BOURNEMOUTH v CITY: SHORT HIGHLIGHTS
City overcame a lively Bournemouth side to win 3-1 at the Vitality Stadium and move into second spot in the Premier League table.
Sergio Aguero bagged two clinical goals with Raheem Sterling’s customary strike against the Cherries sandwiched in-between.
The Blues didn’t have it all their own way, with Ederson making at least two outstanding saves at crucial moments.
It seems it’s always sunny when City play on the south coast.
Whatever the conditions, the Blues were looking for a ninth successive win in this region of the country and with just eight minutes played, Bernardo Silva came close to turning in Raheem Sterling’s cut-back – though the shot was deflected inches wide.
City didn’t have to wait too much longer to the lead, however.
Oleksandr Zinchenko’s ball into the box fell to Kevin De Bruyne who mis-hit a shot into the path of Aguero who calmly placed a low shot past the Cherries’ keeper.
The lead was nearly doubled four minutes later when a ball into the box fell to the left foot of David Silva – making his 400th City appearance – but his volley was beaten away by Aaron Ramsdale.
The next two presentable opportunities both fell the hosts’ way, with Nathan Ake failing to make the most of a free header from a long throw on 37 minutes and then Ederson forced to deflect a shot from Adam Smith over after Nicolas Otamendi’s attempt at a cushioned back pass went badly wrong.
Despite those near misses, it was the champions who scored next, with a delightful move started by Aymeric Laporte’s sweeping pass to Bernardo who found David Silva and the skipper’s pass into Sterling’s path resulted in his 11th career goal against the Cherries.
The sting in the tale of the first half came in added time when Harry Wilson curled a free-kick home from 20 yards, via the post.
After the re-start, the game swung this way and that, with Ederson denying Callum Wilson from close range after which City broke immediately and De Bruyne saw his low shot curl just wide from 12 yards.
Bournemouth were giving as good as they got, and Eddie Howe’s fast, physical side were causing continued problems for the City defence – so much so Rodrigo replaced Gundogan on the hour.
Moments later, more VAR controversy.
Silva raced into the box and Jefferson Lerma stood on his foot and pulled him down. TV replays suggested it was a foul, but VAR said no. It looked the wrong decision.
City looked suitably angry and on the next attack, served their own justice as Silva and Aguero combined and the latter poked home his second of the game to make it 3-1.
That pretty much killed the game as a contest, with City controlling the tenor and keeping possession for the majority of the final half-hour.
KDB the assist king
It may not have been his tidiest, but De Bruyne’s role in Sergio Aguero’s opening goal was his 50th Premier League assists.
The Belgian is the fastest to reach the milestone, achieving it in 122 games – the previous quickest to reach a half-century was Mesut Ozil who did it in 141 games for Arsenal.
They say the best goalkeepers save with any and every part of their body – and Ederson’s save from Adam Smith illustrated the point as the Bournemouth midfielder pounced on Otamendi’s mistake to fire a powerful shot from point blank range.
It looked a certain goal but Ederson reacted instinctively and the ball struck his face and went over the bar, bringing a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘saving face’!
Star man: Sergio Aguero
Two goals and a performance of industry and endeavour from our record goal-scorer.
Kun just edges out the masterful David Silva and the ever-reliable Ederson.
What it means…
City move into second spot in the Premier League, two points behind leaders Liverpool.
City host Brighton next Saturday in the Premier League, 3pm kick-off.