West Ham United 0-2 Manchester City
Premier League, London Stadium, Sunday 7 August 2022
Goals in each half from Erling Haaland saw West Ham United fall to a 2-0 opening day defeat at London Stadium to Manchester City.
The reigning Premier League champions took the lead on 36 minutes when Haaland’s penalty beat Alphonse Areola, with the French goalkeeper having come on after starter Łukasz Fabiański had suffered a dead leg.
The Irons had gone close through Michail Antonio’s looping header early on, while Declan Rice fired over from outside the area at the start of the second half, but the away side doubled their advantage through their new Norwegian No9 just after the hour mark.
Summer signing Gianluca Scamacca came on for his West Ham debut just prior to City’s second, met with a loud standing ovation from the Hammers faithful in the record 62,443 attendance at London Stadium.
It was the Irons who enjoyed the best of the opening exchanges at London Stadium, kicking off the new campaign with a blistering start.
A deep corner from Pablo Fornals after just three minutes caused havoc in the City area, with both Kurt Zouma and Antonio winning their respective headers, leading to a Jarrod Bowen snapshot which was blocked. The ball was recycled back into the area by Fornals and Antonio headed just over.
The reigning Premier League champions sought to take control of the tempo, with Fabiański clinging to a deflected effort from Jack Grealish before Kevin De Bruyne dragged a shot wide.
The visitors then had the ball in the net as De Bruyne tucked in a first-time effort from around 12 yards, set up by Ilkay Gündogan’s cut-back, but the linesman ruled that the German had been offside in the build-up.
West Ham were forced into a first substitution moments after, with Fabiański unable to continue after being hurt in an earlier collision while punching the ball clear. Areola entered the field of play but, minutes later, failed to reach a through-ball and instead brought down Haaland in the area.
The penalty was awarded and the City No9 made no mistake, putting the away side ahead from 12 yards.
After a first half which lacked further chances for the home side after that strong start, West Ham came out fighting in the second and almost had their reward on 54 minutes when Lanzini won back possession high up the pitch. The Argentinian crossed to Antonio, who turned the ball back out wide. Vladimír Coufal’s cross was into Bowen and, while it was cut out, Declan Rice reacted quickest, only to fire over the bar.
The introduction of Italian international Scamacca received a roar of approval from the home fans on 57 minutes, but it was City who went closest next as Gundogan put wide from a fizzed cross by De Bruyne.
Scamacca’s rising header to Fornals set up an attack for the Hammers, with the Spaniard spraying out to Coufal for another cross. This time, the ball was just over Scamacca but Saïd Benrahma – also introduced as a substitute – was there to meet it. The Algerian’s effort was unfortunately too tame, and Ederson had no problem claiming the ball.
The missed chance proved crucial as, just two minutes, Haaland and City had their second. De Bruyne’s pinpoint through-ball was met by the striker, who calmly placed his low effort into the back of the West Ham net.
Scamacca went closest for the Irons in the closing exchanges, reacting quickly to power a header on target from a Coufal cross, only for the linesman to rule the Italian had been offside regardless.
Midfield duo Flynn Downes and Conor Coventry – both making their Premier League debuts – were introduced late on by manager David Moyes but the result had been secured by the defending Premier League champions.
West Ham United: Fabiański (Areola 29), Johnson, Cresswell, Zouma, Coufal, Rice ©, Souček, Lanzini (Benrahma 57), Fornals (Coventry 90+1), Bowen (Downes 90+1), Antonio (Scamacca 57)
Subs not used: Randolph (GK), Ashby, Vlašić, Okoflex
Manchester City: Ederson, Walker, Dias, Aké, Cancelo, Rodri (Phillips 89), Gündogan © (Silva 78), De Bruyne (Palmer 88), Grealish, Foden (Mahrez 88), Haaland (Alvarez 78)
Subs not used: Ortega (GK), Wilson-Esbrand, Stones, Lewis
Goals: Haaland pen 36, 65
Referee: Michael Oliver