West Bromwich - Raheem Sterling's Manchester City debut was
overshadowed by the old guard as Yaya Toure and Vincent Kompany made the
decisive contributions in an impressive 3-0 win at West Bromwich Albion on
Having seen rivals Chelsea and Arsenal both slip up over the
weekend, Manuel Pellegrini's team took full advantage as they provided an early
glimpse of their Premier League title credentials with a dominant display at
Toure and David Silva combined to hand City the initiative
just nine minutes in, with the Spain international flicking home his
team-mate's shot with the aid of a deflection, although the Ivory Coast
midfielder was credited with the goal.
Toure doubled City's advantage 15 minutes later and Belgium
defender Kompany added the third after half-time to cap a confident opener for
last year's runners-up, who sit top of the table after the first round of
Sterling, signed in contentious circumstances from Liverpool
for a club record 49 million ($76 million) over the close-season after his
attempts to force a move from Anfield, should have joined his new team-mates on
The England winger spurned a glorious opportunity during
what was an encouraging, yet far from flawless, competitive bow for his new
club which lasted 74 minutes before he was substituted.
Deployed on the left side of a three-pronged attack,
Sterling's pace, trickery and movement posed problems for Albion, however he
lacked the finishing touch in front of goal City would expect for their
West Brom manager Tony Pulis will hope the arrival of their
own record signing, 12 million Venezuela forward Salomon Rondon, will signal a
marked improvement from them after his capture Zenit St Petersburg hours before
what was a disappointing start to the season.
That his side lost the initiative so early on will have been
of particular frustration to Pulis.
Jesus Navas' cutback was met by Toure, on the edge of the
area, and his shot was, with typically textbook technique, flicked goalwards by
Silva only to take a further deflection off Craig Dawson and dribble over the
line beyond the wrong-footed Boaz Myhill.
Given the speed at which the ball travelled, Myhill, who
remained rooted to the spot, may feel he could have been quicker to react.
Albion were penned into their own half by City and looked
bereft of attacking ideas.
That City doubled their advantage came as no surprise and it
was a goal made in the Ivory Coast as Toure played a neat one-two with Wilfried
Bony - handed a start with Sergio Aguero left on the bench following his Copa
America exploits - before wrapping his foot around a superb curling shot that
flashed into the top-right corner.
Sterling then fluffed his lines as he spurned a glorious
chance of a debut goal just before the interval when played clean through by
Toure, only to give Myhill a chance to block his shot.
Myhill foiled Sterling again from a tight angle soon after
Whatever Pulis said at half-time roused West Brom, though,
and there was immediately more purpose to their game upon resumption.
One of Sterling's colleagues at Anfield last season, Rickie
Lambert, almost marked his competitive Baggies bow in style with a brilliant
free-kick which whistled agonisingly over.
Yet any home hopes of a revival were stopped in their tracks
when Kompany met Silva's corner at the near post to beat Myhill with a looping
effort which appeared to come off his shoulder.
The last thing the Baggies wanted to see was the
introduction of Aguero, who replaced Bony for the final third of the game, but
the Argentine didn't need to get out of first gear with the points already in