Debutant Erling Haaland scores in each half with clinical finishes
Champions Manchester City ease to victory over West Ham
Kalvin Phillips makes late cameo appearance for new club
Erling Haaland announced his arrival in English football with two goals, his trademark Zen pose, an s-bomb post-match interview and what amounted to a chilling Nordic warning to Manchester City’s rivals.
Not only are City’s opponents going to get sick of the sight of him meditating on the pitch in celebration, one senses they are going to struggle to stop Kevin De Bruyne teeing up Haaland time and again this season.
We wondered what this City side might look like with an out-and-out goalscorer and Sunday provided a glimpse of what could follow now Pep Guardiola has replaced his false No 9s with a real one.
Haaland’s father, Alfie, was in the London Stadium stands to see his son’s brilliant City debut in which he could have scored a hat-trick against West Ham United and prompted him to swear live on Sky Sports television.
Asked about a couple of chances that got away in his post-match interview, Haaland said: “I should have been there [to connect with Ilkay Gundogan’s cross]. It’s a bit s--- but that’s how it is.”
Haaland repeated the swear word when reminded “steady with the language”, but it was his only misstep of the afternoon. The likelihood is there will be plenty of match balls to come, as Haaland gave notice of how clinical he can be with a penalty, which he won, and a brilliant second goal, created by De Bruyne.
“I was fortunate as a manager to be with Messi and if he scored two, he wanted three, if he scored three he wanted four, and if he got four he wanted five,” Guardiola said. “The top goalscorers, the strikers, they are never satisfied. They are always hungry, starving, they always want more and more.”
Having seen Haaland face some scrutiny over failing to score in the Community Shield against Liverpool the previous week, the City manager added: “One week ago, he would not adapt to the Premier League and now he’s the best – alongside Thierry Henry, Alan Shearer and Cristiano Ronaldo.
“I’ve known him for a month. I know how he handled criticism this week and he was calm, he trained really well. We will see when he is complimented how he reacts.”
Haaland’s biggest impact before his first goal had been felt by West Ham goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski and acted as a prelude to his penalty.
Fabianski felt the force of Haaland’s outstretched boot as he got to the ball ahead of the Norwegian in the 22nd minute.
The goalkeeper required treatment and six minutes later had to be replaced by one of West Ham’s two substitute goalkeepers, Alphonse Areola.
Areola had been on the pitch for only seven minutes when he was faced with Haaland, who is deceptively quick, running at him and the goal.
Joao Cancelo, possibly the first left-back to wear the No 7 shirt and who played more like a midfielder, passed the ball into Gundogan, who turned and set Haaland away.
The former Borussia Dortmund forward easily got to the ball ahead of Areola and touched it past him before being brought down. There was no question who was going to take the penalty, as Haaland picked up the ball before sending it into the bottom corner of the net.
Guardiola said: “The way he took the ball to take the penalty, I said, ‘Oh, I like it’. I think if someone were to take this ball, he would have punched his team-mates in the face. I’m pretty sure of that and that is a good sign. You’ve got to be self-confident, ambitious and have a ruthless mentality. And, of course, he scored it.”
As Haaland sat on the London Stadium pitch in a sense of celebratory Zen, City’s delirious supporters at the other end of the ground were anything but calm.
Only a late flurry of passes among the West Ham players meant that City dipped just under 80 per cent possession for the first half in which they dominated the ball.
Of all the visiting players, Haaland had the fewest touches in the opening 45 minutes and yet he also produced the most decisive, which is what will strike fear into the rivals of the Premier League champions.
Haaland almost slid in a low cross from De Bruyne, which Gundogan then put back across the face of goal, before the pair combined again to devastating effect in the 65th minute for the 22-year-old to double his and City’s tally.
De Bruyne cut the West Ham defence in two with a wonderful pass that sent Haaland through on goal and he opened his body expertly before stroking the ball past Areola and into the net.
This time there was no meditating on the pitch, as Haaland pumped his arms in celebration and looked up to the area in which his father was watching.
Haaland could have completed what would have been a debut hat-trick shortly afterwards, but headed Jack Grealish’s cross over the bar, and he was given a hero’s send-off when he was replaced by Julian Alvarez with 12 minutes remaining.
Haaland and City’s start to the season was anything but “a bit s---”.
City stroll to victory: As it happened. . .
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The rest of the league should be concerned about City after that performance. Haaland has announced himself to English football.
Relive the match below and read the match report above.
Aaron Cresswell reacts
We were up against a much better team there is no denying that. The positives were that we didn't give up.
We started really well for the first five minutes but we couldn't keep that energy up. We found it difficult.
It is not easy on the best of days, even if it is a little cooler. We are not using the conditions as an excuse, we found it tough today.
