Raheem Sterling’s Manchester City debut was overshadowed by the old guard as Yaya Toure and Vincent Kompany made the decisive contributions in an impressive 3-0 win at West Bromwich Albion on Monday.
Having seen rivals Chelsea and Arsenal both slip up over the weekend, Manuel Pellegrini’s team took full advantage as they provided an early glimpse of their Premier League title credentials with a dominant display at the Hawthorns.
Toure and David Silva combined to hand City the initiative just nine minutes in, with the Spain international flicking home his team-mate’s shot with the aid of a deflection, although the Ivory Coast midfielder was credited with the goal.
Toure doubled City’s advantage 15 minutes later and Belgium defender Kompany added the third after half-time to cap a confident opener for last year’s runners-up, who sit top of the table after the first round of fixtures.
Sterling, signed in contentious circumstances from Liverpool for a club record £49 million ($76 million) over the close-season after his attempts to force a move from Anfield, should have joined his new team-mates on the scoresheet.
The England winger spurned a glorious opportunity during what was an encouraging, yet far from flawless, competitive bow for his new club which lasted 74 minutes before he was substituted.
Deployed on the left side of a three-pronged attack, Sterling’s pace, trickery and movement posed problems for Albion, however he lacked the finishing touch in front of goal City would expect for their investment.