English Premiership

Sterling and City sweep past West Ham

2016-08-28 19:15
Raheem Sterling (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Raheem Sterling opened and closed the scoring as Pep Guardiola's mellifluous Manchester City side beat West Ham 3-1 at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

The Citizens looked aggressive right from the opening minute, with Sergio Aguero in particular looking like a real livewire early on, winning a corner almost instantly before firing a low shot not far wide in the fourth minute.

City were ahead in the 10th minute thanks to Raheem Sterling, but it was David Silva who started the move with a strong run through midfield before slipping it down the left for Nolito, whose first-time ball across goal was met by Sterling with a side-footed finish into the far post.

The home side kept up the pressure and Fernandinho doubled their lead in the 18th minute. A deep free kick was nicely whipped in by Kevin De Bruyne and the Brazilian midfielder had forward momentum and a good jump to get there first and power a header into the net.

It could well have been three in the 32nd minute when City counter-attacked with pace in a neat move that saw Silva get all the way to the byline and pull it diagonally back to De Bruyne just inside the box, but the Belgian fired wide when he really should have scored.

The second half started with City putting the ball in the back of the net, but the linesman's flag went up to deny Nolito a goal after the Spaniard had chested De Bruyne's cross over the line, but it would be the Hammers who struck the first blow in the second half.

West Ham pulled one back out of nothing in the 58th minute when Arthur Masuaku produced a magical little shimmy to make space on the left flank and float a cross in towards the far post for Michail Antonio to head home and cut their deficit in half.

The second half saw Samir Nasri make his first appearance of the season in place of Nolito in the 75th minute, and the flaxen-haired Frenchman did his part in helping City seek a third, before Pep Guardiola took Aguero off for Fernando in an attempt to lock down the game in the final few minutes.

That third goal continued to elude them until injury time. Sterling struck the side netting moments before some good interplay between Silva and Nasri saw the latter saw his shot flash just over the bar and the former hit the post.

The result was assured in the 91st minute when Sterling latched onto a through ball and used his close control to take the ball round Adrian in goal before slotting home from an acute angle to secure all three points for Guardiola and City.


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