Raheem Sterling's hat-trick and VAR headline Manchester City's 5-0 thrashing of West Ham

Press Association Sport 23:23 10/08/2019
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Three goals for Sterling in City's campaign opener.

Raheem Sterling scored a hat-trick as Manchester City began their Premier League title defence with an emphatic 5-0 win in a VAR-dominated game at West Ham.

Gabriel Jesus put City ahead in Saturday’s early game at the London Stadium but was later denied a second goal by VAR after Sterling was ruled fractionally offside in the build-up.

Sterling scored City’s second and was on the right end of a VAR offside decision in the netting the third.

Sergio Aguero had a penalty saved by Lukas Fabianski but was allowed a retake after the video official spotted that Declan Rice had encroached into the area. Aguero made no mistake to make it 4-0 at the second attempt and Sterling wrapped up his treble in injury time.

City’s victory was a strong response after last season’s runners-up Liverpool opened their campaign with a 4-1 win over Norwich on Friday.

Harry Kane struck twice as Champions League finalists Tottenham also opened with a win by coming from behind to beat promoted Aston Villa 3-1 at home.

John McGinn showed great composure in front of goal to give Villa a shock lead after nine minutes but the visitors buckled under a Spurs onslaught late in the second half.

Record signing Tanguy Ndombele clipped in a superb equaliser after 73 minutes and two quickfire Kane efforts in the closing minutes secured the points for Spurs.

Elsewhere, Graham Potter made a winning start as Brighton manager as the Seagulls triumphed 3-0 at Watford.

The visitors went ahead after 28 minutes when Watford’s Abdoulaye Doucoure diverted a Pascal Gross cross into his own net and Florin Andone doubled the lead from close range after the hour.

Brighton summer signing Neal Maupay raced through to complete the scoring 13 minutes from time.

Sheffield United veteran Billy Sharp struck a late equaliser as the promoted Blades snatched a 1-1 draw at Bournemouth on their top-flight return.

Chris Mepham bundled in the opener for the Cherries on 62 minutes after a Callum Wilson effort had been blocked.

United battled on and were rewarded when substitute Sharp poked home amid a goalmouth scramble late on, the goal being confirmed after a VAR check.

Burnley made a strong start as they overpowered Southampton 3-0 at Turf Moor thanks to a second-half Ashley Barnes double and a further effort from Johann Berg Gudmundsson.

Barnes rifled in the opener after 63 minutes and then volleyed in a second from an Erik Pieters cross seven minutes later.

Gudmundsson curled in a fine third 15 minutes from the end.

Wilfried Zaha appeared as a second-half substitute as Crystal Palace were held to a goalless draw by 10-man Everton at Selhurst Park.

Palace star man Zaha was linked with the Toffees after handing in a transfer request earlier this week and he had to make do with a limited role after staying at the London club.

Glyfi Sigurdsson thought he had put Everton ahead early in the second half but Patrick Van Aanholt made a fine goalline clearance.

The Merseysiders had to hold on for the final 14 minutes after Morgan Schneiderlin was sent off for a second bookable offence.

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