It was an excellent performance. It wasn’t easy against a team who play long balls. All of them, Kyle Walker, Jack Grealish, everybody was good.
Erling is a good finisher and he is adapting perfectly. He was good. I can’t teach him to score goals and he just needs to be comfortable.
It was good. [It was a] good start there is nothing much to say other than that and it was 2-0. Good to get some minutes in the legs early in the season and we have to keep going.
As expected we saw the potential against Bayern [Munich in pre season] and it was a bit down against Liverpool. It will come with games, it should have been more today.
Michael Owen on Haaland
It was the absolute perfect start. You couldn’t have written a better script. You do want your centre forward to start well and all those questions we had he’s answered them in one swoop – it was an unbelievable debut."
Post-match stats via Opta
Manchester City have now won five of their last six season opening league games as the reigning top-flight champions (L1), keeping a clean sheet in four of their last five such fixtures.
Sean Dyche (15) is the only manager that Pep Guardiola has faced more times in all competitions without ever losing to in his managerial career (exc. Barca B) than he has against David Moyes (13 – W9 D4).
Man City have gone unbeaten in their last 19 away games in the Premier League (W15 D4), extending their longest unbeaten away run in their league history in the process.
West Ham United have faced Manchester City on four occasions in their opening top-flight game of the season, losing all four and failing to score a single goal (conceded 13).
I almost questioned that it might take time for Manchester City and Erling Haaland to get used to each other - and it took half an hour! A sensational performance.
To play as a midfielder behind him would be a dream.
FULL TIME: West Ham 0 Manchester City 2
Perfect start to the season. The champions are up and running. The golden boy has delivered.
Two effortless finishes by Haaland gives City all three points.
90+2mins: West Ham 0 Manchester City 2
Two late West Ham changes: Bowen and Fornals off, Downes and Coventry on
90+1mins: West Ham 0 Manchester City 2
Zouma is down after catching Alvarez's shot in the face.
90mins: West Ham 0 Manchester City 2
Three minutes added on.
88mins: West Ham 0 Manchester City 2
Triple change for City: De Bruyne, Foden and Rodri off, Palmer, Phillips and Mahrez on.
84mins: West Ham 0 Manchester City 2
The home fans are getting a bit disgruntled with their players. They have been totally outclassed in their defence.
81mins: West Ham 0 Manchester City 2
All too easy for City as they pass and move around some very tired looking West Ham players. This has been a statement performance.
79mins: West Ham 0 Manchester City 2
Double change for City: Gundogan and Haaland off, Bernardo and Alvarez on.
77mins: West Ham 0 Manchester City 2
West Ham's play at the start of the second half has been largely extinguished by City. They've stepped it up a gear and are making the home side suffer.
74mins: West Ham 0 Manchester City 2
That De Bruyne to Haaland combo is something I feel we are going to see a lot over the next few years.
71mins: West Ham 0 Manchester City 2
I fear for the rest of the Premier League... Erling Haaland is going to score so many goals this season
— Jason Burt (@JBurtTelegraph) August 7, 2022
69mins: West Ham 0 Manchester City 2
Chance for a hat trick for Haaland. Grealish clips a cross into the six-yard box and the striker heads over.
Probably should have done better.
65mins: West Ham 0 Manchester City 2 GOAL Haaland
Great goal by City. Haaland has made several runs in behind and not been found by his team mates.
This time, De Bruyne finds him. It is a lovely pass by KDB, Haaland runs around the ball to get on his left foot and he coolly finish into the far corner.
63mins: West Ham 0 Manchester City 1
De Bruyne plays a ball across the box. Haaland slides in and doesn't make contact, Gundogan is following up behind him but shoots wide.
The ball goes up the other end and Ederson makes a comfortable save from Benrahma.
60mins: West Ham 0 Manchester City 1
City yet to get out of first gear in this half. Happy to keep the ball when they get it. I think they might be missing the directness and speed of someone like Raheem Sterling to supplement the nice passing.
57mins: West Ham 0 Manchester City 1
Double change for West Ham: a debut for Scamacca as he replaces Antonio and Benrahma comes on for Lanzini.
56mins: West Ham 0 Manchester City 1
That chance for West Ham has sparked the crowd into life and the players are responded. City have got a little complacent.
54mins: West Ham 0 Manchester City 1
Chance for West Ham. Careless play by Gundogan to give the ball away, the home side move forward quickly and ball is cut back to Rice, who blazes over.
He should have got that on target.
52mins: West Ham 0 Manchester City 1
2 - Erling Haaland is the second debutant in Premier League history to both win a penalty and then successfully convert it, after Alexandre Pato for Chelsea in April 2016 (v Aston Villa). Treat. pic.twitter.com/R9WDAlzJIi
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 7, 2022
49mins: West Ham 0 Manchester City 1
West Ham's attackers are being a bit more proactive when City are in possession at the start of this half.
