1-0, min. 27, Agüero. 2-0, min. 53, Sterling. 3-0, min. 79, Sterling. 4-0, min. 85, Danilo.
Manchester City 4-0 AFC Bournemouth: Citizens go 14 points clear at the top with comfortable victory

Manchester City 4-0 AFC Bournemouth: Citizens go 14 points clear at the top with comfortable victory

Manchester City saw off AFC Bournemouth at the Etihad Stadium to extend their lead at the top of the Premier League to 14 points.

Sam Straw

Manchester City extended their lead at the top of the Premier League to 14 points as they comfortably beat AFC Bournemouth 4-0 on Saturday afternoon at the Etihad Stadium

City were the better side in the first-half and deservedly went into half-time a goal up. Fernandinho's ball into the area was met by a diving Sergio Agüero who headed into the bottom corner to give his side a vital lead. 

The hosts were able to extend their advantage early on in the second-half as Raheem Sterling fired home after some neat build up play. Agüero headed home his second goal of the game with around 10 minutes to go before Danilo added further gloss to the scoreline just minutes after. 

Agüero gives City a first-half lead 

Pep Guardiola named arguably his strongest possible starting line-up for this match as he made two changes to his side from last weekend's superb 4-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur. Vincent Kompany came in for Eliaquim Mangala and David Silva replaced Ilkay Gündogan

As expected, it was City who made a dominant start to proceedings with the likes of Silva, Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne all looking lively. However, it was the away side who mustered the first clear chance of the game as Junior Stanislas volleyed a shot wide from Jordan Ibe's cross but was forced off through injury shortly after.  

Agüero could have given City the lead around 20 minutes in after Nicolás Otamendi found him in a pocket of space but his volley sailed over the bar. This was quickly followed by another good chance for City from Silva's corner but Fernandinho could not keep his header down. 

It took a total of 27 minutes for City to make the breakthrough in the first-half. Eddie Howe's side lost possession just outside their own box before Fernandinho's ball into the area was converted by Agüero as his diving header left Asmir Begović helpless.

It was a deserved goal for the hosts but Howe will not have been happy with the manner in which it came about. It had extra meaning for Agüero as it was his 100th goal at the Etihad Stadium for Manchester City in all competitions. 

Bournemouth did respond in a positive manner to going behind and created a few openings before half-time. The pace of Ibe and Callum Wilson did pose a threat to City's defence and some hesitant moments from Ederson and Kyle Walker did not help the nerves among the home crowd. However, City did head into the break with their one goal advantage intact.

Manchester City 2-0 AFC Bournemouth. (picture: Getty Images / Tom Flathers)
Manchester City 4-0 AFC Bournemouth. (picture: Getty Images / Tom Flathers)

Citizens cruise to 17th consecutive league win

It did not take the hosts long to double their advantage at the start of the second-half. Silva was given too much time and space by the away side and his pass was flicked on by Agüero straight into the path of Sterling to fire home and make it 2-0. It was a bitter blow for the away side and gave them a mountain to climb.

This goal visibly knocked Bournemouth's confidence as they really struggled to keep hold of the ball throughout the second-half. With around 20 minutes to go, Guardiola decided to take Leroy Sané off with the winger just one booking away from a suspension. Howe also decided to make some changes as Lys Mousset and Benik Afobe came on to replace Jack Simpson and Wilson. 

David Silva could have rounded off a superb individual performance with a goal of his own but his shot from the edge of the area went just over the bar. Bernardo Silva was given the chance to impress off the bench and he took advantage of this with just over 10 minutes remaining. He picked up the ball on the right-hand side before delivering a superb cross into Agüero who headed home to make it 3-0. 

The hosts were creating numerous opportunities in the latter stages and substitute Danilo fired home to make it 4-0 with around five minutes remaining. Sterling had the space to run at Bournemouth's defence before he slid a pass through to Danilo who calmly struck it into the back of the net. It was another convincing win from the hosts as they extended their lead at the top of the Premier League.