AFC Bournemouth 1, Manchester City 4
Manchester City returned to winning ways following a recall for Phil Foden after two draws on the road with a 4-1 win over AFC Bournemouth.Embed from Getty Images
The game was over after 51 minutes after goals by Julian Alvarez, Erling Haaland, Foden – on his 200th appearance for City, and an own goal by Chris Mepham.
But City took their foot off the gas later in the second half, after a raft of City changes, and Jefferson Lerma scored a deserved consolation for the hosts.
The result meant that City remained two points behind league leaders Arsenal, who have a game in hand, in second place.
City made three changes to the side that drew with RB Leipzig on Wednesday.
Phil Foden made a return to the side along with Rico Lewis and Julian Alvarez while Kyle Walker, Bernardo Silva, and Riyad Mahrez stepped down to the bench.
Alvarez poached the opener after 15 minutes after Rico Lewis won the ball back and Ilkay Gundogan carved open a chance for Haaland whose shot came back off the crossbar but the Argentine forward was first to react to tuck the rebound in from two yards out.
Dominic Solanke had a soft penalty shout turned down before City calmed their nerves Wirth a second goal.
Haaland got himself on the scoresheet after Gundogan’s cross was sent back across the area to him by Foden for another tap in from 3 yards out – his 33rd goal of the season in total – which also helped him surpass Sergio Aguero’s record of Premier League goals in a season with 27.
Phil Billing’s poorly hit square pass was stolen by Foden who got past Jack Stephens before slotting past Neto at the end of the first half.
And it was all over early in the second half after Julian Alvarez’ off target shot was diverted into the Bournemouth net by Chris Mepham.
At that point City boss Pep Guardiola opted to start resting players – using his bench – but his replacements only seemed to buoy the home side.
Kalvin Phillips, Sergio Gomez, Riyad Mahrez, Kyle Walker, and Maximo Perrone – making his City debut – came on as Guardiola used up five subs with the game won with Nathan Ake, Rodri, Gundogan, Haaland, and Jack Grealish making way.
Phillips was lucky to escape a penalty claim for handball after he came on to replace Rodri with the home side seeking to at least a goal.
And Ederson remained frustratingly short of his 100th Premier League clean sheet – having kept just one clean sheet in his last eight appearances in the competition – after Jefferson Lerma smashed a late consolation for the home side with only their second shot on target in the game.