Bournemouth and Manchester City played out a truly exhilarating game in the 12.30pm kick-off at Dean Court on Saturday, as Manchester City emerged 2-1 victors courtesy of goals from Jesus and a last minute winner from Raheem Sterling.
The game was evenly contested in the opening 10 minutes, with City’s sharp, possession orientated game-plan bearing no real rewards. Pep Guardiola was forced to make changes prior to the game; with Danilo replacing the suspended Kyle Walker, and the lack of functionality down City’s right-hand side was notable in the early stages. Benjamin Mendy looked sharp on his full debut, with the vast majority of City’s attacking threats coming from the left.
Bournemouth broke the deadlock on the turn of the 13th minute – an absolute wonder-strike from Charlie Daniels giving them a deserved 1-0 lead. Daniels saw the ball bounce on the right left-side of the penalty box and hit a truly outstanding strike which Ederson had no chance of saving – Bournemouth were in the ascendancy.
Eight minutes later, City were level. David Silva collected the ball 30 yards out from goal and slid through a phenomenal through-ball to Jesus, who calmly slotted past Asmir Begovic to the draw the game level. 1-1.
After half-time, the game begun to ramp up in its intensity – the team-talks of Howe and Guardiola evidently playing a part in this. A point would have been a simply mesmeric result for Bournemouth, but in the 97th minute – Dean Court was silenced – except the Manchester City fans section – well, they were simply elated.
Raheem Sterling collected the ball from a low cross, gathered himself, and hit the ball; via a deflection of Andrew Surman, into the left corner of Bournemouth’s net, making it 2-1 to Manchester City.
The scenes that ensued were on the verge of Mancunian ecstasy – Sterling was later given his marching orders by Mike Dean for a second yellow – deemed to be due to Sterling running into the crowd and enticing what would be described as ‘crowd disorder’. It may well have been disorderly, but you can hardly blame him. The final whistle went and Guardiola’s men emerged 2-1 victors.
As Vincent Kompany said himself in his post-match interview “I turned to Mendy and Silva [after Sterling’s goal] and said – welcome to the Premier League”. Bournemouth can consider themselves immensely unlucky to come away with nothing today – whilst Guardiola’s abject managerial decisions; such at that to play Kevin De Bruyne at CDM, have not borne seismic negative consequence for City.
A superb game of Premier League football; Manchester City fortunate, Bournemouth quite the opposite, but three immensely valuable points in Guardiola’s quest for the Premier League title.
Written by Tom Newman.