Seems like Moyes got stuck into his players and demanded more.
46mins: West Ham 0 Manchester City 1
City made 373 successful passes in the first half. West Ham made just 74.
Second Half: West Ham 0 Manchester City 1
We're back under way. No changes by either side.
Paul Scholes reacts
The movement of Erling Haaland has surprised me, it's been brilliant. His play outside the box has surprised me too but his sharp movement...just brilliant.
2 - West Ham only attempted 106 passes in the first half against Manchester City - indeed, since 2003-04, their two lowest totals for pass attempts in the first half of a Premier League home game have been in their last two against the Citizens (106 today, 92 in May). Chasing. pic.twitter.com/H7PhBHpUnu
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 7, 2022
HALF TIME: West Ham 0 Manchester City 1
City lead at the break and they are good value for it. After all the talk beforehand, Haaland has delivered.
Incredible pace to win the penalty and he finished with ease. Uphill task for the hosts now.
45+3mins: West Ham 0 Manchester City 1
Bowen's free kick fails to beat the first man. Sums up West Ham's half to be honest.
45+2mins: West Ham 0 Manchester City 1
Clumsy foul by Cancelo on Bowen gives a free kick chance to West Ham.
Cancelo is booked by referee Oliver.
45mins: West Ham 0 Manchester City 1
Four minutes added on.
43mins: West Ham 0 Manchester City 1
City are letting the ball do the work and forcing West Ham to do the running.
With it being this hot, it could have an impact in the second half.
39mins: West Ham 0 Manchester City 1
West Ham are yet to get going today. Bowen and Fornals have barely been in the game. City are deservedly in front and mean business.
36mins: West Ham 0 Manchester City 1 GOAL Haaland
The first of many. Super cool finish by the Norweigan, who sends Areola the wrong way.
34mins: West Ham 0 Manchester City 0 - PENALTY
Gundogan slips in Haaland, who shows speed and power to burst through and he is brought down by Areola.
Haaland to take.
32mins: West Ham 0 Manchester City 0
Patience is the name of the game so far for City. West Ham are being resolute in their defending and denying space in behind.
29mins: West Ham 0 Manchester City 0
Blow for the hosts as Fabianski comes off injured and is replaced by Areola.
The Pole was injured in a collision with Haaland a few minutes ago.
27mins: West Ham 0 Manchester City 0
Man City have the ball in the net after a net move involving Haaland, Gundogan and finished by De Bruyne. But the linesman has his flag up for offside in the build up. No goal.
25mins: West Ham 0 Manchester City 0
City continue to dominate the ball, they've had 84% possession so far. West Ham putting on a press when the ball reaches the half way line.
22mins: West Ham 0 Manchester City 0
It's warm day so the players have a drinks break to take in some fluids.
It is 31C in London.
20mins: West Ham 0 Manchester City 0
Chance for Haaland. City break pass through West Ham's lines and work the ball to Foden. Foden clips a cross into the box, trying to find Haaland but the striker can't quite reach the ball, which goes out for a goal kick.
17mins: West Ham 0 Manchester City 0
Haven't seen much from Haaland. He's been well marked by Johnson and Zouma so far.
14mins: West Ham 0 Manchester City 0
Chance for City. Cancelo bursts towards goal and lays the ball off to De Bruyne but the Belgian drags his shot wide.
11mins: West Ham 0 Manchester City 0
Grealish down after a heavy tackle by Coufal. The referee doesn't give City a foul which upsets the England international.
8mins: West Ham 0 Manchester City 0
Big season required for Grealish. He's got on the ball a few times but hasn't been able to make a key pass yet.
City have made 65 successful pass to just 8 from West Ham.
5mins: West Ham 0 Manchester City 0
Ederson has a nasty bruise on his face after he was caught in the face by Dias. He's fine to continue though.
3mins: West Ham 0 Manchester City 0
City do well to clear the corner but West Ham recycle the ball quickly and Antonio heads over.
A fast start by the hosts.
2mins: West Ham 0 Manchester City 0
Cancelo carelessly gives the ball away. West Ham move forward, Fornals whips in a cross and Antonio's shot is blocked away for a corner.
Kick Off: West Ham vs Manchester City
We're under way at the London Stadium!
Here come the teams
The players walk onto the pitch. Halaand is at the back of the City queue of players. Rice leads out West Ham as full-time captain for the first time.
The first game in the Premier League is always tough – it doesn’t matter where you go. David Moyes has done a good job at West Ham. Erling Haaland is happy here and the connections are good.
