West Ham 0-5 Man City: VAR takes centre stage as Champions breeze past Hammers in season opener

Hammers rue missed chances as City slot five past Fabianski, three coming from Raheem Sterling

West Ham were on the wrong side of a Raheem Sterling hat-trick as they took on Manchester City in their opening game of the 19/20 Premier League season.

Despite City slotting five past Fabianski, it will be remembered as the game that saw the video assistant referee come in to play for the first time in the Premier League.

West Ham kept City at bay for 25 minutes and looked promising at times. Sebastien Haller showed some positive hold-up play and found his teammates well, which saw the home side dominate until City scored their first.

Pep Guardiola’s side did what they do best and began to dominate shortly after they went ahead thanks to a goal by Gabriel Jesus. A pacy run followed by a ball into the box by Kyle Walker flicked off the striker’s foot and past Fabianski.

The visitors doubled their lead six minutes into the second half, with Kevin de Bruyne putting a ball through for Sterling to slot into the back of the net.

Jesus had a goal disallowed in the 55th minute for being just millimetres offside, much to the Hammers fans’ amusement and delight.

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Following this scare, West Ham had their chances. Diop disappointingly headed over the bar from a Snodgrass free kick on the hour mark.

Just over 10 minutes later Ederson proved his worth in goal as he pulled off a memorable double save, first from an instinctive shot by Chicharito and the second from a header by Lanzini.

But City netted a third soon after as Sterling nicely lobbed Fabianski. This was also checked for offside by VAR but it was confirmed that the Hammers were trailing by three goals.

Issa Diop conceded a penalty in the 83rd minute, which substitute Sergio Aguero stepped up to take. It was well saved by Fabianski only for VAR to rule the spot-kick had to be retaken for encroachment into the box by Declan Rice. The retaken penalty was scored by Aguero.

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Sterling completed his hat-trick five minutes later and that concluded Man City’s scoring for an opening day win of 5-0.

There were positives to take away for Manuel Pellegrini and he’ll be hoping his side can bounce back quickly on the south coast at Brighton next weekend.

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