Haaland fires Man City to 2-0 victory as Red Devils fall in Old Trafford
By Oviri Kelvin, Sports Editor
Manchester City striker Erling Haaland was in top form at London Stadium against West Ham United in their Premier League opener as the brace from the Norwegian humbled the Hammers 2-0.
Haaland performance against the Hammers lifted the spirits of the Etihad Stadium fans, who were a bit disappointed in the Community Shield cracker against Liverpool where the 22-year-old former Dortmund point-man failed to convert some vital chances that could have earned City a win.
However, feeling re-engineered, shrugging off the inferiority complex following the confidence reposed in him by coach Pep Guardiola, Haaland scored his first Premier League goal from the penalty spot in the presence of 62,443 spectators.
In the second half, the high spirited striker who slotted in the penalty kick to get his debut goal for City, brilliantly connected Kevin de Bruyne’s defence-splitting pass to compound the woes of the Hammers to register his brace in the 65 minutes.
Consequently, having starred incredibly in his Premier League debut for City, the Norwegian became the second debutant in Premier League history to win a penalty and then successfully convert it. He also became the second striker to score a brace on their City debut, matching Sergio Aguero’s feat from August 2011.
In a post-match interview by Guardiola, he lauded Haaland’s display calling him a weapon.
He said his team performed in all areas of the pitch, adding that they were more aggressive in their approach.
“Last two years we couldn’t do it here,” Guardiola said.
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“We make an exceptional performance everywhere today. We were much more aggressive. Against Liverpool it was really, really poor, but today we played really well.
“Of course Erling scoring his first two goals is important for him. He has a good threat. Another weapon that we have now, but he isn’t going to solve all of our problems.
“We talk about the team, the way we want to play, the way we want to create chances. We found the right moments with the goals today,” he added.
Meanwhile, Manchester United lost their Premier League opener against Brighton & Hove Albion at Old Trafford on Sunday.
The encounter, which saw their former player Danny Welbeck return to Old Trafford, was catastrophic for the Red Devils as he assisted Pascal Gross’ first goal in the 30th minute to hand the Seagulls a lead.
In a quick succession, the Seagulls did not waste time to double their lead as 9 minutes after Gross’ first, the German midfielder scored a brace to maintain a 2-0 lead at the close of first half.
However, United mounted pressure on the Seagull defence to contain them to their own half in a bid to upturn the score line and were fortunate to get an own-goal from Alexis McAllister.
The game ended 2-1 against Manchester United as Erik ten Hag was handed his first Premier League defeat since he joined the English topflight league.
Manchester United’s next game is against Brentford at Gtech Community Stadium while Manchester City host Bournemouth on Saturday at the Etihad Stadium.
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