Published: Sun, August 11, 2019
Life&Culture | By Sue Mclaughlin

Pep Guardiola Eyes Immediate Improvement Despite Five-Star Display at West Ham

Pep Guardiola Eyes Immediate Improvement Despite Five-Star Display at West Ham

The champions had laid down a comprehensive marker for their title defence at the London Stadium after the 5-0 win, with Raheem Sterling eventually registered a superb hat-trick in the capital.

Fornals replaced Antonio at the break, but it was City who resumed control and made it 2-0 on 50 minutes. In terms of result, yes.

"We didn't have the rhythm but that is normal in the first game".

"In the second half, from the beginning we were better, more calm, more passes".

The Hammers only allowed City 58% possession of the ball, relatively low by their standards, and nine shots on target and somehow lost 5-0.

The West Ham manager is without his captain Noble for the visit of Pep Guardiola's side, meaning the east London outfit are light in midfield.

Guardiola has already experienced the agony of VAR overturning a key decision when Sterling had what would have been a last-gasp Champions League victor against Tottenham ruled out for offside last season.

Sterling, played in by David Silva before he crossed for Jesus' tap in, appeared to have his shoulder ahead of the defender.

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City, whose match was interrupted by a series of reviews, had a goal ruled out for the tightest of offside calls against Sterling and Sergio Aguero was given the chance to retake a penalty by VAR after seeing his first attempt saved.

Guardiola has, of course, been on the wrong end of VAR decisions in the recent past. Nothing will be comparable to that.

"We have to be strong". After 3-0 the game is nearly over, but at 2-0, 10 minutes later Ederson had to make an incredible save, and we'd have played the last 15 minutes at 2-1.

"You have to celebrate it when it's so clear, when there's doubts, celebrate it but always be focused because maybe it's not regular and you have to continue your concentration to not lose our momentum".

In the later match, Champions League finalists Spurs recovered from the shock of conceding an early goal to beat newly promoted Villa 3-1, with a goal for new signing Tanguy Ndombele and two in the last five minutes for Kane.

He praised Manchester City for being clinical in front of goal but feels the first half was very close as the Hammers got off to a positive start.

Brighton made an excellent start under new boss Graham Potter with a surprise 3-0 win at Watford - thanks to an own goal from Abdoulaye Doucoure and second-half strikes by forwards Florin Andone and Neal Maupay.

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