Man City 4-0 Bournemouth: Kevin De Bruyne stars as champions cruise to victory over Cherries

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Man City sent out an ominous warning to the rest of the Premier League after brushing aside Bournemouth 4-0 despite big-money new signing Erling Haaland failing to score.

The Premier League champions produced a blistering first 45 minutes at a sun-drenched Etihad Stadium, going in 3-0 ahead at half-time thanks to goals from Ilkay Gundogan (19), Kevin De Bruyne (31) and Phil Foden (37).

Despite taking their foot off the gas in the second period, however, there was still time for Pep Guardiola’s side to add a late fourth through Jefferson Lerma’s own goal.

Image: Erling Haaland in action for Manchester City against Bournemouth

Haaland, however, was replaced after having just eight touches of the ball during his 74 minutes on the pitch, although his manager was quick to defend the Norwegian after the game.

“He plays the most difficult job in the world,” Guardiola said of the 22-year-old. “When you are a striker and in the defensive areas, teams like Bournemouth have three central defenders and two players in front and you are in the middle, how can you survive in that?

Image: Erling Haaland had eight touches for Manchester City against Bournemouth putting him among the payers with the fewest touches in a Premier League game

“It’s so difficult. We know it. We’ll find many situations. It’s just a question of time. The right moments, the right movements, and with the quality of the players we have behind him to assist him we’ll find him. I don’t have any doubts about that.

“We have seen it in the past with other teams. We have to be patient.”

City top the early Premier League table from Arsenal on goal difference as they maintain their 100 per cent start to the season, while Bournemouth are ninth having suffered their first loss of the campaign.

Player ratings

Man City: Ederson (6), Walker (7), Dias (6), Ake (7), Cancelo (7), Rodri (7), Gundogan (8), De Bruyne (9), Mahrez (8), Haaland (7), Foden (7)

Subs: Grealish (7), Alvarez (6), Silva (7), Stones (6), Lewis (6)

Bournemouth: Travers (6), Kelly (6), Mepham (6), Smith (6), Christie (6), Cook (6), Lerma (6), Tavernier (6), Stacey (6), Pearson (6), Moore (6)

Subs: Lowe (6), Stanislas (6), Senesi (6), Billing (6)

Man of the match: Kevin De Bruyne

How City sent out an early statement of intent

Scott Parker’s newly promoted side arrived in Manchester having won their opening fixture of the season last weekend, but also expecting a long afternoon’s work, and that is how it played out for the Cherries.

The hosts took just 19 minutes to make the breakthrough, although in truth it would have come sooner were it not for some poor City finishing and an inspired Mark Travers in the visitors’ goal.

Image: Ilkay Gundogan celebrates after giving Manchester City the lead at the Etihad

But when it did finally arrive, the floodgates opened as first Gundogan fired the champions ahead after being set up by Haaland, who did well to hold off the attentions of two Bournemouth players in a tight space on the edge of the area, before slipping the German through on goal.

One became two just past the half-hour mark after a lovely solo goal by De Bruyne, who cut in from the right flank and then found the corner of the net with a delightful curler using the outside of his foot.

Team news

Man City boss Pep Guardiola made one change from the side that cantered to a 2-0 win at West Ham on Super Sunday as Riyad Mahrez replaced Jack Grealish, with the £100m England playmaker dropping to the bench.

Meanwhile, the visitors made three alterations from the team that kicked off their Premier League return with an impressive 2-0 home win over Aston Villa last Saturday.

Boss Scott Parker brought in Lewis Cook, Ryan Christie and Jack Stacey in place of Phillip Billing, Jordan Zemura and Dominic Solanke, the latter two who missed out with injury. And new signings Neto and Marcos Senesi were both on the bench.

Six minutes later it was game over as Bournemouth made the mistake of trying to attack their opponents, only to lose the ball with too many players forward, with predictable consequences as seconds later Travers was once again picking the ball out of his net.

On this occasion, the twinkle-toed Riyad Mahrez picked out De Bruyne’s run down the left and the playmaker then sent Foden through on goal, although Travers will be disappointed he did not keep out the forward’s close-range effort.

Image: Phil Foden fires home Man City’s third against Bournemouth

Guardiola swapped his England internationals with Jack Grealish replacing Phil Foden at the break, but in the baking Manchester sun, the home side played at a reduced tempo, no doubt conscious of greater challenges to come this season.

However, there was still time for a fourth with 11 minutes to go as Grealish’s lofted pass sent Joao Cancelo free to the left byline and after cutting back inside, the full back’s low-driven cross was diverted into his own net by the outstretched foot of the unfortunate Lerma.

Can we play you every week? – Opta stats

  • Manchester City have won all 11 of their Premier League matches against Bournemouth, the best 100%-winning ratio by a team against another in Premier League history.
  • Bournemouth are winless in all 17 league meetings with Manchester City (D2 L15), the most one side has faced another in the history of the Football League without ever winning.
  • Manchester City have lost just one of their last 30 Premier League games (W25 D4), with that defeat coming against Spurs in February (2-3).

Man City vs Bournemouth FPL stats

Goals Gundogan, De Bruyne, Foden, Lerma OG
Assists Haaland, Foden, De Bruyne, Cancelo
Bonus points De Bruyne (3pts), Gundogan (2pts), Cancelo (2pts), Foden (1pt)

What the managers said…

Guardiola: It was not easy for so many reasons today

Man City boss Pep Guardiola:

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Pep Guardiola says his Manchester City side were ‘brilliant from the first minute’ in their 4-0 win over Bournemouth.

“The team did a really good performance against a team that is well structured defensively and offensively as well with good patterns.

“They defend so deep, so narrow, you have to go outside. We started really well with three or four corners after just six or seven minutes, lots of chances. Phil did not see Erling in that position but we were patient.

“It was a warm day. It was not easy for so many reasons but we make a really, really good performance.”

Image: Jack Grealish is tracked by Chris Mepham

Parker: I’m pleased how the team stuck at it

Bournemouth boss Scott Parker:

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Scott Parker says there’s not much his Bournemouth team could do as they fell to defeat against a ‘world-class’ Manchester City side.

“We played against a world-class team that can execute in any given moment.

“I said before the game we need to have 11 men with 10 out of 10 performances and to ride our luck, we’re going to have to take the very few chances we’re going to get along with every other team that comes here.

“You have to be clinical. We didn’t manage to do that and then the quality they have shone through.

“After the goals go in you could be on the end of one, but I was pleased with the team in the way they stuck at it with good endeavour, good personality and good courage. We can be pleased with that.

“Our season is not this. Man City away is not a team that will define our season. This is a game we need to analyse of course and we’ll do that and see where we can improve and get better. We’ll dust ourselves down and go again.”

Man of the Match – Kevin de Bruyne

Image: Kevin De Bruyne celebrates after putting Man City 2-0 up against Bournemouth

City’s brilliant playmaker barely got out of second gear on Saturday afternoon, but was still head and shoulders above everyone else on the field at the Etihad.

The Belgium international’s goal was a real thing of beauty, bending an effort into the bottom lefthand corner of the net with the outside of his foot having cut in from the right, while he also set up Phil Foden as City raced into a 3-0 half-time lead.

And if the 31-year-old – who looks refreshed after a rare summer free of football – carries on in this vein of form this season, and stays fit, then the champions will be hard to stop.

What’s next?

Sunday 21st August 4:00pm Kick off 4:30pm

City face Newcastle United at St James’ Park on Sunday August 21 (4.30pm), while Bournemouth host Arsenal the previous day (5.30pm), with both games live on Sky Sports Premier League.

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