After months of waiting,
Despite this enthusiasm, West Ham were outclassed by last year's Premier League winners, and would go on to be soundly defeated 5-0.
Here, we analyse why City were able to rip the Hammers to shreds all too often, and look at how both sides set up for the game.
West Ham's Resolute Defensive Shape Caused City Early Problems
Although they would eventually go on to be thrashed by a five-goal margin, the Hammers actually started this game impressively, frustrating City with their resolute low block.
West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini organised his side into two narrow and compact banks of four when defending, with Felipe Anderson filling in on the right of the midfield four, and Michail Antonio slotting in on the left.
Whenever a City player would enter one of the Hammers' areas of engagement, they were aggressive in the tackle. This was most vividly demonstrated by right-back Ryan Fredericks, who piled into Raheem Sterling early on in the first half.
This approach unsettled the champions, as it left them unable to conduct their intricate passing on the edge of the West Ham box, with the usually metronome-like Rodri making a number of routine passing errors.
City Changed Tact to Exploit Hammers in Wide Areas
Experiencing little joy through the centre, City adapted their game plan and instead looked to hurt the Hammers out wide - and they did, with devastating effect.
Vital to this strategy was the overlapping runs of full-backs: Kyle Walker and Oleksandr Zinchenko, which forced overloads down in flank with some regularity. City's first goal was a prime example.
Riyad Mahrez found himself in space due to Michail Antonio's lax positioning and began to run at Hammers full-back Aaron Cresswell. Walker than overlapped round, showcasing his incredible speed before pulling it back for Gabriel Jesus to toe home at the near post.
It would not be the only time that a West Ham full-back would be left isolated by his midfielder. Just four minutes after the goal, Antonio's poor positioning again left Cresswell with a two-on-one situation that Mahrez almost capitalised on.
On the opposite flank, Felipe Anderson was similarly negligent in his defensive duties, allowing Zinchenko and Sterling to wreak havoc down the right-hand side against the exposed Ryan Fredericks.
City's Use of Tactical Fouling Broke Up Play Superbly
Manuel Pellegrini after his West Ham team got destroyed 5-0 by Man City: “I didn’t like the way Guardiola’s team played against us, City used tactical fouls to stop us and that’s not the correct way to play football.” pic.twitter.com/l3BIsIe9T1— 360Sources (@360Sources) August 10, 2019
Tactical fouling has been a part of Pep Guardiola's footballing philosophy for a number of years, though they have repeatedly caused controversy.
Manuel Pellegrini has been the latest to criticise City's supposedly cynical tactics, stating: "
City's Speed in the Transition Tore the Hammers to Shreds
Source : 90min