London: Raheem Sterling got the defending champions Manchester City on the right track notching up a hat-trick as they started their title defence with a convincing 5-0 win over West Ham United, in a game which saw heavy use of video review, at the London Stadium on Saturday. Brazilian Gabriel Jesus, preferred by Pep Guardiola to Sergio Aguero in attack, opened the scoring in the 25th minute with a deft close-range finish after a scorching burst and low cross from Kyle Walker.
Sterling made it 2-0, six minutes after the interval, with a cool finish after Kevin De Bruyne had burst from midfield and fed the England forward. Jesus then became the first player to have a goal disallowed by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) in the Premier League when, in the 53rd minute, he finished off Sterling's pass following a fine move. However, the VAR adjudged that Sterling was marginally offside as he ran into the box.
VAR, making its debut this season, was used again to review and eventually validate Sterling's second, when he collected a lofted ball into the box and lobbed West Ham keeper Lukasz Fabianski. Raheem Sterling was at his devastating best in the match as he netted three goals. Gabriel Jesus scored the opening goal of the match when the game was in the 25th minute. Sterling then scored two goals in the 51st and 75th minutes handing a three-goal lead. Manchester City will now face Tottenham on August 17 while West Ham will compete against Brighton on the same day.