Manchester City remain perfect this season after winning a fifth Premier League match in a row, dominating AFC Bournemouth en route to a comfortable 4-0 win at Etihad Stadium. Kevin De Bruyne, Kelechi Iheanacho, Raheem Sterling and Ilkay Gundogan scored for the Citizens in a great collective performance from the Sky Blues, who had total control throughout 90 minutes and recorded a great win.
The game began with City stealing the ball inside Bournemouth's half and Kevin De Bruyne taking a shot after just 10 seconds that needed a save from Artur Boruc. That play set the tone for the remainder of the first half, with City in complete control of possession and creating dangerous chances. The Cherries had only one half-chance on the counter, but didn't do anything to truly worry Claudio Bravo.
And City got two first-half goals to show for their dominance. First, De Bruyne took a free-kick in a smart manner, rolling the ball under the wall right into the net as Boruc looked at it. A few minutes later, a spectacular counter-attack that involved five Citizens playing one-touch passes to each other ended with Sterling giving a tap-in to Iheanacho. At halftime, City had the game seemingly in the bag.
The second half began with a City goal after just three minutes. De Bruyne brought the ball on the counter and found Iheanacho, who set up Sterling for the third. De Bruyne was absolutely running the show, and he gave a great assist to Gundogan, who scored his first goal for City in his Premier League debut to make it a four-goal lead for the Citizens.
There was one bad moment when referee Jonathan Moss sent off Nolito for what the official saw as a headbutt on Adam Smith. That was the only lowlight on the game, however, and the Citizens deservedly won the game by destroying the Cherries for 90 minutes.
Man City: Bravo | Sagna, Otamendi (Stones), Kolarov, Clichy | Fernandinho | Sterling, Gundogan (Sané), De Bruyne (García), Nolito | Iheanacho
Goals: De Bruyne (15'), Iheanacho (24'), Sterling (48'), Gundogan (66')
Red Card: Nolito (86')
Bournemouth: Boruc | Smith, Francis, Cook, Daniels | Surman, Arter | Ibe (Wilson), Wilshere (Gosling), Stanislas (Gradel) | King
1 - Kevin De Bruyne continues to dominate
The Belgian was already impressive in his debut season at City, but his performances under Pep Guardiola have been nothing short of incredible. Guardiola found a perfect spot on the pitch to insert Kevin, giving him the freedom to run all over the pitch and make plays for himself and his teammates. His free-kick was a thing of beauty, and his passes throughout the game were special. We might be looking at the best player in the Premier League when this season is all said and done. What an incredible footballer.
2 - Raheem Sterling's game still needs work
Sterling was impressive once again, and his confidence is evident by the way he runs at defenders with no fear and is always looking to get involved in the goals. He got a goal and an assist against Bournemouth, but his finishing and decision making still need improvement. He's a 21-year-old kid and Guardiola is clearly helping him get better already, but Raheem needs to continue working hard on his game to achieve the potential we all know he's got.
3 - City can now control games
Pep Guardiola's side had trouble with control in the first few games of the season. After a great first half, the team would slowly fade away and not keep the ball, conceding space and goals to opponents, which would make the game nervous until the end. Over the last two games against Gladbach and Bournemouth, and even in most of the second half of the Manchester Derby, we saw a more composed City side who knows how to control the tempo of the game and keep the opponent from bringing real danger. Guardiola is a real believer in control, and he must be satisfied with the evolution from his team on that aspect.