Steve Howey says that City’s hard-fought victory over Bournemouth will mean more to the players than a comfortable win.

Phil Foden’s first-half strike secured a 1-0 win at the Vitality Stadium to close the gap on leaders Liverpool to one point at the top of the Premier League.

City have beaten the Cherries in each of our 14 games against them in the top-flight, but Andoni Iraola’s side proved a real test as they pushed for a late equaliser in a tense finish.

But we secured a second successive clean sheet and Howey said Pep Guardiola will be delighted with how is players battled to keep the home side out.

“At this stage of this season it’s about getting three points and if anything the lads will take more out of it than if it was comfortable 3-0 or 4-0,” the former City defender said on Matchday Live.

“They know they’ve battled so hard together. They haven’t laid down, they’ve made it difficult for Bournemouth.

“You have to give Bournemouth credit they made it very difficult for City.  Attacked them, had a header at the end and it was nail-biting, but City were resilient and managed to keep a clean sheet.

“That’s two games where they haven’t played brilliantly but have got six points and kept two clean sheets – they’re the positives.

“Pep will be absolutely delighted with his players. That was a very hard-fought three points.”


Howey said it shows that the champions are able to play in different ways as we chase a record fourth successive title.

“It shows the resilience and the adaptability of the team,” he added. “Everyone associates City with fast-flowing, exciting football. But you can’t win games like that all the time.

“Oppositions make it difficult. You look at Bournemouth and Brentford, they won’t play that way against other teams, it’s specifically for City to make it difficult for them.”

Fellow Matchday Live guest Keith Curle also praised the attitude and determination of the City players and expects more of the same when we face Luton Town in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Tuesday night.

“I think Luton will try to recreate what Bournemouth have done – getting forward, on the front foot and putting City under pressure,” the former City defender said.

“Of the three promoted sides to come up to the Premier League last season, Luton have adapted really well.

“At home they create that atmosphere, they get on the front foot and they’re going to put City under pressure.”


Matchday Live is our FREE City-centric show covering every single men’s first team match.

We will be back on Tuesday night with Paul Dickov and Nicky Weaver for the FA Cup fifth round clash with Luton Town while Shaun Wright-Phillips will be pitchside at Kenilworth Road.

Join us just over an hour before kick-off when presenter Natalie Pike will run you through the team news before delving deeper into what to expect from the game.

Once it kicks off, we hand to Alistair Mann and Michael Brown for live radio commentary.

At half-time and full-time, we go back to the studio where our experts dissect what they have seen on the pitch.

It’s the perfect accompaniment to Manchester City match day!