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West Ham 0 Man City 2: Erling Haaland makes a dream start by firing a brace against Hammers as champs

Within 36 minutes of his Premier League debut, Erling Haaland had obliterated a West Ham goalkeeper and won a penalty against a second.

At this point, Darren Randolph, who has been named second reserve goalkeeper by the ever-cautious David Moyes, must have been quivering on the Hammers bench and wondering what Manchester City’s Norwegian scoring machine had in store for him.

Erling Haaland fired Man City to victory on their Premier League debut

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Erling Haaland fired Man City to victory on their Premier League debutCredit: Richard Pelham / The Sun
Haaland scored twice for City in the 2-0 win at West Ham

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Haaland scored twice for City in the 2-0 win at West HamCredit: Richard Pelham / The Sun

That didn’t come to pass, but after Haaland converted the penalty he fought for himself in the first half, he added a clinical second behind Alphonse Areola, who had replaced Lukasz Fabianski – who crashed with the 6ft 5in big center forward was injured.

Perhaps at this age of nine Premier League subs all opposition managers will opt for Moyes’ belt-and-brackets approach to tackling the Haaland threat.

Haaland, the £51million new signing from Borussia Dortmund, missed a blatant header chance for a debut hat-trick before being substituted with 12 minutes to go but he had done more than enough to recover after a difficult Community Shield last weekend Report.

The Pep Guardiola champions, who are chasing a third consecutive title and a fifth in six seasons, are already two points clear of their only true title rivals Liverpool.

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This was a competition that often resembled an attack-versus-defence training exercise – City patiently maintained possession, West Ham sat deep and showed little ambition.

There was much silence at the London stadium, apart from the small group of City fans who mocked Roy Keane – here as a Sky pundit – with songs about Erling’s father Alfie.

Keane had infamously damaged Haaland’s knee ligaments with a deliberate foul in a Manchester derby.

Like his attacker, Haaland Senior was also at the London Stadium. Had they met it would have been a livelier fight than the actual soccer game.

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Haaland's first goal came from the penalty spot in the 36th minute

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Haaland’s first goal came from the penalty spot in the 36th minuteCredit: Richard Pelham / The Sun
Haaland took the penalty after winning the foul in West Ham's box

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Haaland took the penalty after winning the foul in West Ham’s boxCredit: Richard Pelham / The Sun

For Haaland junior, it was the start of the elite phase of a carefully planned career that had taken him from his native Norway to Austria, to Borussia Dortmund and finally to Premier League champions.

And it’s been a thoroughly decent start, suggesting it won’t take Guardiola’s men long to adjust to the presence of a proper No9 after back-to-back wins without a title.

City’s last title win was derailed by a 2-2 draw here in May, but despite four summer signings there were no newcomers to Moyes’ starting XI.

Italy centre-forward Gianluca Scamacca was deemed fit only for the bench and Max Cornet, West Ham’s latest signing from Burnley, was introduced to the crowd before the game.

West Ham actually had a good first five minutes.

Joao Cancelo – who had secured Raheem Sterling’s No.7 shirt in recognition of his status as a playmaking full-back – attempted to play a Hollywood pass across his own box and challenged the pressure.

Haaland made it 2-0 in the 65th minute when he ran into Kevin de Bruyne's pass

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Haaland made it 2-0 in the 65th minute when he ran into Kevin de Bruyne’s passCredit: Richard Pelham / The Sun
Haaland calmly pushed the ball home to make it a debut he will never forget

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Haaland calmly pushed the ball home to make it a debut he will never forgetCredit: Richard Pelham / The Sun

The Hammers forced a corner from which Ruben Dias gave keeper Ederson a black eye when City cleared. Then Pablo Fornals centered and Michail Antonio threw a header just over.

But then City settled into a long and leisurely round of play and the vast majority at the London stadium seemed to be drifting off to sleep in the soporific heat.

City often do this on away pitches but it’s particularly pronounced at London Stadium, which is not a football ground and lends itself to this type of separation.

Haaland got his first shot on goal after 21 minutes when he missed a Phil Foden cross with his head.

Shortly thereafter, Haaland collided with Fabianski as he chased a ball past the Hammers’ defence.

Pep Guardiola was certainly delighted with the striker's performance

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Pep Guardiola was certainly delighted with the striker’s performanceCredit: Richard Pelham / The Sun
Guardiola is hoping for many more goals from his new No9

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Guardiola is hoping for many more goals from his new No9Credit: Richard Pelham / The Sun

The Pole continued playing for a few minutes – during which time a De Bruyne attempt for offside against Ilkay Gundogan was ruled out – before being replaced by Areola.

Then Gündogan shoved a pass to Haaland, who was knocked down by Areola as he tried to circle the keeper.

Michael Oliver pointed to the spot and Haaland calmly sent the Frenchman in the wrong direction.

After Haaland’s well-publicized missitter during Community Shield, a penalty was the perfect way to unwind.

At this point, City had 84 percent possession.

Eight minutes after the restart Declan Rice shot wide after Nathan Ake sluggishly lost the ball, then Dias got in the way of the West Ham skipper.

It was a bad day in the office for West Ham who lost Lukasz Fabianski to injury

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It was a bad day in the office for West Ham who lost Lukasz Fabianski to injuryCredit: Richard Pelham / The Sun
Mikhail Antonio was also sent off with a knock

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Mikhail Antonio was also sent off with a knockCredit: Richard Pelham / The Sun

Moyes then sent Scamacca in place of Antonio and Said Benrahma for Lanzini.

After a great connecting game between Foden and De Bruyne, the latter whipped in a cross that Haaland couldn’t reach but Gundogan followed and made a hash of his shot.

After Benrahma forced the first save of the game, a routine one from Ederson, Haaland really spoke up.

Ake started the move on the edge of the City Box and fed Rodri who found De Bruyne.

The visionary Belgian played a masterful straight pass that perfectly bisected the West Ham and Haaland darted towards it and rolled home with his left foot.

It was a wonderfully simple goal aided and accomplished by two masters of their respective arts.

Haaland headed stubbornly at the near post after neater footwork from Jack Grealish before being replaced by Julian Alvarez.

But we’d seen enough to know that City will be even stronger this season. God help the others.

https://www.the-sun.com/sport/football/premier-league/5949249/west-ham-man-city-match-report-erling-haaland-goals/ West Ham 0 Man City 2: Erling Haaland makes a dream start by firing a brace against Hammers as champs

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