Sunday was a day to forget for West Ham at the London Stadium, as they got their Premier League campaign off on the wrong foot with a 2-0 defeat to last season's Champions, Manchester City.
The two sides played out an entertaining 2-2 draw last time they met in East London on the penultimate weekend of last season, but the game would not be as closely fought this time out.
The Hammers started the game the better of the two sides, but they were unable to capitalise on their early pressure.
Kevin De Bruyne provided City’s first clear cut chance of the game as his shot was dragged wide of the post from the edge of the box 13 minutes in.
West Ham were forced into a first half substitution in the 29th minute, as goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski was replaced by Alphonse Areola due to injury.
On the 35th minute Ilkay Gundogan’s through ball resulted in Erling Haaland being taken out by Hammers ‘keeper Areola in the box, resulting in a penalty for the visitors. The Norwegian would step up and tuck his penalty into the bottom left corner to mark his Premier League debut with a goal.
In the second half, West Ham began to grow into the game, with new striker Gianluca Scamacca coming on for his debut, but their momentum was swiftly ended, as Erling Haaland would latch onto a perfectly weighted pass by De Bruyne before tucking a shot past Areola into the far corner of the goal to double City’s lead in the 65th minute.
Another summer signing, Flynn Downes was also handed a West Ham debut by David Moyes, but this wouldn’t prevent Manchester City from cruising to a pretty simple 2-0 opening day victory.
After the game, Hammers boss David Moyes said, “They played really well”. “Today, it was really difficult tactically to deal with”.
Pep Guardiola told the media, “We played a really good game, Erling scored the two goals and it is important for him, for us, for everyone”.
Next up for West Ham is a trip to the City Ground to face newly promoted Nottingham Forest on Sunday 14th August at 2pm. Forest were also defeated 2-0 on the opening weekend, away at Newcastle United on Saturday.