Pep Guardiola really wasn’t kidding when he said he loved this stage.
Perhaps it is the Olympic spirit still burning in his soul 25 years after he won gold with Spain at the Barcelona Games.
More likely there’s something about West Ham. If not the expansive nature of the athletics stadium, then certainly the wide open spaces in their defence. Manchester City have feasted on 12 goals against the Hammers in three games this season.
Kevin De Bruyne latches on to Gabriel Jesus’ pass to open the scoring for Manchester City with this well-placed finish
The Belgium international wheels away in delight after finishing off a blistering counter-attack to break the deadlock
David Silva in the right place at the right time to place the ball into the back of the net for City’s second first-half goal
The delighted City players celebrate their second goal in this Premier League fixture against West Ham on Wednesday
A dejected-looking Manuel Lanzini of West Ham walks back with his team-mates after conceding a second goal
Gabriel Jesus makes sure City go into the break with a three-goal lead by tapping home his first Manchester City goal
Jesus, who agreed a move last summer but didn’t arrive in England until last month, celebrates his first City goal
Sane, the 21-year-old Germany international, congratulates his new team-mate as West Ham
Jose Fonte, making his debut for West Ham against City, brings down Sterling to give away a second-half penalty
Yaya Toure makes no mistake from the penalty spot, slotting his kick into the bottom corner for City’s fourth goal
MATCH FACTS, PLAYER RATINGS, MATCH ZONE AND PREMIER LEAGUE TABLE FROM LONDON STADIUM
WEST HAM (4-2-3-1): Randolph 5; Byram 5, Reid 6, Fonte 5, Cresswell 4; Noble 5, Obiang 4 (Snodgrass 64 min, 5); Fegouli 4 (Fernandes 64, 5), Antonio 6, Lanzini 5; Carroll 5 (Fletcher 79)
Subs not used: Adrian, Collins, Calleri, Quina
Booked: Obiang, Lanzini, Carroll
Manager: Slaven Bilic 5
MANCHESTER CITY (4-3-3): Caballero 6; Sagna 6, Stones 6, Otamendi 6, Kolarov 6; De Bruyne 8 (Fernandinho 68, 5), Toure 6, Silva 8.5 (Delph 80); Sterling 8 (Aguero 73, 5), Jesus 7.5, Sane 8
Subs not used: Bravo, Kompany, Zabaleta, Jesus Navas
Goals: De Bruyne 17, Silva 21, Jesus 39, Toure 67 pen
Booked: Jesus, De Bruyne, Sterling
Manager: Pep Guardiola 7
Referee: Kevin Friend 6
Team P GD Pts 1 Chelsea 23 32 56 2 Tottenham Hotspur 23 29 47 3 Arsenal 23 26 47 4 Liverpool 23 24 46 5 Manchester City 23 19 46 6 Manchester United 23 12 42 7 Everton 23 10 37 8 West Bromwich Albion 23 2 33 9 Stoke City 23 -6 29 10 Burnley 23 -8 29 11 West Ham United 23 -11 28 12 Southampton 23 -5 27 13 Watford 23 -12 27 14 Bournemouth 23 -9 26 15 Middlesbrough 23 -7 21 16 Leicester City 23 -14 21 17 Swansea City 23 -24 21 18 Crystal Palace 23 -9 19 19 Hull City 23 -27 17 20 Sunderland 23 -22 16
Kevin De Bruyne (No 17) linked up well with Gabriel Jesus before firing Manchester City into lead with fine finish.
Gabriel Jesus (No 33) grabbed his first goal since arriving at City this month by slotting home for City’s third goal
Or it could be something about City because this particular romp seemed to be less about the inherent frailties of the home team – although they surely linger – and more about the evolution of Guardiola’s team.
Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva and Gabriel Jesus scored the goals which made the game safe inside 40 minutes.
Yaya Toure added the fourth with a penalty after a tired foul on Raheem Sterling by Jose Fonte, who endured a debut best forgotten.
The second half descended into little more than a training exercise but in the first-half, City were exhilarating.
Brazilian Jesus has adjusted quite brilliantly since his arrival last month and was preferred to Sergio Aguero at centre forward. With Leroy Sane and Sterling either side they were simply too quick for West Ham.
And too willing. They chased and hassled, closing down the ball and forcing errors in possession. On the turnover, they were devastating.
West Ham striker Andy Carroll walks through bubbles before kick-off against Pep Guardiola’s men at the London Stadium
Michail Antonio, the versatile West Ham star, looks to use his pace to create an attack during the opening stages of this match
Lanzini, who will be looking to make the No 10 role his own following Dimitri Payet’s exit, is put under pressure by De Bruyne
England international Raheem Sterling gets the better of Lanzini as the two Premier League clubs go head-to-head
City defender Kolarov has opportunity to test Darren Randolph in the West Ham goal but his free-kick is blocked by the wall
West Ham United’s Sam Byram (left) and Manchester City’s Leroy Sane battle for the ball during the opening period
The game was over by the interval with City fans wondering if they might yet mount the sort of winning sequence which will be required to catch Chelsea at the top of the Premier League.