How to stop a steam train
What, if anything, can derail Manchester City's title bid this season? Ian Winrow looked at three reasons for the opposition to be hopeful. Or at least not hopeless.
Lack of squad depth, Haaland's injury concerns and a relative dearth of options at full back. Plus, there's the question of Pep Guardiola's future to consider. The manager has hinted that he may even walk away from football at the end of the season.
Guardiola: it's not all about the Champions League
Pep Guardiola says that winning the Champions League is not an obsession and that his unresolved future at the club will not be determined by European success.
Guardiola, whose contract runs out in 2023, has guided City to four Premier League titles but failed to land the continent's biggest prize, with a runner-up finish in 2020-21 their best result in the competition.
"My life doesn't depend [on the Champions League]. I'd like to do it, everyone tries to do it. It's not an obsession," Guardiola said.
Guardiola, who twice lifted the trophy with Barcelona, added that he was motivated to improve the league champions despite a trophy-laden spell since arriving from Bayern Munich in 2016.
"To improve the team and play better. This is the main thing for me. The only thing I'm here for is to make the team play better, and the players individually to play better," he said.
"Everyone knows the titles are there but I'm not thinking what will happen in 11 months if we win or lose... this is the only thing," he added. If we win it will be genius, if we don't we will be failures. Nothing is going to change."
Bowen hasn't given up on England
Jarrod Bowen will kick off the season with two aims - to keep West Ham in the top-six mix and book a ticket to the World Cup.
The West Ham winger was rewarded for his fine form last season with a first England call-up for June's Nations League fixtures.
The 25-year-old should be involved again when the Three Lions take on Italy and Germany in September.
In the meantime West Ham are bidding to build on back-to-back sixth- and seventh-placed finishes.
"The next three or four months are really massive for me in terms of my career," said Bowen.
"Being involved in the summer was obviously great, but coming away from it left me wanting more in terms of being in the next squad and not just be in the one squad and then that's it.
"I want to be in the one in September and then the World Cup, so that's my aim, that's my desire.
"First and foremost it's about the club I'm playing for and pushing them on, but in the back of my mind of course I'd be lying if I said I wasn't thinking about the World Cup.
"Being in that squad made me want everything 10 times more. I want to be in the next squad, I want my form to be even higher again.
"The player and person I am, I always set myself targets and am so self-critical, rather than putting praise on myself. That's stood me in good stead. This season is about even more progression."
Indeed, Haaland starts
⚒ 𝗧𝗘𝗔𝗠 𝗡𝗘𝗪𝗦 🔵
XI | Ederson, Walker, Dias, Ake, Cancelo, Rodrigo, De Bruyne, Gundogan (C), Foden, Haaland, Grealish
SUBS | Ortega Moreno, Phillips, Stones, Alvarez, Bernardo, Mahrez, Palmer, Lewis, Wilson-Esbrand#ManCity | @HaysWorldwide pic.twitter.com/qtZGQvpWpG
— Manchester City (@ManCity) August 7, 2022
West Ham starting XI
— West Ham United (@WestHam) August 7, 2022
Haaland set to start
Hello and welcome to coverage from the London Stadium as defending Premier League champions Manchester City travel to the capital to face West Ham. Big summer signing Erling Haaland is expected to make his debut for City following his move from Borussia Dortmund, where he scored an astonishing 86 goals in 89 appearances.
Shaun Goater, who played alongside Haaland's father Alf-Inge at the club, believes the striker will score goals "left, right and centre". He told PA: "I'm very confident he'll score goals - in fact, I know he'll score goals. "I think give him the best part of a week to two weeks at the start of the season and we'll just see goals coming left, right and centre.
"He'll start to understand and know the qualities that City have, and where his goals will come from, and I have no doubt he will score them - he will really enjoy himself at City.
"I'm not worried about the goals at all. I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up scoring a couple even in the first league game. I really have the confidence not only in him, but how we play and produce opportunities.
"I would easily expect him to be scoring 20 goals, because he's a quality player, in a quality team."
For West Ham, their new striker Gianluca Scamacca will miss the match as he is short of match fitness following his move from Italian Serie A side Sassuolo. Italy international Scamacca joined the London side last month on a five-year contract but David Moyes said the match comes too soon for the 23-year-old.
"Scamacca has only just really joined us, so he's probably a little bit behind, so I'm not expecting him to be available this weekend," Moyes said. "He's not had the chance to play... so it probably makes it very difficult for us to put him out on the pitch so soon. His training is a little bit behind compared to the others. He has trained, but maybe not as regular and as consistent.
"The transfer took quite a bit off as they pulled him out of some games and training at the time, so we've got him in and I like what I see, but we're trying to get him in the best condition we can and get him ready to play."