Erling Haaland scored twice on his Premier League debut as Manchester City opened their defence of the title with a 2-0 win at West Ham.
The brilliant 22-year-old Norwegian striker delivered exactly what City manager Pep Guardiola wanted following his summer signing from Borussia Dortmund when he gave City the lead from the penalty spot nine minutes before half-time, after he was brought down by West Ham’s substitute goalkeeper Alphonse Areola.
The Hammers started the second half with more attacking intent but that simply played into the hands of City’s new weapon as Kevin De Bruyne split open their defence with one pass on the counter-attack for Haaland to gallop clear on goal and slot low past Areola.
West Ham, so surprisingly passive and limited, simply could not cope with Haaland’s power and the chances City’s brilliant creators offered up to him.
Haaland’s all-round display suggest they will not be the last to be left floundering as the champions made the smoothest of starts to their title defence.