Erling Haaland shines in his debut, and Ilkay Gundogan dazzles as Manchester City kick off the season with a dominant win over West Ham.

 Erling Haaland shines in his debut, and Ilkay Gundogan dazzles as Manchester City kick off the season with a dominant win over West Ham.

Erling Haaland shines in his debut, and Ilkay Gundogan dazzles as Manchester City kick off the season with a dominant win over West Ham.

Haaland makes a dream debut in the Premier League.

Erling Haaland is under a lot of pressure at Manchester City this season, so he needed to make an impact as soon as possible after joining from Borussia Dortmund for £51 million. Finally, scoring twice on his Premier League debut wasn't a bad way to make an impression.

While Haaland's fee is likely to be considered a steal in today's game, the 22-year-old still has to prove he is as good as his reputation suggests, and this is where the majority of the pressure will come from. And, after failing to score – despite missing several easy chances – in the Community Shield defeat to Liverpool last week, a failure to score against West Ham would have only added to the pressure. However, Haaland scored both goals as City made a winning start to their title defence, and their star signing demonstrated that he will be a huge asset to Pep Guardiola's team.

His first goal came from the penalty spot after Ilkay Gundogan spotted his clever run behind the Hammers' defense. After beating Hammers substitute goalkeeper Alphonse Areola to the ball and earning the penalty, Haaland sent him the wrong way with a precise penalty that nestled in the corner of the net. Meanwhile, his second goal was a classic striker's goal, emphasizing his pace, movement, and nerveless ability to beat a keeper one-on-one. Racing on to Kevin De Bruyne's defence-splitting pass, Haaland was able to open up his body and beat Areola with a left-footed shot into the far corner, securing City's victory.

Haaland was brought in to make a difference in big games for City and to score freely in the others. It's safe to say he's already up to the task.

A worrying sign for the rest of the Premier League

Manchester City lost their first game of the season 1-0 at Tottenham in London, but a year later, they returned to the capital and began with a flawless win at West Ham that will have their rivals worried about how to keep up with Pep Guardiola's team.

Last season's slow start had no effect on the title race, with City finishing ahead of Liverpool on the final day, but Guardiola's team was slow to get going, winning only four of their first seven games. If their performance against West Ham is any indication of what's to come, the chasing pack will have to sprint just to keep up.

The victory at the London Stadium showed no signs of rust. Erling Haaland's two goals got the new signing off to a good start, and he adds more potency to a team that already scores a lot. Kevin De Bruyne was superb, and Ruben Dias was commanding at the back. In terms of dominating the game, City had more than 75 percent possession at times, and this was against a West Ham team that finished in the top six last season. City had a difficult start, but they made it look easy.

If they can blow West Ham away with such ease, the rest of the Premier League is toast.

West Ham will be concerned about Rice until the deadline.

West Ham have spent over £100 million on new signings this summer, but their most important transaction has been keeping Declan Rice – for the time being, at least.

The 23-year-old, who was named club captain after Mark Noble retired, had an outstanding season for the Hammers last season, helping them reach the Europa League semifinals, and he was once again a key player for David Moyes' team against City. Rice is the epitome of an all-action midfielder, and despite the scorching heat on the first weekend, he worked tirelessly from box to box, winning tackles and making crucial interceptions.

Despite the fact that he is still a West Ham player, there is still time for a bigger, wealthier club to make a move for the England international this month, and there are two in particular — Chelsea and Manchester United — who have long been admirers of Rice and who both still need midfield reinforcements. West Ham may have to offload Rice next summer if he does not agree to a new contract, but if a big offer comes in before the Aug. 31 transfer deadline, it could be tempting for both West Ham and Rice to make the move. Rice would in Player ratings West Ham: Lukasz Fabianski 6; Vladimir Coufal 6; Ben Johnson 6; Kurt Zouma 6; Aaron Cresswell 5; Declan Rice 8; Tomas Soucek 7; Jarrod Bowen 7; Manuel Lanzini 5; Pablo Fornals 5; Michail Antonio 5

Subs: Alphonse Areola (five), Said Benrahma (six), Gianluca Scamacca (five), Flynn Downes (five), Conor Coventry (five).