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte was in the crowd to witness it. Was this the start of the challenge?
The best that can be said for West Ham was that this hammering was not quite as abject as the last one, a 5-0 defeat in the FA Cup which proved something of a turning point for Bilic and his team.
On that night, City were slick and West Ham failed to get near them. It was the final appearance of Dimitri Payet before the strike, the stand-off and the return to Marseille.
On Wednesday night, the image of Payet which had adorned the outer wall of the London Stadium had been replaced with one of Andy Carroll converting his bicycle-kick goal in the win against Palace, on his previous outing at the venue.
Bilic switched formation during the Palace game and stuck with it again, with Michail Antonio through the centre in support of Carroll.
City enjoyed the better start and got goal their performance deserved when De Bruyne confidently slotted home the opener
Fonte, making his West Ham debut after arriving from Southampton, looks on as De Bruyne goes to celebrate his goal
City left back Aleksandar Kolarov runs to congratulate De Bruyne as City take a deserved lead in the 17th minute
Willy Caballero, who was handed a start in the City goal ahead of Claudio Bravo, celebrates his side’s opener in east London
Jesus, who was impressive in the FA Cup victory at Crystal Palace last weekend, is booked by referee Kevin Friend
Guardiola, the Manchester City manager, delivers instructions to his team as Slaven Bilic has his head in his hands
12 – Goals City have scored against West Ham in three matches this season. Nine have come at the London Stadium — the Hammers took eight matches to score that many at their home ground.
At least they tried to engage and compete. The problem was, City were better, too. So much better. With another clean-sheet for Willy Caballero, selected ahead of Claudio Bravo.
Fonte came in at centre half alongside Winston Reid, charged with the task of keeping City’s fluid front five at bay. It would be a baptism of fire.
They managed it for 17 minutes, before a stray pass from Aaron Cresswell dropped them in bother. Cresswell gave it to De Bruyne, who traded crisp passes with Jesus, and swept a finish past Darren Randolph.
Four minutes later, the visitors made it two. This time Leroy Sane danced down the left flank, with a nutmeg and a shimmy taking him past Sam Byram and Fonte.
Sane’s low cross was diverted by Randolph but Silva arrived at the back-post to turn it in. Sterling headed wide, moments later.
Aguero looked on from the bench, surely concerned about his status as star striker. With Jesus, Sane and Sterling up front, this City line-up is blisteringly quick, backed by the vision and creative intelligence of Silva and De Bruyne, deeper in midfield.
Things got worse for West Ham in the first half when Silva, the Spanish playmaker, was left unmarked to score the second
Silva, who is a fans’ favourite at City, celebrates his goal with De Bruyne after getting on the end of Sane’s pull-back
The City players congratulate stand-in captain Silva after the Manchester club doubled their lead in the 21st minute
Lanzini attempts to acrobatically clear the ball as City centre back John Stones puts the Hammers star under pressure
West Ham captain Mark Nobel gestures to Silva as things got heated during the first-half of this midweek top-flight fixture
Jesus, who was yet to score for City prior to this match at the London Stadium, speaks with Guardiola on the sideline
Any team unable to dominate in central areas, or exert pressure on their back-four will be stretched. West Ham managed to engage more than they had in the Cup but they were soundly pummelled in the first 45 minutes.
There was one glimpse of City’s vulnerability when Carroll released Cresswell into yards of space vacated by Bacary Sagna. But Cresswell’s attempt was wildly off target and Jesus magnified the pain by making it 3-0 before half-time.
Again, West Ham surrendered possession cheaply under pressure. Pedro Obiang was hurried into a poor pass which was pinched by Sane, who found Sterling, who squared for Jesus to celebrate his first goal for his new club.
It was the 30th goal conceded by West Ham against City in 11 games since the start of the 2013-14 campaign – and No 31 followed from Toure, reliable as ever from the spot.
Then City unleashed Aguero. Just what you want to see at 4-0 down, Aguero climbing off the bench with a point to prove.
Jesus caps off his first Premier League start for City with a goal; the Brazilian’s tap-in leaving Randolph with no chance
De Bruyne, the scorer of City’s opening goal, was the first to celebrate with Jesus as the visitors ran riot in the first half
Former Chelsea midfielder De Bruyne cuts a frustrated figure after receiving a yellow card at the end of the opening period
Stones, who arrived at the Etihad Stadium from Everton last summer, suffered a nasty-looking cut to the back of his head
Toure becomes City’s fourth goalscorer of the evening after Hammers debutant Fonte gave away a penalty
Sane jumps on the Ivorian as City sent a warning to their Premier League rivals with a comfortable victory on Wednesday