Man City 4-0 Bournemouth: Pep Guardiola’s champions continue impressive start to Premier League


Manchester City 4-0 Bournemouth: Pep Guardiola’s champions continue their impressive start to their Premier League title defence as Kevin de Bruyne and Phil Foden inspire second consecutive win

  • Manchester City go top of the Premier League with a big win over Bournemouth
  • Ilkay Gundogan opened scoring for the Citizens by slotting past Mark Travers
  • Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden scored to build three-goal lead before half-time 
  • Jefferson Lerma scored own-goal in 79th minute to wrap up result for City

This newest incarnation of Manchester City is 10 really good footballers and the other bloke who does things around the box that will decide more important games than this one.

No, not Erling Haaland. Kevin De Bruyne. Comfortably Europe’s best midfielder for a while now, City are creating an even better version. 

More goals than ever and, it seems, the major beneficiary of Haaland’s introduction into this astonishing team.

Manchester City’s Ilkay Gundogan opened the scoring as he fired past Mark Travers

MATCH FACTS AND PLAYER RATINGS 

MANCHESTER CITY (4-3-3) Ederson, Walker (Lewis 820, Dias (Stones 64), Ake, Cancelo, De Bruyne, Rodri, Gundogan (Silva 65), Mahrez, Haaland (Alvarez 74), Foden (Grealish 45)

SUBS: Stones, Grealish, Alverez, Silva, Lewis 

GOALS: Gundogan, De Bruyne, Foden, Lerma OG

AFC BOURNEMOUTH (3-4-2-1) Travers, Kelly, Lerma, Mepham, Stacey, Pearson, Cook (Billing 64), Smith, Christie (Stanislas 63), Travenier (Sensesi 80), Moore (Lowe 90)

SUBS: Lowe, Stanislas, Senesi, Billing 

BOOKED: Mepham, Stacey and Mepham

REFEREE: David Coote

City are, within reason, letting De Bruyne do what he wants at the moment, be it carrying possession from deep or whipping crosses from the right.

He wanders off to the left, to Phil Foden’s delight when latching onto a through ball that nutmegged poor Chris Mepham and went in via two deflections as City scored their third seven minutes before half-time. 

By that point, this was all over. Bournemouth – heavily praised by Guardiola beforehand – decamped to their own box right from the off, conceded territory and hoped to remain compact enough to frustrate the champions yet class told rather quickly. 

Ahead inside 19 minutes through Ilkay Gundogan, and with quite a few chances before then, City swatted away newly promoted opposition with minimal fuss. 

Rather less emotional than his last goal in front of the Etihad Stadium’s South Stand on that dramatic May afternoon, Gundogan’s opener was a product of Haaland.

The Norwegian hadn’t actually touched the ball until then yet came to life when holding off two challenges, rolling two defenders to complete a one-two and assist for Gundogan who did the rest. 

That is what City are getting from Haaland. He will not be involved for long spells – and the striker not touching it for almost 20 minutes in this team, with this amount of domination, does feel bizarre on the surface – but when he is, they click. 

Gundogan celebrates his first Premier League goal of the season against Bournemouth

Gundogan celebrates his first Premier League goal of the season against Bournemouth 

Kevin de Bruyne scored Manchester City's second goal of the game with a great effort

Kevin de Bruyne scored Manchester City’s second goal of the game with a great effort

Phil Foden made it three for Manchester City in the first-half as he netted in the 37th minute

Phil Foden made it three for Manchester City in the first-half as he netted in the 37th minute

He will be regularly occupied by at least two men and was forcefully barged off the ball by Jefferson Lerma seconds before the move that manufactured City’s advantage.

Teams cannot afford to pay him too much more attention than the rest though because give De Bruyne this much freedom and he will just take games away on his own.

He barely wasted a pass, completing 98 per cent of his passes by the time they were off for a second drinks break with around 20 minutes to go. He is dribbling with purpose and left with a goal and an assist. 

Summer signing Erling Haaland failed to find the new for Manchester City against the Cherries

Summer signing Erling Haaland failed to find the new for Manchester City against the Cherries

Last season’s 19 strikes were the most impressive numbers of his career and those will only improve this time as a result of what Haaland brings.

Haaland again bounced off a couple of markers on halfway in the build-up to De Bruyne’s goal, which saw Bournemouth backing off and allowing him to curl with the outside of his boot into the far corner on 31 minutes. Foden’s fortunate third

Mark Travers, who had earlier denied Foden when De Bruyne threaded the needle, made a smart stop to deny the Belgian a second, before he then fired over from the edge of Bournemouth’s box.

There was concern over Jack Grealish who hurt his ankle but he was able to carry on

There was concern over Jack Grealish who hurt his ankle but he was able to carry on

Parker will be buoyed by how the Cherries managed to contain the Premier League champions a little more readily after the break, although Guardiola’s side had long swapped sprints for jobs and just kept recycling the ball.

Haaland departed without scoring, going close on three occasions, while Lerma put through his own net following good work by Joao Cancelo.

Another full back, 17-year-old Rico Lewis, was afforded a debut after impressing on their pre-season tour and there was a long, and pointed, chorus of Bernardo Silva’s name when the little Portuguese was introduced from the bench. Barcelona finding a few million quid down the back of the sofa might be the only thing that can ruin Guardiola’s August.

Pep Guardiola celebrates Manchester City's performance against Bournemouth

Pep Guardiola celebrates Manchester City’s performance against Bournemouth

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