coolly into the bottom corner to open his account for City.
David Moyes, whose starting XI had contained none of his summer signings, did bring on new Italian striker Gianluca Scamacca around the hour mark with his side looking to punish some uncharacteristically sloppy passing from the visitors.
And the Hammers did improve but Haaland killed the game off with a well-taken low finish after running onto Kevin De Bruyne’s through-ball to make it a debut to remember.
No bedding in period needed for Haaland based on today’s evidence.
The 22-year-old looked very much at home in a City shirt, showcasing his movement for the penalty which he won and clinically dispatched.
And the way he shaped his run and opened up his body to send the ball past Areola after De Bruyne’s perfectly weighted pass was special.
That miss against Liverpool last week in the Community Shield does not look to have affected his confidence. His chemistry with his team-mates early on will be a frightening sight for defenders.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH
Erling Haaland (Man City): Two crucial goals to win City the game and give them a two-point cushion over Liverpool after week one. A sensational debut.
WEST HAM: Fabianski n/a, Johnson 7, Cresswell 6, Zouma 5, Coufal 6, Soucek 5, Rice 7, Lanzini 5, Fornals 5, Bowen 4, Antonio 5. Subs: Arreola 5, Scamacca 7, Benrahma 6. Downes n/a, Coventry n/a.
MANCHESTER CITY: Ederson 6, Walker 5, Dias 5, Ake 5, Cancelo 6, Gundogan 7, Rodri 5, De Bruyne 7, Grealish 6, Haaland 9, Foden 7. Subs: Alvarez n/a, Silva n/a. Mahrez n/a, Phillips n/a, Palmer n/a.
26′ – DISALLOWED GOAL! Gundogan fizzes a ball across goal where De Bruyne is waiting to tap it in but the German is flagged offside
28′ – INJURY BLOW FOR HAMMERS! Fabianski hasn’t recovered after bravely punching clear an early cross and is replaced by Alphonse Areola
36′ – PENALTY TO CITY: Haaland is clumsily brought down by Areola off his line. The Norwegian steps up and his spot-kick goes in the bottom corner, sending the keeper the wrong way.
65′ – ANOTHER GOAL FOR HAALAND! Low finish from Haaland, opening his body to convert De Bruyne’s through-ball.
Erling Haaland is the second Manchester City player to score a brace on his Premier League debut following Sergio Aguero in August 2011.