Manchester City 3-1 Bournemouth: Citizens break down defensive Cherries to remain unbeaten
(Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Manchester City continued their dominance of the Premier League fixture list with a 3-1 victory over AFC Bournemouth on Saturday afternoon.

Raheem Sterling's second-half strike proved to be the difference as the hosts, who had five changes in their starting lineup, continued their unbeaten run in the league against a well organized Cherries side. 

First-half trade off

Bernardo Silva marked his return to the Manchester City starting lineup by opening the scoring in the match in the 14th minute. The Portuguese winger made no mistake when striking home a rebound after Asmir Begovic had stopped a Leroy Sane chip-attempt. 

Apart from the early goal by the hosts, Eddie Howe's side were defensively sound in their five-man defensive system and allowed minimal chances against a potent Manchester City attack. 

Callum Wilson levelled the match with a minute before half-time, heading home past Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson. The Citizens allowed Cherries' Captain Simon Francis too much time on the ball, allowing Francis to put a well-placed ball for Wilson to even the scoreline. 

The Bournemouth goal was well deserved, as the visitors had taken over offensively in the last five minutes of the first half and had multiple chances towards Ederson's goal.

Back to normal proceedings

Sterling regained the lead for City 12 minutes into the second half, finishing a long buildup. He played the ball off to Danilo on the right edge of the box, with the Brazilian electing to shot towards goal. Begovic made the save on Danilo's shot but was unable to keep ahold of the ball, allowing Sterling to score on the rebound and finish off his own buildup. 

With that goal in the 57th minute, Sterling has now scored six goals and got two assists in his last six matches against Bournemouth in the Premier League. 

Ilkay Gundogan added an insurance goal for the hosts with 11 minutes until full-time to give City a 3-1 lead. 

A Bournemouth clearance landed at the feet of Leroy Sane on the left of Bournemouth's goal, and the German winger made his way towards Begovic. Sane's cutback went through multiple players in the six-yard box before finding Gundogan, who tapped home City's third goal of the match.

No Aguero

Sergio Aguero was not named in the Manchester City matchday squad, as manager Pep Guardiola allowed the Argentine striker a day off ahead of a very busy December for the defending champions. 

Gabriel Jesus started in Aguero's place, but the Brazilian failed to score. Jesus has not scored or completed a full 90 minutes for City since the 19th of August.