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West Ham 0-2 Man City: Erling Haaland scores twice as Premier League champions start title defense with win | Soccer News

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Erling Haaland scored twice as Manchester City began their Premier League title defense with confidence as they brushed aside West Ham 2-0 in front of a record crowd at the London Stadium.

A crowd of 62,443 gathered at the Hammers ground – the largest of any London-based club – to be greeted by the commanding presence of Haaland and the magic of Ilkay Gundogan.

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Pep Guardiola went on to name midfielder Gundogan as one of City’s ‘most important’ components following an ‘outstanding’ team performance, while praising the big improvement since their Community Shield defeat against Liverpool eight days ago.

Player ratings

West Ham: Fabianski (n/a), Coufal (5), Johnson (5), Zouma (5), Cresswell (6), Soucek (4), Rice (6), Bowen (6), Lanzini (5), Fornals (5 ), Antonio (6).

Subtitles: Areola (3), Scamacca (5), Benrahma (6), Downes (n/a), Coventry (n/a).

Man City: Ederson (6), Cancelo (8), Ake (7), Dias (7), Walker (8), Rodri (8), Gundogan (9), De Bruyne (9), Grealish (7), Foden (7) , Haland (10).

Subtitles: Silva (6), Alvarez (7), Mahrez (n/a), Palmer (n/a), Phillips (n/a).

Man of the match: Erling Haaland

The game turned in City’s favor after West Ham were forced to switch goalkeepers midway through the first half, removing injured Lukasz Fabianski and introducing Alphonse Areola, much to the delight of ‘hungry’ Haaland.

The substitute keeper’s error led to a golden opportunity for the former Borussia Dortmund striker, whose clever run was found by a pinpoint pass from Gundogan before he was brought down by Areola. The challenge was rightly penalised, giving Haaland the perfect chance to open his City account from 12 yards out.

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Erling Haaland celebrates his second goal for Man City against West Ham

Predictably, the Norway international found the back of the net with a cool kick to make the breakthrough (26), but it was his second entry that manager Guardiola liked the most. Kevin De Bruyne’s defensive pass sparked the move, with Haaland applying the finishing touch with an “incredible goal” in the 65th minute.

Haaland is the second debutant in Premier League history to win a penalty and then successfully convert it, and the second striker to register twice on his City debut, equaling Sergio Aguero’s feat of August 2011.

How Man City overcame meager resistance from West Ham

Erling Haaland celebrates Man City's goal against West Ham
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Haaland is overrun by his teammates after scoring for City

“Our opener couldn’t be more taxing,” Hammers boss David Moyes acknowledged in his pre-match program notes, and his side felt the full force of City’s attacking vigor when of a match whose entertainment value has continued to grow.

Michail Antonio had threatened to break the deadlock early on, heading a header slightly over the top, but it was De Bruyne who came closest as he rounded an archetypal City move in the 27th minute, after being unsurprisingly found by Gundogan – the goal was quickly scored. by the linesman’s flag.

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Haaland wins and scores a penalty!

Guardiola’s side, who invested heavily in the transfer window but also recouped more than they spent, were led by the summer arrival of Haaland, who fired a warning shot as they attempted to meet Phil Foden’s deft cross midway through half-time, before fully announcing his premier. Emergence of the league with the opening of the match on the spot.

Declan Rice benefited from a momentary lack of concentration from City in the 54th minute as West Ham pounced on a misplaced pass from Gundogan but the shot flew over as the visitors reduced their hosts to snaps and shots half chances throughout.

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Haaland doubles City’s lead!

The game was over when Haaland ran over De Bruyne’s ball nine minutes after Rice failed, leaving Areola stranded as he headed for the far corner. “All talk should be about Man City,” conceded Moyes following the game, his side only able to muster 25 per cent possession in a sub-par 90 minutes.

City’s confident start will only serve to bolster bookmakers’ projections that they are on course to become the first team to win three consecutive Premier League titles since Manchester United achieved the feat between 2007-09. They remain undefeated since October 2021.

Guardiola hails team’s ‘outstanding’ performance

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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola praised Haaland after the game

Haaland quickly adapted to the Premier League champions’ style of play, Guardiola said after the Norwegian’s brace.

