Raheem Sterling. Getty Images

Raheem Sterling scored a hat-trick as Manchester City got their title defence up and running in style with a 5-0 win at West Ham, in a game where VAR made its first impact in the Premier League.

City’s new No 9 Gabriel Jesus showed deadly instinct to open the scoring with a near-post touch from Kyle Walker’s fine work down the right (25), and the champions were 2-0 up shortly after half-time through Sterling’s tidy finish (51).

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The season’s first major VAR call came minutes later as Jesus’ tap-in was ruled out by a marginal offside call on Sterling (53), but after another tight VAR call, Sterling grabbed his second and City’s third, lobbing Lukasz Fabianski inside the box (75).

Sub Sergio Aguero then netted City’s fourth from the spot (86) at the second attempt after VAR ruled for a retake for his initial missed penalty due to encroachment, before Sterling wrapped up his hat-trick in stoppage time (90+2).