If there is one thing as certain as the crawling queues of traffic towards Bournemouth’s beaches on a sunny bank holiday weekend it is the relentless drive of Manchester City. If there is another it is the endless stream of goals supplied by Sergio Aguero who struck twice as the champions won on the south coast.
Pep Guardiola looked on approvingly in his summer casuals as his City team took all three points, returned to winning ways after the blip of a draw against Tottenham and maintained their close pursuit of early pace-setters Liverpool. Raheem Sterling converted the other.
Bournemouth flickered and refused to give in. They were dangerous as ever on the break and Harry Wilson, on loan from Liverpool, scored a spectacular goal which would have raised a cheer back on Merseyside. Wilson’s free-kick, just before the interval, reduced the deficit to 2-1 but the Treble winners eased away again in the second half.
Sergio Aguero added his second of the game as he ghosted into the box and toe-poked the ball past Aaron Ramsdale
Aguero celebrates Manchester City’s third goal of the afternoon at the Vitality Stadium and puts daylight between the sides
MATCH FACTS, PLAYER RATINGS AND LEAGUE TABLE
AFC Bournemouth: Ramsdale, Smith, Mepham, Steve Cook, Ake, Daniels, King, Lerma, Billing, Fraser, Callum Wilson.
Subs: Boruc, Surman, Solanke, Ibe, Rico, Harry Wilson, Simpson.
Man City: Ederson, Walker, Otamendi, Laporte, Zinchenko, De Bruyne, Gundogan, Silva, Bernardo Silva, Aguero, Sterling.
Subs: Bravo, Tasende, Rodri, Fernandinho, Mahrez, Joao Cancelo, Foden.
- Premier League
- Premier League
- League One
- League Two
- Scottish Premiership
- Scottish Div 1
- Scottish Div 2
- Scottish Div 3
- Ligue 1
- Serie A
- La Liga
City took control when Aguero struck after 15 minutes. A cross from the left and a mishit shot landed at his feet and he did not hesitate. A touch and a firm low strike and Aaron Ramsdale was picking the ball out of his net for the first time. It was three goals in three games for Aguero at the start of the new campaign.
The game had opened at a chaotic pace and both Kyle Walker and Ederson were shown yellow cards for clattering late challenges. Walker must have been relieved to have escaped without caution following an earlier mistimed tackle on the same opponent, Nathan Ake. It was the Ederson challenge, however, which incensed the home crowd.
The Brazilian goalkeeper was well out of his goal, wide on the City right as he raced Callum Wilson to a long ball. The Bournemouth striker won the sprint and Ederson wiped him out. It was crude and ugly but the ‘keeper was perhaps safe in the knowledge he was so far out that it would not be judged as a clear goalscoring opportunity, which is how it turned out.
Moments later, the visitors were ahead and Bournemouth fans were serenading Andre Marriner with a chorus of the “one-nil to the referee”.
Eddie Howe’s side suffered another blow when Charlie Daniels was injured while crossing from the left. It looked serious from the moment he fell, clutching his right knee and there was sympathy and support around the ground as Daniels, who missed the end of last season following surgery on his left knee, was treated and carried off in distress, his hands covering his face.
Raheem Sterling made Adam Smith pay for missing an early chance as he pokes the ball into the net for Manchester City
This doubled City’s advantage and sent Sterling to the top of the Premier League goalscoring charts alongside Teemu Pukki
Howe reshuffled – forced to shift Ryan Fraser one of his quick front-three to step-in at wing-back – and, albeit briefly, City lost focus and conceded a couple of sharp chances. First, as soon as play resumed, to Ake, who could not connect sweetly with his volley and then to Adam Smith who was denied from close range by Ederson.
Just as Bournemouth hopes were encouraged, Sterling pounced to stretch the lead for the visitors. David Silva turned on the ball and threaded a pass into the feet of Sterling, who gathered the ball on the run and beat Ramsdale with a toe-poke, his fifth in three Premier League games.
With half-time in sight, this seemed to give City the degree of comfort required to coast home but the home team fought on, inspired by a brilliant Harry Wilson free-kick which reduced the deficit in stoppage time at the end of the first half. Wilson, who came on as a substitute for the injured Daniels, curled the ball with his left foot into the top corner.
Bournemouth came out for the second half with purpose but Guardiola’s team continued to dominate. Kevin De Bruyne slammed a good chance narrowly wide and there was a VAR investigation as David Silva claimed he had been tripped by Jefferson Lerma. There was certainly contact. Lerma, making a clumsy tackle from behind, trod on Silva’s boot and over he went.
But, as City fans, aired their feelings about the introduction of the video referee, it was decided the contact was not worthy of a reversal of Marriner’s initial decision, that there had been no foul. At least the away fans could continue with their song and the champions soon extended their lead when Aguero grabbed his second.
David Silva caused another tremor of mild panic as he dribbled into the penalty area and when the ball was won by a combination of Ake and Chris Mepham it spilled into the path of Aguero who thumped in his second of the game.
In truth, they coasted in from here. Ederson saved from Dominic Solanke who might have done better with the chance. And there was time for a late debut for Joao Cancelo. There is little wrong with Pep’s blue machine.
Harry Wilson scored a sensational free-kick deep into added time of the first half to give Bournemouth a lifeline
Wilson sent an unstoppable free-kick into the top corner that Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson could do nothing about
Adam Smith should have scored at 0-1 but Ederson made a remarkable save with his head from point-blank range
Charlie Daniels, who suffered a knee injury in March, was stretched off with what looked like another serious knee injury
Sergio Aguero gives Manchester City the lead as the ball fortunately deflects into his path and he tucks the ball into the net
Aguero celebrates with Bernardo Silva having broken the deadlock for Pep Guardiola’a side midway through the first half
Aaron Ramsdale makes a fine save from Manchester City defender Kyle Walker who treid to toe poke the ball into the net
Bournemouth defender Steve Cook heads the ball clear of danger as City dominated the first half at the Vitality Stadium
Manchester City full-back Kyle Walker needlessly slides in on Bournemouth defender Nathan Ake in the first half
The City defender is shown a yellow card by referee Andre Marriner for the reckless challenge on the Holland international
Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva shows off his silky footwork as defender Charlie Daniel tries to close him down
Sergio Aguero (front) tries to carve out an opening for the champions as he tries to dribble past defender Nathan Ake
City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne attempts to control the ball under pressure from Bournemouth winger Ryan Fraser