Man City star Erling Haaland paid tribute to West Ham legend Paolo Di Canio with his goal celebration during win at London Stadium.
But in the end their brilliant first half performance merely made Man City’s Harlem globetrotters take the scenic route to the end result most expected before kick-off.
That man Erling Haaland got his obligatory goal having spurned a sitter and been thwarted by Aphonse Areola prior.
Man City star Erling Haaland paid tribute to West Ham legend Paolo Di Canio with goal celebration during win at London Stadium
They may not sure too much in common on the pitch anymore, but West Ham and Man City fans have always enjoyed a relationship of mutual appreciation down the years.
And that extended to the pitch it seems.
Some may not have realised the West Ham connection when Man City’s players celebrated a goal in front of the City fans.
Because Man City star Haaland paid tribute to West Ham legend Paolo Di Canio with his goal celebration during win at London Stadium.
Di Canio honoured by fans of both clubs and Man City duo with recreation of ref push celebration
Di Canio was back in east London where, like Haaland has been doing for the last year, he lit up the Premier League with his talent.
He was serenaded on the pitch by the adoring Hammers fans and was applauded by City too. Di Canio even started off the crowd signing bubbles.
Di Canio arrived at West Ham after Harry Redknapp took a chance on him following his ban from football as a result of pushing referee Paul Alcock.
That push was one of the best things to ever happen to West Ham as it resulted in the club signing one of their best ever players for just £1.1m.
Ian Wright and Neil Ruddock famously recreated the Di Canio push for a goal celebration when he was set to join the Hammers.
And Haaland did the same celebration with Bernardo Silva as a tribute to the legend who was at the game.
Not the only moment of mutual appreciation between two clubs with a strong bond off the pitch
The celebration was definitely out of respect as Haaland could be seen greeting Di Canio behind the scenes.
Haaland is one of the few players on the planet who can plan goal celebrations knowing he will be doing them rather than hoping. This was his seventh goal in five Prem games this season.
There was some irony about the fact Jeremy Doku – a West Ham target during the summer – was the star of the show in putting West Ham to the sword.
And there was another moment of mutual appreciation between the two clubs too.