LONDON (Reuters) -Jeremy Doku, Bernardo Silva and Erling Haaland scored second-half goals as Manchester City fought back from a goal down to beat West Ham United 3-1 at the London Stadium on Saturday and move back top of the Premier League table.
Liverpool’s 3-1 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers had taken them to the summit, but City stormed back in the second half of a pulsating game to secure the three points.
City should have gone ahead in the seventh minute, but a goal-line clearance by Tomas Soucek and a good save from Alphonse Areola kept the game scoreless.
The visitors spurned another great opportunity when Josko Gvardiol whipped a ball across the box but Haaland swept his effort wide of the goal, much to the relief of the flat-footed West Ham defence.
After soaking up enormous pressure, the home side took the lead in the 36th minute when Vladimir Coufal chipped a cross to the far post and James Ward-Prowse produced a brilliant diving header.
Doku equalised 43 seconds into the second half, running menacingly at Coufal before firing home, and Silva and Haaland were on target in the 76th and 86th minutes to send City back top on 15 points, two ahead of Liverpool.
The Hammers did not give up and almost took the lead again on the hour mark when Michail Antonio played in Emerson only for his shot to be blocked by Manuel Akanji and from the resulting corner Ederson pulled off a magnificent save to deny Kurt Zouma.
Champions City were not to be denied, however, and in the 76th minute Silva gave them the lead, hooking home a scooped pass from Julian Alvarez before Haaland finally got his goal 10 minutes later to secure the three points.
City top the standings on a perfect 15 points from five games, two ahead of Liverpool and three ahead of Brighton & Hove Albion. West Ham drop to sixth on 10 points.
“We played a fantastic game. Even when we were losing against at half-time against an incredible side who is very good at set-pieces, we were efficient, we were patient in the second half,” City manager Pep Guardiola told the BBC.
His side would now turn their attention to their first Champions League group game against Red Star Belgrade on Tuesday.
“We are used to it. Now it’s rest, Champions League, defending the crown, game by game. Now we start recovery and everybody will be ready,” he said.
(Reporting by Philip O’Connor, editing by Ed Osmond)