Haaland leads Man. City to 2-0 win over West Ham in Premier league opener
Sports Desk, Aug 7 (EFE).- With the help of Ilkay Gundogan and Kevin De Bruyne, Erling Haaland led Manchester City to a 2-0 road win over West Ham United to start off the season and make his debut in the Premier League.
After falling to Liverpool last week’s Community Shield matchup, where Haaland came up with zip, Man City – but particularly the 22-year-old Norwegian – found the winning combination on Sunday at London Stadium before 55,000 fans.
Last weekend, Haaland touched the ball a mere 20 times, so – in effect – it was no wonder he came up short in his first outing with Pep Guardiola’s boys, but on Sunday he had just 32 touches, and yet they proved to be the recipe he needed for his brace and the team needed for the win.
Although the Manchester squad struggled to get going during the match, West Ham was in pretty good form early on, at least, finding ways to attack and endanger their rivals, although Gundogan lent some spark to City’s efforts.
Finally, in the 35th minute, Gundogan send a neat pass to Haaland, who was knocked down by Alphonse Areola, who had just come in for the injured Lukasz Fabianski, sending him to the penalty spot. From there, he faked out the substitute goaltender and drove the penalty kick home to get the visitors on the board.
West Ham managed to do little between then and the intermission, and after the break – urgently needing to get their act together – they managed to show some verve for a short time until Haaland got down into their area again.
This time, it was Kevin De Bruyne who sent a rather run-of-the-mill pass to the Norwegian, who fired it home for Man City’s second tally.
That was where the game virtually came to an end, leaving West Ham reeling and even when they managed to get something going against their rivals, Haaland was on the scene again to put out any potential fires, at least until he was taken out for a well-earned rest in the 79th minute.
West Ham: Fabianski (Areola, m. 28); Coufal, Zouma, Johnson, Cresswell; Soucek, Rice; Bowen, Lanzini (Scamacca, m. 57), Fornals (Coventry, m. 93); and Antonio (Benrahma, m. 57).
Manchester City: Ederson; Walker, Dias, Ake, Cancelo; Gundogan (Bernardo Silva, m. 79), Rodri (Phillips, m. 88), De Bruyne (Palmer; m. 88); Foden (Mahrez, m. 88), Haaland (Julian Alvarez, m. 79) and Grealish.