Premier League Champions Manchester City responded perfectly from their draw with Spurs last time out as Pep Guardiola’s men disposed of Bournemouth 3-1 at the Vitality.
A Sergio Aguero brace either side of a Raheem Sterling finish was enough for City take the three points from the South Coast. However the game somewhat overshadowed an excellent free kick from Liverpool loanee Harry Wilson.
Eddie Howe made just the one change following the win at Aston Villa last time out, as Chris Mepham replaced Harry Wilson. Pep Guardiola made just the one change also, bringing in David Silva for new signing Rodri.
The Cherries began the game with positive intent and had chances to show for it early on. Josh King was the first to have a sniff at City’s goal after muscling De Bruyne off the ball and sending his effort straight into the arms of Ederson a mere two minutes into the contest. Adam Smith and King also looked to give City left back Oleksandr Zinchenko problems from the out set and caught the left back napping on a couple of occasions, however to no avail.
Despite the Cherries starting strongly the visitors were always quick to show their quality in abrupt spells and it wasn’t long before Pep Guardiola’s men were testing Aaron Ramsdale, as City’s first real chance saw Bernardo Silva’s drilled effort brilliantly tipped past the post by the Bournemouth keeper.
The Champions began to get a slow but steady foot hold in the contest and it only took them until the 15 minute mark to find a goal. Zinchenko was released down City’s left hand side and was able to drill a dangerous ball into the Cherries’ six yard box. A scramble followed which eventually saw Sergio Aguero tap past a stranded Ramsdale.
City gloveman Ederson was perhaps fortunate not to be sent off for a very late challenge on Callum Wilson just prior to the visitors opening the scoring, however Pep’s men soon doubled their lead.
A sumptuous slide rule pass from David Silva found the feet of Raheem Sterling, who rode two challenges from Ake and Mepham before clipping Ramsdale and giving City a comfortable cushion to lay on heading into the break.
However the last real action of the half saw Laporte clip Wilson with his back to goal, handing the Cherries a free kick in a very dangerous position. Liverpool loanee Harry Wilson was quick to step up and send a delightful curling effort from 30 yards into the top right hand corner, leaving Ederson with no chance and giving the game a very new look heading into the interval.
The Cherries unsurprisingly started the second period strongly following a lively end to the second half, forcing the visitors to play quickly from the back and were perhaps unfortunate not to see a free kick awarded after Sterling brought down Wilson. Despite this the Champions began to settle and showed great composure in retaining possession; and City were soon rewarded on the 64th minute mark.
David Silva and Aguero worked a lovely one two on Bournemouth’s right hand side before the former carried the ball into the area. The Argentine was able to follow in on the Spaniard’s lay off and poke the ball past a stranded Ramsdale to give Bournemouth a very tough mountain to climb.
A chance fell Bournemouth’s way a mere few minutes from the end as Solanke found himself with only Ederson to beat, only to drive his effort straight at City’s number one.
The Champions were subsequently able to see out the contest and were at good value for their win following a nervy first half display, able to control the tempo of the second half and take what chances came their way.
The outcome leaves the Sky Blues just two points a drift of current leaders Liverpool in second place while Eddie Howe’s side drop to 11th on goal difference heading into game week four of the Premier League season.
Bournemouth XI: Ramsdale, Smith (Ibe), Mepham, S Cook (c), Ake, Daniels (Wilson), Lerma, Billing, Fraser, King, Wilson (Solanke).
Manchester City XI: Ederson, Walker (Cancelo), Otamendi, Laporte, Zinchenko, De Bruyne, Gundogan (Rodri), David Silva (c), Bernardo Silva (Mahrez), Sterling, Aguero.
By Harvey Camp (@harveycampjourn)