Manchester City continued their fantastic start to the Premier League season with a dominant 3-2 win on the road against West Bromwich Albion. After a crazy start with three goals in 15 minutes, City took control and comfortably put away the Baggies with a fantastic second half display to stay top of the league.
Tony Pulis said before the match he was going to approach it differently, and he kept his promise: West Brom came out with a back five and looked to press City high up the pitch and play a very aggressive defensive style, which is not something we usually see from a Pulis team.
The plan worked early on, and the game was simply chaotic in the beginning: Leroy Sané opened the scoring, Jay Rodriguez equalized and Fernandinho made it 2-1 to the Blues all within the first 15 minutes of the match. After Fernandinho scored City were finally able to get some control of proceedings and force West Brom to retreat into their usual low block of defense.
The Blues created a few good opportunities for the rest of the half, but nothing really dangerous happened. West Brom had one good chance when City gave the ball away close to their goal, but Salomon Rondón headed over the bar.
At halftime, an insane start to the game gave City a one-goal lead. They needed to finish better and avoid silly mistakes to get the job done in the second half.
The second half followed the trend from the final minutes of the first period: City dominating possession against a low block from the Baggies and looking to create chances with patient passing. The plan worked to perfection for the Blues, who dominated most of the half and found a third goal through a wonderful passing sequence that ended with Kyle Walker finding Raheem Sterling for an easy tap-in.
Pulis made some attacking substitutions looking get a goal and make the final minutes interesting, but Pep Guardiola’s men did very well to keep possession and simply run out the clock, although West Brom did get a second when Nicolas Otamendi made a stupid mistake in the box and Matt Phillips got an easy tap-in.
In the end, despite a few mistakes, a very strong performance from the Blues on the road against a really tough team and another win to stay five points clear at the top of the table.
Ten league games, nine wins, one draw. This team is good.
Man City: Ederson; Walker, Stones, Otamendi, Delph; De Bruyne, Fernandinho, Silva; Bernardo (Sterling), Jesus (Gundogan), Sané
Goals: Sané (10’), Fernandinho (15’), Sterling (64’)
West Brom: Foster; Nyom, McAuley (Phillips), Hegazi, Evans, Gibbs; Krychowiak (McClean), Livermore, Barry; Rodriguez, Rondón (Robson-Kanu)
Goals: Rodriguez (13’), Phillips (90’+2)