West Ham swept aside by awesome Manchester City
PUBLISHED: 14:37 10 August 2019 | UPDATED: 14:37 10 August 2019
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The Hammers are crushed by champions with VAR playing a part
West Ham United 0 Manchester City 5
West Ham fought hard, but they were swept aside by champions Manchester City in their opening Premier League match of the season.
A superb hat-trick by Raheem Sterling followed Gabriel Jesus' opener and City were also denied another on the first day of VAR at the London Stadium.
Sergio Aguero also came on to score a twice-taken penalty in controversial circumstances on a tough day for the Hammers.
West Ham's attacking flair certainly tested Pep Guardiola's men, but the visitors were just too clinical for the Hammers and won with plenty to spare.
Manager Manuel Pellegrini surprisingly left new boy Pablo Fornals on the bench, though he still retained his attacking intent by including Michail Antonio.
The biggest relief was the inclusion of Hammer of the Year Lukasz Fabianski, who had recovered from a groin strain that had ruled him out of the final two pre-season games.
And he was called on to make a smart save from Riyhad Mahrez early on, pushing his effort wide for a corner.
West Ham had a shot for a penalty when Manuel Lanzini was felled in the box on six minutes, but in the first use of VAR, it was turned down.
City began to take more control in midfield and skipper David Silva shot inches wide from the edge of the box.
Mahrez hit the side-netting with another shot as City looked for the breakthrough, but West Ham were still causing problems with Michail Antonio and Felipe Anderson looking lively on the flanks.
On 25 minutes, City made the breakthrough and it was a familiar goal that West Ham have been conceding all pre-seaso.
A break down the left wing saw Aaron Cresswell struggling to get back and when a low ball was played into the middle, Gabriel Jesus got in before Issa Diop to finish well.
Kevin De Bruyne had a sharp effort well held by the Hammers keeper as they looked to add to their tally, while Sebastien Haller had West Ham's best effort as his overhead kick slipped just wide.
City controlled the last 10 minutes of the first half with their possession football, but they couldn't carve out any decent chances and West Ham would have been happy to go in at the break trailing by just one.
Fornals replaced Antonio at the break, but it was City who resumed control and made it 2-0 on 50 minutes.
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A superb passing move cut the West Ham defence to shreds and Raheem Sterling was left with the simple task of picking his spot past Fabianski.
Things almost got worse for the Hammers three minutes later when another clinical move saw Jesus tap in from close range.
However, the goal was ruled out on VAR for offside and West Ham breathed again.
Robert Snodgrass quickly replaced Jack Wilshere in midfield and he got in the action when his free-kick from the left was headed just over by Diop.
West Ham made their last change with 25 minutes still to play as Javier Hernandez replaced the fast fading Anderson.
And West Ham came close on 72 minutes as Ederson made a double save. First, Hernandez effort was pushed out by the City keeper and Manuel Lanzini headed it goalwards from the rebound only for the keeper to be there again.
A couple of minutes later, City did make it three as Sterling stole into the box and skilfully lifted the ball over the keeper.
City were awarded a penalty with seven minutes left as Diop brought down Mahrez. Fabianski made a fine save from Sergio Aguero, but inexplicably the penalty was ordered to be retaken and this time he sent the keeper the wrong way.
It was a sorry state of affairs that was prevalent in the Women's World Cup and it seems to be something that needs to be sorted and soon.
In the end it didn't matter as City were easy winners, making it five in injury time as Sterling slotted in his hat-trick to make it five.
West Ham: Fabianski, Fredericks, Balbuena, Diop, Cresswell ©, Rice, Wilshere (Snodgrass 56), Antonio (Fornals h/t), Lanzini, Anderson (Hernandez 65), Haller.
Unused subs: Roberto, Zabaleta, Ogbonna.
Yellow Cards: Balbuena, Anderson, Mahrez, Sterling.
Referee: Mike Dean.