The striker was branded a ‘weapon’ by his manager following an outstanding performance, while the quality on display from a team perspective also pleased the Spaniard.

“For the past two years, we couldn’t do it here,” he said. “We are doing an outstanding performance everywhere today. We were much more aggressive. Against Liverpool it was really, really poor, but today we played very well.

“Of course Erling scoring his first two goals is important for him. He has a good threat. Another weapon we have now, but he’s not going to solve all our problems. We talk about the team, as we want to play, the way we want to create chances. We found the right moments with the goals today.”

Erling Haaland's attacking heatmap and stats vs West Ham
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Haaland heatmap and attacking stats vs West Ham

Asked about silencing the critics following Haaland’s sub-standard performance in the Community Shield, Guardiola replied: “A week ago he couldn’t adapt in the Premier League, now he’s at the Premier League. alongside Thierry Henry, Alan Shearer and Cristiano Ronaldo. We all want the new guys to be happy. To feel happy in the city, to feel happy in the team. We want to try to give it our all to become a better player.

“He was very calm, dealing with a lot of criticism this week. The way he took the ball for the penalty, I like that. You have to show ambition. I really like that. What I want, it’s “be part of something” The debate is over, I know he will score goals.

“I was lucky as a coach to be with (Lionel) Messi; if he scores one, he wants two, two, he wants three. The best strikers, they are never satisfied. They’re always hungry, they’re starving. But I want to involve all new players. Fresh legs and fresh minds, then the next one.”

Moyes: discussion should be about City

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West Ham manager David Moyes reflects on his side’s performance

Moyes said his West Ham side had been overtaken by City, who were dominating more than possession statistics, while conceding the Hammers were tactically a step behind their counterparts.

“Really difficult,” he agreed. “City played very well. They changed from last year. We found it difficult today. Tactically they changed. We struggled to outnumber them in midfield.

“We struggled to cope when they pushed him away. We weren’t prepared for that because we didn’t see him. It was really difficult tactically today.

“We tried to do that but we couldn’t get close to them today. Hopefully next time we play them we can offer something different. Both full-backs played either side of Rodri, which was a problem. That’s how I saw it.

“We hung on, we stayed there, against a team that completely dominated us. There were times when we tried, we tried to change it and take ownership of it, but today the discussion should be about Man City. They played very well.”

Analysis: Haaland’s dream debut at Man City

Erling Haaland celebrates his second goal for Man City against West Ham
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Haaland’s second goal came with a smooth move from City

Sky Sports’ Nick Wright:

Erling Haaland’s two-goal performance against West Ham made it a straightforward afternoon for Manchester City at the London Stadium. It also provided a first hint of just how high the Norwegian striker could elevate this already brilliant team.

It was all about patience and time to adapt after last weekend’s Community Shield loss to Liverpool, in which he only touched the ball 16 times and missed a golden-side chance to score , but on proof of his prime minister debut, none of those things will be necessary.

Haaland was outstanding, taking both of his goals brilliantly and causing problems for West Ham which they were unable to solve. Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville described him as “unplayable”, while Roy Keane advised him to score “30 or 40” goals.

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Roy Keane, Karen Carney, Micah Richards and Gary Neville analyze the performance of Manchester City’s Erling Haaland after the striker netted twice in his Premier League opener

“A week ago he couldn’t adapt in the Premier League,” Guardiola said with a smile during his press conference, referring to the reaction to Haaland’s display against Liverpool. “And now he’s alongside Titi Henry, Alan Shearer and Cristiano Ronaldo.”

Guardiola spoke sarcastically, but his goals certainly put him in good company, making him just the second Manchester City player to score twice on his Premier League debut after Sergio Aguero. Early evidence suggests they now have a striker capable of taking over for the Argentine.

Along with his two goals, Haaland ranked first in shots (five), shots on target (two) and touches in the opposition box (10). He even linked play effectively, completing 21 of his 23 passes with a 91% completion rate.

And after?

West Ham are traveling for the second round of the Premier League and will visit Nottingham Forestwho lost against Newcastle the opening weekend, with that match taking place on Sunday August 14, live on sky sports. The game starts at 2 p.m.

Manchester City return home to host Bournemouth next Saturday, 3 p.m., before a trip to face a rejuvenated Eddie Howe Newcastle Sunday August 21, live on sky sports.

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