Pep Guardiola hailed an “incredible” victory after Manchester City swatted aside West Ham 4-0.
City found the London Stadium to their liking again as strikes from David Silva, Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane’s double took City’s tally to 17 goals in only four visits to Stratford.
An ultimately routine victory made it eight wins from eight in all competitions and strengthened City’s hold on top spot in the Premier League.
Despite a thumping defeat West Ham created more chances than many teams have against the champions, but Guardiola felt there were extenuating circumstances.
“After an international break that is normal,” he said. “The guys have been training for 10 days in a different way, with a different rhythm, and then they come back and have one training session, then travel away, and West Ham have quality.
“But the four goals were fantastic and the result is incredible, because after this international break we know Real Madrid lost away, Bayern Munich drew at home, (Manchester) United were not able to win at home.
“So we know it’s complicated and it’s so difficult after the international break. We have to be better but I know we will do it.”
Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini, facing his former club for the first time, opted for an attacking line-up having vowed to fight fire with fire.
It was a brave move, but ultimately doomed to failure especially with Arthur Masuaku and Felipe Anderson, two of the least defensively-minded players on show, manning the left flank. Suffice to say, Sterling could not believe his luck.
Just 38 seconds had elapsed between Anderson taking a short corner and Silva meeting Sterling’s near-post cross with a deft finish for the opening goal.
Nine minutes later it was two, Sane rolling in another low centre which eluded everyone until Sterling tapped home.
City grabbed number three with Sterling, once again handed the freedom of Stratford by his non-existent markers, the creator and Sane the beneficiary.
With only 35 minutes on the clock City looked capable of reaching double figures, but they settled for just one more with Sane striking in stoppage time.
Pellegrini is now sweating on the fitness of top scorer Marko Arnautovic, who had to limp off near the end leaving his side a man short.
“Marko finished the game with some pain. We will see how he is tomorrow,” said Pellegrini.
Of more pressing concern to Pellegrini was the manner in which his side conceded all three goals – Masuaku was hooked at half-time but he was not the only one at fault as crosses into the box were simply not dealt with.
“It is difficult for me as a manager when you have lost 4-0 but there are a lot of things that were useful for us in this game,” he added.
“It is not easy to create so many clear chances against Manchester City. Unfortunately for us, I think we were very weak in defending slow crosses in the box without any danger. We cannot lose our markers.
“They are different goals and Manchester City have so many goalscorers and very good players, but I think those kinds of goal were too easy for them.”