It’s a strange day when fans of a team as strong as Manchester City come away from their own stadium with a feeling of partial contentment after a shock defeat.
Despite the away form of a mercurial West Ham this season (they had already beaten Liverpool and Arsenal on the road before Saturday) Manchester City were fully expected to stretch their perfect start to the campaign with a sixth straight win.
Ultimately, some isolated examples of bad defending undid them twice in the first half and they failed to complete the comeback.
But few games will ever be as one-sided as the second half of this game and Manchester City did everything but score.
They poured forward with beautiful, flowing football in that second 45 and it’s still hard to believe that they didn’t find the net more than once.
At the centre of it all was Kevin de Bruyne.
It was a great performance from the Belgian and amazing given that it was his first start for the club since his big money move to Manchester City.
But, if this game was anything to judge by, De Bruyne will be one of the stars of The Premier League this season.
While Raheem Sterling is struggling to justify his fee, De Bruyne looks every bit the elite player already.
He’s not just physically imposing, quick and skilful.
He also has a superb football brain and manages to stay composed no matter how frantic the action is around him.
Playing in the hole in this game he passed the ball beautifully and made things happen constantly. He didn’t misplace a pass all afternoon and also scored a full debut goal with a sweet strike from the edge of the box.
It’s early days for De Bruyne but we already think that Manchester City’s latest creative talent could be the difference between 1st and 2nd place in the league by the end of the season.