MAN CITY 4, AFC BOURNEMOUTH 0
The ease in which Manchester City disposed of newly promoted AFC Bournemouth sent a chilling message why they are favourites to clinch a third successive Premier League title.
First-half goals from Ilkay Gundogan, Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden secured victory by the mid-point of the match as there was a chasm in class between the two teams.
City were able to cruise through the second period with minimal effort, though they added to their tally through a Jefferson Lerma own goal.
Manager Pep Guardiola was delighted, admitting Bournemouth were difficult to play against.
“It was not easy for many reasons, but we made a really good performance,” he said.
“They defend so deep and narrow, and you have to go outside, but we forced three or four corners in the first six or seven minutes and had chances.”Embed from Getty Images
Guardiola was not concerned about new boy Erling Haaland only having eight touches in the game.
“He has the most difficult job in the world as they had three central defenders and two in front of them. And it is a case of how you can survive in there,” he explained.
“He will find many situations and it is just a question of time. I have no doubts about him It is about being patient and the right moments will come.”
Guardiola was also pleased how solid his side was defensively. They have kept clean sheets in their first two games and conceded only one chance in each of their first two games.”
Bournemouth manager Scott Parker admitted City were a class apart.
He said: “Manchester City away will not define our season. We will analyse it and see what we can do better.
“Their level was different. They are a world class team which can execute in any moment.
“For us to get anything, we would need 10 out of 10 performances, ride your luck and take your chances which will be limited. Their quality shone through, but I was pleased with the way we went about it.”
City handed a home debut to Haaland after his two-goal salvo on his first Premier League appearance last weekend and made only one change from the team that beat West Ham.
Riyad Mahrez came in for Jack Grealish who dropped to the bench.
Also among the City substitutes was Bernardo Silva whose future at the club remains uncertain, and Julian Alvarez, who was hoping to make his first appearance at the Etihad Stadium.
Bournemouth made three changes from the side that beat Aston Villa on the opening weekend.
Lewis Cook, Ryan Christie and Jack Stacey came into the side for Phillip Billing, Jordan Zemura and Dominic Solanke.
New signings Neto and Marcos Senesi were both on the bench.
There was an impressive fireworks display pre-match and fireworks from the start as City produced wave after wave of attacks.
De Bruyne twice, Mahrez and Foden all had chances in the opening 10 minutes.
The only surprise was that it took City until the 18th minutes to break the deadlock.
Haaland, surrounded by defenders, did well to shield the ball before laying it off to Gundogan to slot home a low shot, his 50th goal for City.
Rodri curled a shot wide before City doubled their advantage in the 31st minute with a piece of magic.
Rodri won a loose ball in midfield before releasing De Bruyne who curled a low shot from 15 yards into the far corner with the outside of his boot, an audacious finish.
De Bruyne then turned provider for City’s third goal in the 37th minute, releasing Foden whose effort was partially blocked by goalkeeper Mark Travers before trickling into the net.
Haaland had the chance to add a fourth goal at the end of the half, but Travers turned over his cheeky lob.
Bournemouth only had one goal attempt, when the score was 1-0, as Ben Pearson forced a diving save from Ederson.
City made a change at the restart as Grealish replaced Foden.
The second half followed a similar pattern to the first with City still dominant.
De Bruyne had two chance to extend the lead, the first one being well kept out by Travers, while Gundogan bent another effort narrowly wide and Mahrez’ shot was parried low down by the Cherries’ keeper.
Guardiola made two further changes mid-half as Ruben Dias and Gundogan were replaced by John Stones and Silva.
Grealish set up Haaland who slid a shot narrowly wide, the striker’s last contribution as he made way for Julian Alvarez.
City finally found a fourth goal with 11 minutes left. Joao Cancelo drove in a low ball from the left and Jefferson Lerma deflected it past Travers as Silva waited for it to reach him.
Rico Lewis, 17, was handed his debut by City for Kyle Walker as he became the fifth youngest player to appear for the club in the Premier League.