Second-half goals from Jeremy Doku, Bernardo Silva and Erling Haaland saw reigning Premier League champions Manchester City come from behind to claim a 3-1 win at West Ham United.
Haaland went into the game at the London Stadium having netted twice on his Premier League debut last season, six times in four league games this term, but hit the back post at the end of Josko Guardiola’s 15th-minute drilled cross.
James Ward-Prowse, excellent since swapping Southampton for east London last month, showed him how it’s done in the 36th minute when he bent over Vladimir Coufal’s cross.
Doku was partly to blame for that goal, but City’s recent addition was a live wire presence down the left flank and his low 43rd-minute cross was poked goalwards by Haaland from a tight angle, only for Nayef Aguerd to clear.
The Belgium international decided to go it alone in the first minute of the second half, persuading Coufal to back off before stroking a right-footed shot beyond Alphonse Areola into the far corner for his first City goal.
Julian Alvarez then rattled the post from the free-kick and Areola excelled to keep out Haaland’s volley from Rodri’s chipped pass.
The key moment was Ederson’s save after the hour from Kurt Zouma. His counterpart was helpless as Nayef Aguerd misjudged Alvarez’s lofted ball and Silva finished 14 minutes from time.
Areola claimed another victory in his mini-battle with Haaland when he dispatched the Norwegian superstar from Kyle Walker’s cross, but City’s top scorer had the final say from Silva’s measured pass.
Man City player ratings (4-3-3)
GK: Ederson – 7/10 – Made a couple of huge interventions in the second half; first rushing out to deny Antonio and then denying Zouma with an excellent save.
RB: Kyle Walker – 7/10 – Didn’t have much success in a high and wide position, so Guardiola adjusted his role and brought him inside where he had a greater influence.
CB: Ruben Dias – 7/10 – Standard Dias. Rarely flummoxed.
CB: Manuel Akanji – 6/10 – There were a couple of times when Antonio got the better of him and Akanji surrendered a corner.
LB: Josko Gvardiol – 6/10 – Stellar in possession, but West Ham had success breaking down Gvardiol’s flank, especially in the first half.
CM: Rodri – 8/10 – These sorts of displays are simply the majestic norm for the Spaniard.
CM: Bernardo Silva – 7/10 – Wasn’t the most influential of Bernardo showings until he crept in behind a deep West Ham defence and poked the ball beyond Areola to give City the lead.
AM: Julian Alvarez – 8/10 – While Doku was a menace out wide, City turned to Alvarez to pick the lock in central areas which the Argentine did on multiple occasions. Who needs Kevin De Bruyne?
RW: Phil Foden – 6/10 – Foden had a couple of nice sequences, but the hosts’ compact block made it tough for him. Removed midway through the second half.
ST: Erling Haaland – 7/10 – After spurning four great chances, Haaland eventually got his goal late on.
LW: Jeremy Doku – 8/10 – Turned the ball over for West Ham’s opener, but was a constant threat throughout and his fine finish restored parity at the start of the second period. Such an exciting player to watch.
SUB: Matheus Nunes (68′ for Phil Foden) – 6/10
SUB: Sergio Gomez (90′ for Doku) – N/A
SUB: Rico Lewis (95′ for Haaland) – N/A
SUB: Nathan Ake (95′ for Gvardiol) – N/A
SUB: Oscar Bobb: (95′ for Bernardo) – N/A
Subs not used: Scott Carson (GK), Stefan Ortega (GK), Kalvin Phillips.
Pep Guardiola – 8/10 – City were dominant against a tough West Ham side, with Pep’s half-time chat perhaps inspiring a quick response after half-time. Also made a savvy tactical move involved Walker’s positioning.