Manchester City opens Premier League title defense by bossing West Ham

A day after Liverpool announced title intentions, Manchester City responded by showing why the past two trophies were theirs.

Faced with a much trickier fixture, City went to West Ham and powered past the Hammers 5-0 behind a hat trick from Raheem Sterling.

City also became the first team in Premier League history to have a goal disallowed by VAR, and the first team to retake a penalty after an opponent’s encroachment.

The champions scored their first goal of the season when Kyle Walker chased down a ball near the goal line and cut back for Gabriel Jesus, who cleared a couple challenges to finish:

Sterling’s first was City’s second, with Kevin De Bruyne thundering forward and providing the slick set-up shortly after halftime.

Jesus thought he had City’s third not long after, but Video Assistant Referee, making its Premier League debut this season, ruled him offside and disallowed the goal:

It ultimately mattered little. Sterling scored again in the 75th minute, and then City received a penalty kick when West Ham’s Issa Diop fouled Riyad Mahrez in the 85th minute.

Sergio Aguero’s first attempt was saved by Lukasz Fabianski, but several Hammers, namely Declan Rice, encroached into the area and Aguero was awarded a retake, which he converted:

Sterling scored in stoppage time to complete the second-half deluge, but in truth there was nary a moment when it felt like West Ham was going to get something out of this game.

And the Hammers are a good team, picked to finish 10th in our combined predictions table. City is just that robust with talent, that together with their play, and that great of a side overall.

Liverpool fired. City answered. And this season picked up right where the last one left off.

Manchester City's English midfielder Raheem Sterling (L) celebrates with Manchester City's Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne (2L) after scoring their second goal during the English Premier League football match between West Ham United and Manchester City at The London Stadium, in east London on August 10, 2019. (Photo by Ian KINGTON / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. /         (Photo credit should read IAN KINGTON/AFP/Getty Images)
Raheem Sterling (7) hugs Kevin De Bruyne after scoring against West Ham in Manchester City's win. (Getty)

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