Manchester City produced a first-half masterclass before fighting off a second half West Ham resurgence to clock up their third victory in the league this season. Manchester City flew off the blocks as they dominated the opening exchanges before a sublime move resulted in their first goal by Raheem Sterling. They soon doubled their lead when De Bruyne’s wickedly crossed free-kick was headed in by Fernandinho. City were in cruise control with their attacking players repeatedly carving open the Hammers backline. But they weren’t able to add to the score as the teams headed into the tunnel at half-time. The second half saw City drop their intensity a little and that was enough for West Ham to capitalise on, as Antonio scored a goal which changed the flow of the match slightly. But City held on and Sterling provided a brilliantly cheeky finish to add deserved gloss to the scoreline.
We look at the 3 talking points from the match-
MANCHESTER CITY THE TEAM TO BEAT
Pep Guardiola was expected to transform his team on the lines of his previous teams at Barca and Bayern but no one expected the transformation to be so rapid. The City players are lapping up his instructions and some of the attacking play and the desire to win the ball back was breathtaking. Though the second half showed that they are far from a finished article, with the likes of Gundogan and Sane still to join along with Kompany in defence, the Sky Blues will certainly be the team to beat this season.
ANTONIO CAN’T DO IT ALL BY HIMSELF
For a second consecutive week, Antonio scored for the Hammers which eventually turned out to be a mere consolation goal.
For a second match in running West Ham were uninspired in attack and though one might argue about the quality of the City team, without Payet, they were similarly lacklustre last week. Dmitri Payet’s return can’t come soon enough.
POTENTIALLY THE BEST MANCHESTER DERBY COMING UP?
The Manchester derby has gone though many layers thoughout the years. And City’s surprising dominance over their neighbours in the last couple of seasons has certainly added an extra zing to the match. But this year things are really shaping up to be explosive. Two top managers who are also fierce rivals. Two teams at the top of the table. Two teams full of superstars. Never have the stakes been so high. And by the looks of it, one of these two teams are on the way to the title.