Man City 3-1 Bournemouth: Leaders too good for Bournemouth in second half
Highlights and report as leaders City win sixth straight Premier League game
By Gerard Brand
Last Updated: 02/12/18 7:07am
Manchester City continued their unbeaten Premier League start with a 3-1 victory over Bournemouth on Saturday at the Etihad, their sixth league win in a row.
City took the lead on 16 minutes through Bernardo Silva's shot through a crowd from 15 yards, but Bournemouth got a deserved equaliser late in the half as Callum Wilson's fine header found the top corner (44).
Raheem Sterling hit the post after the break following a mazy run, but got his goal on 57 minutes, converting from close range after Asmir Begovic had spilled Danilo's shot, before Ilkay Gundogan got City's third from six yards from Leroy Sane's centre (79).
Man City: Ederson (6), Danilo (6), Otamendi (6), Laporte (7), Zinchenko (7), Fernandinho (6), Gundogan (7), Sterling (7), Bernardo Silva (7), Sane (8), Jesus (6)
Subs: Delph (6), David Silva (6), Mahrez (NA)
Bournemouth: Begovic (5), Francis (4), Steve Cook (4), Ake (5), Mings (6), Daniels (5), Fraser (6), Surman (5), Lewis Cook (5), King (6), Wilson (7)
Subs: Brooks (5), Mousset (NA), Stanislas (NA)
Man of the match: Leroy Sane
The result means City are five points clear at the top of the Premier League, with second-place Liverpool facing Everton on Super Sunday. Bournemouth move down to ninth.
Without the injured Sergio Aguero, City dominated the ball early on and should have been ahead through Gabriel Jesus, but his effort on the stretch at the far stick from Sane went inches wide of Begovic's post.
They did go ahead a few minutes later as Oleksandr Zinchenko's fine ball in behind found Sane in the box, and despite Begovic getting there first to palm away, Silva was on hand to shoot through a crowded box and into the net.
Wilson should have levelled just before his opener, failing to get onto Josh King's superb ball into the box on the stretch, but he did get his eighth of the season with a brilliant header from Simon Francis' cross a minute before the break.
With midweek in mind, Manchester City made five changes. Danilo, Gundogan, Bernardo Silva, Jesus and Otamendi came in, replacing Walker, Stones, David Silva, Mahrez and Aguero. Aguero didn't make the matchday 18 for Pep Guardiola's side. There were three changes for Bournemouth; Gosling, Lerma and Brooks came out, replaced by Lewis Cook, Tyrone Mings and Andrew Surman.
Sterling impressed again at the Etihad, skipping past five Bournemouth players before seeing his deflected shot come off the post, but minutes later he scored his ninth goal of the season, slamming home from close range after Begovic had spilled Danilo's fierce, low shot from the right of the box.
Fernandinho then placed a left-footed shot just wide of the left-hand post from the right of the area, while at the other end Wilson nearly squeezed home another leveller from Steve Cook's dangerous long throw. But after Bourmemouth had a strong penalty appeal turned down by Stuart Attwell for Fernandinho's shove on Mings, City got their two-goal cushion with 11 minutes remaining.
Man of the match Sane, who caused Bournemouth's defence issues all afternoon, burst free down the left, before crossing low at the byline for Gundogan to convert simply from point-blank range.
The pundit - Phil Thompson
"It was flat in the first half, although it was no real surprise that it was Raheem Sterling who got things going for them. And in the second half, Sterling was truly brilliant. He was absolutely terrific and he got his usual goal as well."
Pep Guardiola: "In the first half it was flat, a lack of rhythm. We are good when we're playing one way, the other way everyone can beat us. But in the second half the action from Raheem and Fabian Delph helped us to take our rhythm, and the second half was much better."
Eddie Howe: "We had moments and unfortunately for us the three goals we conceded were out of context with the game and were scrappy. They weren't goals where they cut through us with beautiful football and you kick yourself for that."
- Manchester City have won all seven Premier League matches against Bournemouth, scoring 24 goals and conceding only three.
- Bournemouth are yet to win a league match against Manchester City - in 13 meetings, they've drawn twice and lost 11.
- Manchester City have now gone 20 games unbeaten in the Premier League (W17 D3), since a 2-3 defeat against Manchester United in April.
- After losing two of their opening 10 league games this season (W6 D2), Bournemouth have lost each of their last four.
- Since the start of last season, Man City's Leroy Sane has provided more assists in the Premier League than any other player (20).
Man of the match - Leroy Sane
City exploited space behind Bournemouth's defence on the right from start to finish, and Sane, as ever, was the main outlet.
He made three key passes, more than any other player, and was a constant threat to Steve Cook and Simon Francis. They'll be having nightmares for days after a relentless 90 minutes.
Manchester City go to Watford on Tuesday night in the Premier League, while Bournemouth are at home to Huddersfield, also on Tuesday night.