LONDON —- Erling Haaland matched old Manchester City hero Sergio Aguero in scoring two goals on his Premier League debut.

Haaland had missed two chances in the FA Community Shield defeat by Liverpool but the 2-0 win at West Ham was serious Premier League business and the 22-year-old enjoyed it.

If Haaland & Co win at home to Bournemouth next Saturday afternoon City will be leading Liverpool by five points when Jurgen Klopp’s men play Crystal Palace on the Monday.

Haaland: two-goal debut

The Norwegian’s opening goal was a first-half penalty after he had been fouled and his second a devastating finish on a second-half counter-attack. His hunger for goals matches manager Pep Guardiola’s continued hunger for success.

Haaland said: “It was a good start. Nothing much to say other than that and that it was 2-0. Good to get some minutes in the legs early in the season and we have to keep going. We saw the potential against Bayern in pre season and it was a bit down against Liverpool. It will come with games, it should have been more today.

“There were some good celebrations so I’m happy. Nice that Dad saw both goals as it is a big moment for me as a debutant in this competition.”

Guardiola tribute

Guardiola said: “This guy has been scoring goals ever since he was born. Nothing with us is going to change much. We know we have a threat there and he is adapting perfecty. We will find him more, more, more and we will give him more opportinities to score goals. He is going to adapt.

“Last week everybody laughed at him and this week he’s Henry or Ronaldo. He has a long career and when he retires – hopefully he will stay here many years – then we can analyse what he has done.”

City fans hope Haaland will prove the missing link in the chain of success – the young goal-scoring centre-forward not only to maintain City’s command of English football but extend it into Europe.

Old England hero Alan Shearer has no doubt. He said: “If I had to choose the league winners now, it would be City because of Haaland. They won the title without him last year, and without using a real centre-forward. Now they have got one who should score a minimum of 30 goals this season. City might have to play slightly differently with him in their team but that’s not a problem.”

Keeper’s blunder

West Ham was a challenging place for Haaland to start hunting goals. Hammers had threatened the Champions League places in both the last two seasons and manager David Moyes had strengthened his squad, most recently with the signing of Maxwel Cornet from Burnley.

They made a lively start but City soon pushed back. Kevin de Bruyne shot wastefully wide, Phil Foden and Jack Grealish tried in vain to put Haaland in on goal then City captain Gundogan had a ‘goal’ disallowed for offside.

Hammers lost goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski with a shoulder problem in the 29th minute. The injury proved doubly costly. Substitute keeper Alphonse Areola had been on the pitch only seven minutes when he brought down Haaland who immediately seized the ball to score his first City goal with the penalty. Gundogan had provided the perfectly-judged assist which sent Haaland striding into the penalty box.

West Ham created nothing in the first half and brought on their own new striker in Gianluca Scamacca after the interval. Declan Rice missed one chance and the failure proved crucial as Gundogan and De Bruyne combined to send Haaland away for his second goal.

Haaland celebrated in front of his father Alfie, the former City midfielder, before being substituted in the 78th minute.

Hammers manager David Moyes said: “They were so good. We had a minute at the start but after that it was just a matter of trying to stay in the game. We started the second half better but their quality told in the end. They were far better than us and we couldn’t cope with them.”