Manchester City jumped up to second in the Premier League following an impressive 2-0 win away at struggling AFC Bournemouth. Raheem Sterling and a Tyrone Mings own goal made it a satisfying trip to the South Coast for Pep Guardiola’s men.
In what promised to be an intriguing game between two attack minded sides, the opening exchanges of the game lived up to expectations. Kevin de Bruyne had the first real chance of the game, though he failed to connect properly with his shot after great work from David Silva.
City sweat on results of injury sustained by Jesus
The game was being played at a frantic pace and as a result there was some bad news for Manchester City as Gabriel Jesus picked up an early ankle injury after a clash in the box with Simon Francis, meaning the Brazilian had to come off. Aguero came on to replace him, not a bad replacement by any means.
Bournemouth started to grow in the game, with winger Ryan Fraser looking particularly lively early on, causing City’s defence some issues.
The first real opportunity came Bournemouth’s way just before the 20 minute mark. A brilliant one-two between Jordan Ibe and Jack Wilshere saw the winger clear through with Willy Caballero to beat, though the City 'keeper was up to the challenge, fantastically denying Ibe as he tried to take the ball round him.
More injury problems moments later, but this time for Bournemouth as captain Francis hobbled off with what looked like a muscular injury. Tyrone Mings came on in place of the defender.
Pressure finally pays off
Chances were coming thick and fast as Sterling saw his effort come back off the post after some brilliant work for Leroy Sané. The German cut the ball back to Sterling whose shot was deflected somehow off Mings on to post.
The pressure finally paid off for City, as they broke the deadlock just before the half hour mark. Sane was again involved as his cross deflected off Steve Cook into the path of Sterling who could not miss at the back post to score his sixth league goal of the season.
Straight from the restart, there was controversy. Bournemouth thought they instantly equalised through Josh King but in the build up it was evident that King pulled John Stones back. Referee Neil Swarbrick made the correct call and disallowed the goal, much to the home fans’ anger.
The game was getting extremely stretched, as there were chances galore at each end. Aguero was the latest City player to waste a golden opportunity, after staying onside, with all the time in the world. But surprisingly he didn’t hit the target and blazed it over the bar to Bournemouth’s relief.
As the first half came to an end, there was more bad news for Bournemouth as they picked up another injury. This time it was Wilshere who had to depart following an ankle injury sustained as Benik Afobe came on to replace him.
City see things through for vital win
The start of the second half was as lively as the first, as City weathered a mini Bournemouth storm, as they looked to add to their tally. Silva, Sane, De Bruyne and Aguero continued to force chances on the counter for the away side.
The home side though again pressed for an equaliser and came very close after a brilliant effort from Harry Arter on the edge of the box forced Caballero to produce a fine save.
The second goal though came City’s way with just over 20 minutes to go. Superb work from Sterling down the left saw him skip past Adam Smith and cut it back towards Aguero, who appeared to get the first touch before Mings turned the ball in to his own net.
Bournemouth continued to press for a route back in to the game but struggled to really create any clear cut chances as the game entered its final stages.
Heading in to the final 10 minutes, City could have added to their tally. This time a mistake by Mings at the back gifted Sané the ball in the area, but his shot from a tight angle rattled back off the bar.
Sané had yet another chance to get his name on the scoresheet in injury time, but he put his shot wide of the post. City eased their way in the end to three much needed points, to make it three wins on the bounce for Guardiola’s men.