Manchester City send out statement with facile win over West Brom
Manchester City got their Barclays Premier League title bid up and running with a comfortable 3-0 win at West Brom thanks to their old favourites.
The spotlight was on new £49million man Raheem Sterling, but it was David Silva and Yaya Toure who stole the show to help ease City to three points.
Toure was influential in City's first two goals, first producing a shot which was flicked by Silva and then deflected off defender Craig Dawson on its way in, and the second a fine finish before the 25-minute mark. Vincent Kompany then completed a comfortable triumph for the visitors just before the hour.
City, and their old guard, were too strong for the Baggies, who saw Saido Berahino waste their best chance.
Sterling should have also marked his debut with a goal, but was denied by Boaz Myhill when clean through.
The 20-year-old started in support of Wilfried Bony, with Sergio Aguero on the bench, while Albion handed debuts to Rickie Lambert, James Chester and James McClean.
Albion's new £12million record buy Salomon Rondon was unveiled to the crowd hours after signing from Zenit St Petersburg, along with Arsenal loanee Serge Gnabry.
And the new boys would have watched in horror as City dismantled their hosts in the first half.
They had threatened without testing Myhill but deservedly took the lead after nine minutes with a goal which happened almost in slow motion.
Silva had already gone close as his cross shot found the waiting Jesus Navas at the far post and he teed up Toure on the edge of the box. The midfielder was gifted time to shoot and his mis-hit effort was flicked on by Silva before hitting the helpless Dawson and crawling across the line.
City had settled and were toying with the Baggies, trying to find the perfect pass to carve them open.
Albion, in contrast, relied on hopeful long balls as Berahino and Lambert became increasingly isolated.
The visitors were in total control and they underlined their dominance in ruthless fashion after 24 minutes.
This time there was no doubt over the scorer as Toure swapped passes with Bony before unleashing an unstoppable effort into the top corner from 20 yards.
City kept Albion at bay until three minutes from half-time, when Berahino clipped over Joe Hart only to be ruled offside.
A minute before, though, Sterling should have marked his debut with a goal when Toure put him clean through, only for Myhill to save his low weak effort.
It would have ended the game but, instead, the hosts emerged for the second period with renewed belief.
First, Lambert's 30-yard free-kick whistled over before Berahino's tame finish fell to the under-worked Hart.
The striker should have done better and was left to rue the miss when City made it 3-0 on 59 minutes as Kompany glanced in Silva's corner with his shoulder.
The contest was over and the visitors had the luxury of bringing Aguero off the bench, while Samir Nasri also replaced Sterling.
Hart gathered James Morrison's header with 14 minutes left but there was no way back for the Baggies.
Aguero almost added a fourth with two minutes left, but his low six-yard effort was blocked by Myhill before the goalkeeper saved Aleksandar Kolarov's stoppage-time free-kick.