Ederson 7; Kyle Walker 7; Ruben Dias 7; Nathan Ake 7; Joao Cancelo 7; Ilkay Gundogan 9; Rodri 7; Kevin de Bruyne 8; Phil Foden 7; Erling Haaland 8; Jack Grealish 7

Subs: Bernardo Silva (six), Julian Alvarez (six), Riyad Mahrez (six).

Top and bottom performers

Man City's best player is Ilkay Gundogan.

Guardiola's all-star team is always better with Ilkay Gundogan in the lineup, and the Germany midfielder ran the show at the London Stadium. In the first half, his pass for Haaland resulted in a penalty from which City took the lead, and while Haaland had a clever run, only a player as intelligent as Gundogan could produce a pass to make the run pay off.

WORST: West Ham's Alphonse Areola

It's never easy for a substitute goalkeeper to enter a game cold from the bench, so West Ham keeper Areola can at least blame his poor performance on a lack of preparation. However, the former PSG goalkeeper, who came on for the injured Lukasz Fabianski on 29 minutes, gifted City the opening goal just seven minutes later when he raced off his line and fouled Haaland with a reckless dive, resulting in a penalty.

He was also outclassed by Haaland for City's second goal. markin

Following the game: "There were some good celebrations, so I'm happy," said the managers and players. It's great that [my father, Alfie Haaland] saw both goals, as this is a big moment for me as a first-time competitor in this competition. Also, it's been nearly 30 minutes since my last goal, so I have to keep going." Erling Haaland of Manchester City

Key figures (provided by ESPN Stats & Information)

Erling Haaland scored in his Premier League debut, marking the third consecutive season that he has done so (scored braces in the last two season openers with Dortmund). He is also the second Manchester City player, after Sergio Aguero, to score a brace on his Premier League debut.

Manchester City extended their club-record road Premier League unbeaten streak to 19 games (15-0-4); their last such defeat came at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur (August 2021).

Manchester City's Premier League unbeaten streak against West Ham has now reached 14 games (11-0-3), tying them for the longest active streak against a single opponent (14, vs. Fulham).

Pep Guardiola's Manchester City have won six of their first seven Premier League games. West Ham, on the other hand, has lost six of their last seven games.

Manchester City has won all four Premier League meetings against West Ham this season (13-0 on aggregate).

West Ham United: The Hammers have three games in the next two weeks, so they won't get much rest. They play newly promoted Nottingham Forest in the Premier League on August 14 before hosting the first leg of their UEFA Europa Conference League playoff opponent on August 18 and then hosting Brighton in the Premier League on August 21. (Who is their Europa opponent? Viborg of Denmark or B36 Torshavn of the Faroe Islands, though the latter trail 3-0 on aggregate in their two-leg series.)

Man City: Guardiola and co. have a relatively easy road ahead of them, as they face Bournemouth at home on Saturday before traveling to Newcastle on Aug. 21.

Arnautovic is 33 years old, and sources tell ESPN that Ten Hag admires his character after working with him as a coach at FC Twente.

According to ESPN, the move for Arnautovic is separate from the move for Benjamin Sesko, and talks with FC Salzburg for the 19-year-old forward are still ongoing.

Chelsea are also interested in Sesko, but according to ESPN, Salzburg would prefer to keep him until next summer. United is hoping to add at least one attacker before the transfer deadline on September 1.

Anthony Martial is injured, and Cristiano Ronaldo is still getting back into shape after missing the summer due to a family matter.

Ronaldo was only named as a substitute in Sunday's 2-1 loss to Brighton at Old Trafford, forcing Ten Hag to use midfielder Christian Eriksen as a false No. 9.

After the game, Ten Hag was asked about the need for new players, but the Dutchman refused to say anything.

"I'm not going to name names, but I believe in this preseason 250 players are involved or linked with Man United, so that's it," he said. "We have two strikers [Ronaldo and Martial] and possibly a third [Marcus] Rashford."

"We thought of him as a striker, but he had a great season on the left side and had two great chances, but the typical nine wasn't available today."

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