AFC Bournemouth 0-4 Manchester City: Citizens flourish with de Bruyne's excellent return

It was certainly a lively start from Manchester City, and they made light work of their hosts - AFC Bournemouth - in a comfortable victory. It was a much-needed one, considering the chasing pack watching over the Citizens in the race for fourth-place, and a much coveted Champions League spot amongst Europe's elite footballing sides.

Fernando opens scoring in style

Fernando broke the deadlock after just seven minutes following Jesús Navas' corner delivery - which was met with a sweet sidefooted finish swirling past goalkeeper Artur Boruc. It was the Brazilian's first goal since March of 2015, and from then on City enjoyed the lion share of both possession and chances too.

Their lead was soon doubled after fullback Charlie Daniels took too long on the ball, and was punished to devastating effect. Dispossessed by David Silva on the edge of his own area, Sergio Agüero's deft over-the-top flick was passed downwards by the experienced Spaniard - into the path of returning Belgian, Kevin de Bruyne.

Cherries struggle to deal with sky Blues' counter-attacking exploits

The talented 24-year-old, who has been a revelation since his big money switch from VfL Wolfsburg last summer, made no mistake and rifled home with a world-class first-touch finish.

Perhaps cruel on the hosts, but it was about to get a whole lot worse quickly. de Bruyne's marauding run forward saw Navas open in space down the right-hand side, and the former Sevilla man's cross was far too inviting for Aguero not to attack. He did so, and made it three-nil as his leaping header flashed past Boruc as the hosts were aghast and seemingly out of the fixture within twenty minutes.

Aguero leaps above his marker to head home, giving City a three-goal cushion in style. | Photo: Getty
Aguero leaps above his marker to head home, giving City a three-goal cushion in style. | Photo: Getty

Fernandinho struck the crossbar, Willy Caballero was forced into an important save, and City fashioned a few chances in-between. The result was virtually sealed after their twenty minute spell in the first-half, so Aleksandar Kolarov's thunderbolt from range following some encouraging work on the flank by the returning Samir Nasri, was just the icing on the cake for the travelling sky Blues.