Manchester City were 2-0 up against West Ham at the London Stadium and thought they had a third in the second half, only for Mike Dean to rule Gabriel Jesus' goal out for an offside infringement by Raheem Sterling.
CHAMPIONS Manchester City picked up their customary victory in east London with Raheem Sterling bagging a hat-trick, but this was a match in which VAR loomed large.
The system caused delays during City's romp at West Ham and the visiting fans sang "What the f*** is going on?"
"They are incredibly talented players but they need the group". Crystal Palace's wantaway star Wilfried Zaha put his grievances with the club's hierarchy behind him to make an appearance as a second-half substitute against Everton, but neither side could break the deadlock in a 0-0 draw.
"After what happened against Tottenham in the quarter finals, where we have scored in the 95th minute and we were there. They had 13 fouls, we had five fouls". So you have to be strong, calm and positive.
But, just like last season, City look like the team with that extra edge, which comes as a byproduct of Pep Guardiola's relentlessness and his obsession with constant improvement. "Maybe it will be quicker in future". "After we went 3-0 up the game was over", said the Spaniard.
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It was the ideal response from the champions after title rivals Liverpool crushed Norwich 4-1 in their season opener on Friday.
"In terms of the result, yes", said Guardiola, who nevertheless said he was unhappy with aspects of the performance. But that's normal. The first game, away, (it was a) 12:30 kick-off, hot.
The Brazil worldwide gave the reigning champions the lead in the first half before Sterling tapped home Kevin De Bruyne's pass on 51 minutes.
After one of the most entertaining title chases in recent memory, Manchester City sealed their second consecutive Premier League title last season, besting Liverpool by a single point in the table.
Sterling stole the show with a display of lethal finishing that convinced Guardiola the England winger could thrive as a central striker.
Tottenham were playing at home on the opening weekend for the first time in eight seasons but Villa, back in the top flight after a three-season absence, led through John McGinn's ninth-minute strike and hung on grimly.