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Raheem Sterling hits brace as City hammer West Ham in China

Record Manchester City signing Rodri made his debut and Raheem Sterling scored twice as the Premier League champions came from behind to beat West Ham United 4-1 on Wednesday in China.

Manchester City, Raheem Sterling
Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling runs with the ball during the match against West Ham United at the 2019 Premier League Asia Trophy football tournament in Nanjing in China’s Jiangsu province on July 17, 2019.

West Ham took the lead with a Mark Noble penalty before City levelled through David Silva, then Lukas Nmecha scored from the spot to give Pep Guardiola’s side the half-time lead.

England international Sterling, who enjoyed his best season last year for club and country, scored a brace in the second half as West Ham’s defence went AWOL in Nanjing.

Guardiola fielded a mixture of first-team regulars and reserves with Silva leading the side and Kevin De Bruyne, who missed most of last season injured, a second-half substitute.

He was joined after the break by German winger Leroy Sane, who has been linked with a big-money move to Bayern Munich.

Spanish international midfielder Rodri joined City earlier this month on a five-year deal from Atletico Madrid.

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The 23-year-old officially became a City player a day after the La Liga club revealed the 70-million-euro ($78.5 million) release clause in his contract had been triggered.

City’s arrival in China for the Premier League Asia Trophy had been delayed by two days because of an “administrative issue”.

But if it bothered the English champions it did not show, Sterling sealing a handsome City win with composed finishes on the hour and then again soon after.

In the other match in the exhibition tournament, the scale of the task facing new head coach Steve Bruce was laid bare as Newcastle United were thrashed 4-0 by Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Bruce, whose appointment was confirmed just hours before kick-off, will jet over to take charge of Newcastle’s next friendly, against West Ham, in Shanghai on Saturday.

It was only a low-key friendly, but the heavy defeat to Nuno Espirito Santo’s Wolves in Nanjing was more evidence that Newcastle are likely to be battling relegation this season.

City face Wolves in the final.

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