The champions were under pressure after the Gunners’ victory on Saturday, but it didn’t show, Pep Guardiola’s side marching confidently to a 4-1 victory on the south coast thanks to a performance full of style and energy.

Bournemouth had a hand in their own downfall, gifting Phil Foden a goal on the stroke of halftime, that after Julian Alvarez and Erling Haaland had put City comfortably in command at the start of the half.

Chris Mepham’s own goal added insult to injury for the Cherries who, despite all their efforts, were outpaced and trailing.

Jerfferson Lerma’s late goal gave the home fans a moment of joy, but this had been Champions Day.

City opened the scoring after 15 minutes, the play beginning with a great challenge from Rico Lewis, who started on the right of City’s midfield in his 11th league appearance, to win the ball near the touchline.

From there, Ilkay Gundogan played Foden, who was frustrated as he prepared to shoot, but instead passed the ball to Haaland. After the striker’s effort hit the bottom of the crossbar, there was Álvarez, first on the rebound to shoot from one yard.

Julián Álvarez celebrates with Manchester City
Julián Álvarez was targeted by City (Adam Davy/PA)

The second goal was immediate. As Bournemouth moved forward, Nathan Ake regained possession and freed an escaping Gundogan down the left.

His ball up the middle found Foden again, who was dropped by Jordan Zemura. However, the defender’s intervention was to no avail, Haaland slipping in to take advantage of the loose ball and double City’s lead.

The visitors were on a cruise and had closed the game before the break. The third goal was a calamity the work of Bournemouth himself.

Dominik Solanke didn’t look up correctly and played a lazy, aimless pass downfield from the touchline. That was taken advantage of by Foden, alert for the opportunity, leaving him with the simple task of moving towards Neto’s goal and rolling the ball past the keeper.

Erling Haaland of Manchester City scores
Erling Haaland scored City’s second goal (Adam Davy/PA)

The Cherries were falling apart and their hopes of maintaining a respectable scoreline were dealt a blow five minutes into the second half.

Lewis slotted in a fine cross from the right that was cleared, but only as far as Foden, whose whipped ball was lobbed into Mepham by Álvarez’s own goal.

The hosts, for their troubles, fought valiantly to get a goal back, a goalmouth scramble midway through the second half that led to a VAR handcheck that ultimately did not result in a penalty.

However, City were in no mood to show mercy and as Bournemouth tired, the onslaught continued.

Riyad Mahrez came off the bench and picked up where the panting Jack Grealish had left off. The England midfielder turned in another outstanding performance as he increasingly saw himself at home as a regular starter for City.

Lerma’s goal seven minutes from time, which slammed into the roof of the net after a silky first touch, brought some joy to the frozen home crowd but did little to dull City’s day.


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