A brace in the first half an hour from Ilkay Gundogan alongside stunning goals from Joao Cancelo and Riyad Mahrez gave Pep Guardiola’s side a comprehensive lead at half time. Raheem Sterling made it five to top off a performance worthy of top spot.
West Brom continue to struggle under Sam Allardyce and remain in deep trouble in the relegation zone. The Baggies have only won one in nine after another heavy loss, leaving their goal difference in tatters.
Story of the Match
It was Allardyce’s side that started the better of the two teams as Man City looked nervy. Romaine Sawyers had a close-range effort saved by Ederson in the opening two minutes.
However, this would be the only part of the game that the Baggies were on top and Guardiola’s side took control, dominating proceedings.
Phil Foden forced the first save out of Sam Johnstone with a low strike just before the in-form Gundogan opened the scoring only five minutes in. The German found space on the edge of the box and side-footed the ball past a forlorn Johnstone.
City were in full flow, with Mahrez and Cancelo both testing their luck from range in the opening 15 minutes. Cancelo would then hit the target and double his sides lead soon after.
The right-back’s left-footed curler found the top corner but celebrations were delayed with the flag up for offside. After a lengthy VAR check, the decision was overturned and the goal was given. West Brom players showed their frustrations after they stopped in response to the raised flag, but their complaints would be useless.
The City domination continued and they looked rampant, pushing for their next goal. It eventually came at the half-hour mark with Gundogan pouncing on a Romaine Sawyers mistake, claiming his second of the evening and his seventh goal in eight Premier League games.
Gundogan’s brace and world-class performance leave him as one of the most dangerous midfielders in the league and now leaves him at the top of Man City’s scoring charts this season.
In first-half stoppage time, Mahrez piled on the misery with a vintage strike. It was typical from the Algerian, he received the ball inside the area, beat Kieran Gibbs with a shimmy, and curled a superb effort past Johnstone to make it 4-0 at the break.
It was more of the same after halftime, with Guardiola’s side dominating the ball and probing for another goal. Allardyce seemed to opt for damage limitation by bringing on Kyle Bartley for Callum Robinson, but it wouldn’t help them against a ruthless attack.
A lofted ball from Rodri found Mahrez at the back post and he perfectly cushioned the ball across the six-yard box to Sterling who made it five for the visitors.
It then became like a routine training session for City who just held possession for the majority of the second half, toying with the Baggies like a bird stalking its prey.
They couldn't grab another, but the five-goal swing means they have now scored 17 goals in their last six games, only conceding one in the process.
West Brom were left hopeless and will be happy to have only kept the scoreline at 5-0. The Baggies now have to pick up points in two extremely important games against Fulham and Sheffield United if they are to stay up this season.
Man of the Match: Joao Cancelo
Cancelo has been a revelation for Manchester City this season. The Portuguese right-back has found a new role under Guardiola, playing sometimes as a central midfielder, linking up the play and grabbing himself a goal.
His technical ability shone at The Hawthorns, providing the assist for Gundogan and curling a superb effort into the back of the net. This performance proves why he is now the first choice full-back ahead of Kyle Walker.