Men's Team

Wright-Phillips on City’s first half masterclass

Shaun Wright-Phillips has described City’s first half display against Bournemouth as a ‘masterclass’.

Pep Guardiola’s men returned in style to the Etihad for the first time since clinching a fourth Premier League title in five seasons, claiming a comfortable 4-0 triumph over the Cherries.

Ilkay Gundogan, Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden were all on target before the break, while a Jefferson Lerma own goal completed the scoring with ten to play.

Reflecting on the result as part of our Matchday Live coverage, former City winger Wright-Phillips admitted he was running out of superlatives to describe our display - particularly in the opening stages.

“Masterclass. City are doing what we expected, we knew we’d have good possession of the ball, we knew Bournemouth would also sit deep," he said.

“We controlled the game, (Erling) Haaland was involved in retaining the ball which helped Gundogan with the first goal.

“But what can you say… every time we do a show we try and find something to say that makes City sound better, but it’s just pure beauty and enjoyment to watch, it’s such a well-drilled machine.”

Wright-Phillips’ former City and England teammate, Joleon Lescott, echoed his fellow Matchday Live guests’ thoughts.

“You just recognise the quality of City. (Bournemouth) won’t have faced a team with this much understanding and quality,” he explained.

“City are so efficient, almost predictable to a certain extent, but it’s so hard to stop. You know what is coming but if you do something different, they will react off that and be able to produce another outcome.

“There wasn’t a time where you felt we were disrespectful to Bournemouth, we were still probing and pressing showing enough respect to get the ball back (in the second half).

“Pep (Guardiola)’s emphasised that the more you have the ball the more you can rest in possession.”

While Erling Haaland was unable to mark his Etihad Stadium debut with a goal, the forward released Gundogan with a clever one-two to open the scoring against the Cherries.

Despite there being plenty of attention on the Norwegian following his summer switch from Borussia Dortmund, the early signs suggest that our new No.9 has slotted seamlessly into Pep Guardiola’s squad.

After getting on the scoresheet inside 12 minutes against Bayern Munich in pre-season, the 21-year-old grabbed a brace on his Premier League debut last week against West Ham.

Indeed, Lescott believes Haaland’s mentality has helped him adapt quickly to the rigours of English football, while also suggesting it could prove vital in the final furlongs of the campaign.

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He said: “I’m not surprised (by Haaland). He seems to enjoy the pressure and wants it.

“I think he looks in the mirror and thinks “I’m going to be the deciding factor to this game today”, that is something that is needed, particularly at the business end of the season.

“It's a belief. We’ve worked with some the best and… (and) that belief it is a common denominator for world class players.

“They want, enjoy and embrace that level of pressure. I’m looking forward to seeing those moments.”

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