Erling Haaland lives up to hype with two goals in Premier League debut against West Ham United

 Erling Haaland scored twice in his Premier League debut as Manchester City opened its title defense with a 2-0 win at West Ham, while Manchester United was beaten 2-1 by Brighton in Erik ten Hag’s first game in charge on Sunday.

Haaland lived up to the hype since his transfer from Borussia Dortmund to give the champions a perfect start to the season in the searing heat of East London.

West Ham nearly derailed City’s title chances in last season’s penultimate game before Pep Guardiola’s men battled back from two goals down for the point that ultimately put them ahead of Liverpool at the top of the table.

West Ham was no match for City this time as Haaland immediately proved the value of adding a proven goalscorer.

The Norwegian was signed as the long-term successor to Sergio Aguero and started his City career just like the club’s all time leading goalscorer with a double in his league debut.

Haaland missed chances in City’s 3-1 defeat against Liverpool in the Community Shield, but Guardiola’s warning that the goals would soon flow proved to be correct.

Erling Haaland celebrate after scoring agaist West ham United

“We know we have a threat there. He is an incredible deep runner and finisher,” Guardiola said.

“He is adapting perfectly in the way we want to play. We are going to find him more and more and hopefully we can give him the opportunity to score more goals.”

City’s patient possession game wore the Hammers down as temperatures in the English capital soared above 30 degrees Celsius on Sunday.

Haaland took responsibility from the penalty spot to open his Premier League account after he had been brought down by Alphonse Areola.

West Ham started the second half with more attacking intent but that simply played into the hands of City’s new weapon, as Kevin De Bruyne split open West Ham’s defense with one pass on the counterattack to allow Haaland to gallop clear on goal and score past Areola.

The contrasting fortunes of the Manchester clubs in recent seasons continued as United suffered another false dawn in Ten Hag’s first competitive game in charge.

Cristiano Ronaldo started on the bench for the Red Devils due to his lack of preseason training with the Portuguese reportedly keen on an exit from Old Trafford to play in the Champions League this season.

Brighton thrashed United 4-0 when the sides last met in May and despite losing Yves Bissouma and Marc Cucurella for over £100 million since ($121 million), the Seagulls were again too slick for United’s leaden-footed defense.

Pascal Gross ghosted in unmarked at the back post to slot into an unguarded net twice in nine minutes in the first half.

It took a Brighton mistake for Ten Hag’s men to find the net as Robert Sanchez slapped the ball into his own net off the unfortunate Alexis Mac Allister.

Ronaldo was given a rousing reception from an otherwise frustrated crowd, but never had a clear chance to deny Brighton its first ever win at Old Trafford.

“It’s the worst possible start, to be 2-0 down at half-time at Old Trafford,” United captain Harry Maguire said.

“It’s not good enough. We huffed and puffed to get one back and we had chances to equalize. It’s a bad start for us.

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