There’s praise for Pep Guardiola and Raheem Sterling wherever you look as the press reflects on a victory which keeps up our 100% start to the season.
We kick off with Tim Rich’s report from the Independent which compared some of City’s play to bullfighting.
Rich wrote: “Pep Guardiola’s home city of Barcelona banned bullfighting six years ago because its cruelty could no longer be justified.
“The next time the Manchester City manager returns to Catalonia he might like to bring a video of this game as an example of just how cruel sport can be.
“There were times, especially in the first half, when West Ham looked as helpless and hurt as a bull pierced and speared by the picadors.
“The wonder of the afternoon was not that a West Ham side, wrecked by injury and humiliated in the Europa League, lost but that they were not annihilated.
“Guardiola has won his first three games in charge of Manchester City, which is precisely how he began his time at Bayern Munich and some of the play was as breathtaking as anything he produced at the Allianz Arena.”
Jamie Jackson of the Guardian had a slightly different read on the performance, positing that Pep’s tactical nous was upstaged by the sheer bloody-minded desire to win on display.
Throwing forward to September’s Manchester derby, Jackson scribed: “Opposing managers may study this game to see how their teams can strive to stymie the Guardiola blueprint. By the same token, though, he will have learned far more during these 90 minutes than in any of the other games City have played under his charge.
“Entering this game, the aggregate score was 12-2 to City in what had been four walks in the park for his players. By the close, Sterling had rolled in a cool finish from a difficult angle to secure all three points for the hosts. As with Manchester United and Chelsea, it means City have nine points from three matches and are flying.
“And they now know they can win without always having to innovate. Manchester United are their next opponents. José Mourinho is also a shrewd tactician. The meeting at Old Trafford on 10 September holds fascinating promise.”
There were complimentary words from the opposition, too.
West Ham boss Bilic admitted that City were deserved winners of the match, while goalscorer Mikhail Antonio described Sunday’s victors as a “quality team”.
“We had chances to get back in it but they’re a quality team which they showed when Sterling got the late third goal,” Antonio said.
“The manager told us to play more balls in behind because they were pressing well in the first half. We managed to get the goal and we showed a bit of threat in the second half.”