Manchester City climbed to second in the Premier League standings with a hard-fought 2-0 victory over Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Monday.
- Bournemouth 0 Manchester City 2
- Sterling gives City first-half lead
- Cherries continue to contest the match
- Mings scores OG from Sterling cross
- Third straight win for Guardiola’s side
Pep Guardiola’s side were made to work for their third straight win as the Cherries asked questions of the visiting defence on a few occasions.
City would go in front on 29 minutes when Raheem Sterling latched onto a deflected cross from David Silva to pounce at the back post from a few yards out.
The hosts had an equaliser ruled out a minute after failing behind, with Joshua King committing a foul on John Stones moments before picking out the left corner on the goal.
The Citizens could breathe more comfortably when Tyrone Mings got the deciding touch on Sterling’s 69th-minute cross as Sergio Aguero also slid in at the near post.
The encounter on the south coast got off to a quiet start as the hosts employed a high press on City from the get-go.
Eddie Howe’s men created the first real chance on 19 minutes when Jordan Ibe played a one-two with Jack Wilshere to break into the area on the right, but Willy Caballero made a sharp save with his legs to deny the winger from point-blank range.
The visitors would threaten for the first time on 26 minutes as Silva played in Leroy Sane on the left, and the German beat his marker before picking out Sterling, whose effort was deflected across the goal onto the right post by Steve Cook, with Kevin De Bruyne blocked on the follow-up by Charlie Daniels.
Yaya Toure went within inches of opening the scoring moments later when he curled the ball just past the left post from Stones’ lay-back, but Sterling did break the deadlock three minutes later as he converted from close range at the back post after Silva’s cross had invitingly deflected into his path.
The Cherries thought they had hit back immediately as King lashed home a cross from Ibe on the right, but the referee spotted a foul on Stones in the build-up and disallowed the goal.
Artur Boruc pulled off a fine save to keep out Silva from inside the box on the left in the 32nd minute before denying Aguero with a low stop to his left soon afterwards.
The Argentine striker should have doubled the Citizens’ lead on 37 minutes when he was picked out by a cross from Bacary Sagna on the right, but he fired over from 12 yards out with replays showing he was offside.
Silky skills from Silva created a chance for De Bruyne on 45 minutes as the Spaniard brought a dropping ball under control and slipped in the Belgian, who flashed a shot just wide of the target from 25 yards out.
Both teams looked to attack after the break, although the first opportunity only arrived 22 minutes into the second half as Benik Afobe advanced into the area on the left and laid the ball off for Harry Arter, whose curling shot from 20 yards out was expertly saved by Caballero at the left post.
However, City killed off any thoughts of a fightback just two minutes later when Aguero slid home at the near post to turn in Sterling’s cross from the left byline, with Mings also getting a touch on the ball.
Fernandinho was presented with a chance on 78 minutes from Silva’s free-kick on the left, but the Brazilian steered his header over at the back post, and a mistake from Mings six minutes from time almost let in Sane, who pounced on the defender’s loose pass to lash his angled shot against the crossbar.
Boruc showed cat-like reflexes to keep out Aleksandar Kolarov’s fierce drive on 87 minutes before turning Silva’s rebound onto the left post, although the Spaniard had strayed offside and the assistant referee raised his flag.
Sane then steered a shot the wrong side of the left post in stoppage time after latching onto De Bruyne’s through-ball on the right as City finished strongly.