Manchester City’s bid to win a third consecutive Premier League title got off a bright start, with a 5-0 demolition of West Ham.
Goals from Gabriel Jesus, a hat-trick from Raheem Sterling, and a penalty from Sergio Aguero sealed victory for City, who also fell foul to the first VAR disallowed goal in Premier League history.
No more than two minutes and two seconds had passed since Sterling’s first strike and City had the ball in the back of the net again, only for Jesus’ effort being ruled out with Sterling having been adjudged to have been offside.
But City would soon see the other side of the coin, too.
City fans waited on nervously after Sterling chipped Fabianksi brilliantly to find the net, but this time is was greenlighted and they had a three-goal advantage.
Their fourth benefited from VAR also. Aguero’s penalty – initially saved by Fabianski – was retaken due to encroachment, and the Argentine made no mistake at the second attempt.
City then added a fifth as Sterling completed his hat-trick, as they bettered the goal difference sustained by title rivals Liverpool in their opening match, with Jurgen Klopp’s side having beaten newly promoted Norwich City 4-1 at Anfield on Friday night.
Raheem Sterling takes his goal scoring form into the new season.
Pitchside reaction from hat-trick hero @sterling7 ?
— Manchester City (@ManCity) August 10, 2019
For West Ham, though, there were both signs for encourage and pessimism.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side started brightly and were the better side for much of the first half, but returned sluggish after the restart.