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10th Aug 2019

Man City unplayable in 5-0 hammering at London Stadium

Man City have reached such a high level of consistent performance that there was a predictable dullness to this 5-0 thrashing

Reuben Pinder

There was a predictable mundanity to this 5-0 win

Just two matches into the season, it is abundantly clear which two sides will be competing for the Premier League title. Just as they were last season, Liverpool and Manchester City look certain to push each other to the max in another close title race after kicking off their campaigns with emphatic victories.

But, just like last season, City look like the team with that extra edge, which comes as a byproduct of Pep Guardiola’s relentlessness and his obsession with constant improvement. Against West Ham at the London Stadium, City barely got out of second gear and yet they looked unplayable as they tore through the Hammers, who could only hold firm for 25 minutes.

Raheem Sterling was the star of the show once again, scoring a hat-trick with three clinical one vs one finishes which have come to epitomise his game over the past few years under Guardiola. New signing Rodri looked at home at the base of central midfield, bar a couple of shaky moments early on.

West Ham fought tooth and nail to keep up with Man City; new signing Sebastien Haller showed signs of breaking the curse that has struck countless West Ham strikers in recent years with tidy link-up play, but ultimately it was nowhere near enough.

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. This is how ruthless City are, and will be for the rest of the season.

They’ve not yet managed an unbeaten season in the Premier League, but it will take something very special to beat City this season. And with Liverpool a key player down in Alisson for the next six weeks, something miraculous to prevent them from becoming the first team to win a third consecutive title.

This is Premier League football now. We know who’s won before the season starts, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. One could argue that City have become so good that they’re actually boring.