Manchester City responded to Arsenal’s win at Leicester City earlier on Saturday with a comprehensive win over Bournemouth. llkay Gundogan was at his silky best, pulling strings for Pep Guardiola’s side. Erling Haaland was backed by his manager Guardiola on Friday and he responded with another goal to keep up the pace in the Premier League title race.
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Manchester City cruised to a 4-1 victory at Bournemouth to keep in touch with Arsenal at the top of the Premier League.
Julian Alvarez opened the scoring in the 15th minute when Erling Haaland’s deflected shot hit the bar gifting the World Cup winner an easy tap-in rebound.
After just one goal in six before this match, Haaland netted just before the half-hour mark when Phil Foden pushed Ilkay Gundogan’s cross back into the six-yard box where the Norway international tapped home.
HAALAND NOT TO BLAME FOR CITY FAILINGS SAYS GUARDIOLA
On the stroke of half time, Philip Billing’s errant square ball was seized upon by Foden who beat Jack Stephens to smash home.
Six minutes into the second half it was four when Alvarez blasted a low effort which deflected into the Bournemouth net off Chris Mepham.
Jefferson Lerma netted a consolation seven minutes from time when he struck home a ball pulled from the by-line by Jordan Zemura.
The result leaves City two points behind Arsenal at the top of the table, while Bournemouth lie second-bottom.
TALKING POINT –
A PRIME INDICATOR OF WHY CITY ARE STILL FAVOURITES
Bournemouth had conceded fewer goals at home in the Premier League than City and Arsenal this season before this game. This seemed an irrelevance inside the opening few minutes as City camped in the Bournemouth half and goals seemed an inevitability. Although Arsenal had a similar possession advantage in their match at Leicester earlier in the day, they do not have the variety of attacking threat City do. Maybe City’s most in-form forward Jack Grealish was the quietest of the City attackers today but Alvarez and Foden and midfielder Gundogan were perennial threats. Attention is always given to Haaland when he has a dry run in front of goal but, whether he scores or not, he demands defensive attention in a way no other striker in the league does making life so much easier for the rest of City’s stars.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH –
PHIL FODEN (MANCHESTER CITY)
Reaching his double century of appearances by the age of 22, he is likely to be remembered as one of the best City players ever by the time he reaches his mid-20s. With Grealish and Riyad Mahrez in better form recently he has sometimes been an after-thought in the City line-up but in this match he was his usual electric self in possession, terrifying the Bournemouth defence whenever he got the ball.
Bournemouth: Neto 6; Smith 6, Stephens 6, Mepham 6, Senesi 6, Zemura 7; Lerma 7, Billing 5, Ouattara 5, Traore 5; Solanke 6.
Subs: Rothwell 6, Fredericks 6, Anthony 6.
Manchester City: Ederson 6; Lewis 7, Akanji 6, Ruben Dias 6, Ake 6; Gundogan 8, Rodri 7; Foden 8*, Alvarez 7, Grealish 7; Haaland 7.
Subs: Phillips 6, Gomez 6, Mahrez 6, Perrone 6
15′ GOAL FOR CITY! Foden is found by Gundogan in the box but couldn’t get a shot off, then Haaland’s deflected effort strikes against the bar and Alvarez nets the rebound from a couple of yards out.
29′ GOAL FOR CITY! Gundogan crossed from the left flank, Foden taps it back into the middle and Haaland scores an easy goal from three yards out.
45′ GOAL FOR CITY! Game over. On his 200th City appearance for the club Foden scores the third.. He latches onto an awful square ball from Billing and then drives past Stephens and slams the ball into the net.
51′ GOAL FOR CITY! Bournemouth fail to clear the ball out of their defence and Alvarez blasts low towards goal and it deflects off Mepham en route to the net.
83′ GOAL FOR BOURNEMOUTH! A smart finish from Lerma gets the Cherries on the scoresheet. Zemura pulls a ball back to him in the area and though Dias got a touch in front of him, the midfielder’s touch was perfect and he then fired the ball into the net.