There was plenty of strong running and incisive movement from City’s marquee summer signing, but ultimately Haaland will be judged on goals. He had a couple of good efforts on target but missed a golden chance when he smashed the crossbar from close range late on. He will have easier games than coming up against Virgil Van Dijk on his debut, however.
Stones, Ilkay Gundogan and Phil Foden missed City’s pre-season tour to the United States, and it has left the former with a fight to get back into Guardiola’s team. The City boss convinced Nathan Ake to stick around amid interest from Chelsea and the Dutchman will be given a chance to play. With Aymeric Laporte set to miss the first month of the season through injury, it is Ake, not Stones, who looks set to partner Ruben Dias at West Ham.
New season, same old problems with VAR. The decision to award Alvarez’s equalizer took far too long, as the officials spent over four minutes deliberating. Awarding a handball against Ruben Dias was, meanwhile, the right decision under the current rules, but it was a harsh, game-changing punishment against a defender that was barely two yards away from Darwin Nunez and making an entirely natural movement.