Wilfried Bony also weighed in with a brace and five of the six goals scored came in an entertaining first 45 in front of a record Etihad gate of 54,502.
The result ensures that the Blues go into next weekend’s Manchester derby as Premier League leaders in what is likely to be a high octane affair at Old Trafford.
The loss of David Silva, Sergio Aguero and Aleks Kolarov through injuries picked up on the international break meant the Blues had a new-look attack of Sterling and Bony while a more conventional 4-4-2 system was adopted
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Before the new partnership had a chance to show what they could do, however, Bournemouth perhaps should have been given the opportunity to edge their noses in front when Nicolas Otamendi’s last-ditch tackle in the box felled Dan Gosling – replays proved he got nothing of the ball and was fortunate not to concede a penalty.
The Blues reacted positively to the early scare and quickly established a two-goal lead, though the visitors’ defence played their part in both goals, somewhat.
For the opener on eight minutes, Fernandinho spotted Pablo Zabaleta’s overlapping run into the box and the Argentine’s clever header back across the six-yard box got a nudge on from Bony, found its way to Sterling at the far post and he had the simple task of tapping home from two yards.
Four minutes later, Bacary Sagna’s cross was spilled by Cherries keeper Adam Federici and the lurking Bony couldn’t miss – and didn’t – as he rolled the ball home from close range to give the hosts clear daylight with only 12 minutes on the clock.
On the back of a 6-1 win over Newcastle, the question was: could the Blues post back-to-back sixes?
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Bournemouth looked shaken, but there’s plenty to admire about Eddie Howe’s side and they worked their way back into the game with a well-taken goal on 23 minutes with Glenn Murray’s low drive from 20 yards squeezing inside of Joe Hart’s left-hand post.
The Blues were far from finished in this half, though and would add a couple more goals to further punish the south coast side.
The third home goal of the afternoon was the best of the game with Kevin De Bruyne’s sublime pass setting Sterling clear – though the England man still had plenty to do as he broke into the box, feigned a couple of shots and, with defenders dropping like flies, calmly rolled the ball home for his second of the afternoon on 28 minutes.
The Blues looked as though they might score every time they attacked and when De Bruyne’s stunning 20-yard shot was tipped onto the underside of the crossbar seconds before the break by Federici, it seemed that three would be the sum total for this half – but Sterling had other ideas.
Jesus Navas chased a long ball forward and he was too quick for the defender and Boruc as he nipped in and around the keeper, but he delayed his shot too long and his effort was blocked, falling to Sterling who pushed the ball right and then hit a low drive through the keeper’s legs to complete his hat-trick.
Perhaps the Blues have found the ideal man to fill in for Sergio Aguero after all!
Yaya Toure was withdrawn at the break – hopefully as a precaution more than anything else – and De Bruyne followed him off after an hour with Sevilla and United to come in the next seven days.
With the game as good as won, the Blues stepped off the gas a little in the second period, though Sterling could have helped himself to another couple of goals and Zabaleta also saw a fierce shot beaten out by Boruc.
Sterling left to a standing ovation 12 minutes from the end after his best afternoon yet in sky blue and there was just enough time for hard-working Bony to add a fifth a minute from the end of normal time after good work from the equally impressive Navas.
That's eleven goals in two home games for the rampant Blues who remain top of the table going into next weekend's round of fixtures, though more testing challenges than this are likely to await in the form of Sevilla and United...