Monday, October 3, 2022

West Ham 0-2 Manchester City: Main Talking Points As Haaland’s Double Helps City Breeze Past Hammers

Tom Dunstan in Editorial, English Premier League 8 Aug 2022

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Although Liverpool might have endured a stuttering start to the 2022/23 campaign in the capital, Manchester City breezed past West Ham on Sunday afternoon.

Despite watching the Reds lift this season’s Community Shield last weekend, Pep Guardiola’s men laid down an early marker here as they cruised their way to a 2-0 victory against the Hammers.

With many tipping the defending Premier League champions to make it three domestic titles on the bounce this season, Guardiola would have been hugely excited to see his new attacking talisman steal all of the headlines.

With summer arrival Erling Haaland finding the net on either side of the half-time break, City largely didn’t have to get out of third gear on Sunday afternoon.

Getting off to the dream start in east London, we have taken a look at the main talking points.

Can anyone stop Man City?

Eventually mounting that stunning comeback against Aston Villa back in May as they defended their Premier League crown thanks to a one-point buffer, it is no secret that the Sky Blues are once again tipped as a standout pick this season.

Watching Liverpool have to settle for a lively 2-2 draw away at top-flight returners Fulham 24 hours prior to their trip to the London Stadium, Guardiola couldn’t have wished for a better display here.

Despite only squeezing in a couple of pre-season friendlies over the summer, the one-time Barcelona boss has really seen his side come flying out of the traps.

While City might have witnessed the likes of Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling and Oleksandr Zinchenko all leave the Etihad over the past few weeks, that certainly hasn’t slowed down Guardiola’s star-studded squad.

Asked few questions on Sunday afternoon and a more than worthy winner in the capital, the defending champions could have their sights set on making real history this season.

With a first Champions League trophy at the top of their agenda, the English giants will be next seen on August 13th when they host Bournemouth.

Always a tough test for the Hammers

Although West Ham might have missed out on the chance to make it back-to-back top-six finishes last season, the Hammers have continued to gain a string of plaudits.

Reaching the semi-finals of last season’s Europa League, David Moyes’ men also have a Conference League adventure that gets underway later in the month.

However, despite knowing prior to Sunday’s showdown that they couldn’t have asked for a more difficult start to the 2022/23 campaign, the ex-Manchester United boss saw his side fail to lay down any kind of blow.

Producing just a single shot on target and 24% possession, Moyes has made it clear that he is desperate to further add to his squad before the summer transfer window slams shut.

Despite handing Gianluca Scamacca a debut off the bench and also announcing the arrival of Maxwel Cornet on Saturday, the Hammers didn’t have a single new signing in their starting XI here.

With Moyes’ side winning just one of their final seven Premier League appearances last season, the 59-year-old does have concerns that his side is growing a tad stale.

Haaland steals the show

Although Guardiola might have been impressed by his side’s opening display here, there is no doubt that Haaland has stolen all of the headlines following a clinical display at the London Stadium.

Despite missing what was a glaring opportunity in last weekend’s Community Shield defeat against Liverpool, the ex-Borussia Dortmund striker showed just why he is regarded to be Europe’s most lethal number nine.

Converting from the spot nine minutes before the half-time break and then producing a slick finish past Alphonse Areola to wrap up all three points, Haaland has laid down a real marker to Premier League defences across the country.

While City and Guardiola might have come under some scrutiny for their choice to play without a legitimate striker over the past couple of years, the Norweigan striker offers them a lethal new dimension.

Breaking a string of records during his spell in Germany, Haaland appears to be quite the bargain for City after they paid out the 21-year-old’s £51.5million release clause this summer.

Bagging 86 goals in 89 appearances for Dortmund, can anyone stop City’s new superstar from claiming this season’s Golden Boot?

Match Report:

West Ham: Fabianski, Coufal, Johnson, Zouma, Cresswell, Soucek, Rice, Bowen, Lanzini, Fornals, Antonio

Subs: Areola, Downes, Benrahma, Scamacca, Coventry

Manchester City: Ederson, Walker, Dias, Ake, Cancelo, De Bruyne, Rodri, Gundogan, Foden, Haaland, Grealish

Subs: Palmer, Phillips, Silva, Mahrez, Alvarez

Goals: Haaland (36′ pen, 65′)

Yellow Cards: Cancelo

Red Cards: N/A

Referee: Michael Oliver

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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