Manchester City dominated possession and shots for the majority of the match against former Premier League side Bournemouth. Liam Delap opened the scoring with a fabulous left-footed strike but not long after Bournemouth replied. Foden finished the game off with 15 minutes to play with a scuffed shot.
City deserved to go through overall and it showed the future stars of the youth coming through the ranks. A worrying injury to Bernabé the only negative of the night after a nasty collision.
The Carabao Cup was the competition that saved Manchester City from a trophy-less season last year, completing their hat trick of victories in the competition. With rivals Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United already through after comfortable wins, Manchester City were also expected to ease into the fourth round. However, with injuries to many squad members, the match against Bournemouth would be a chance for the Manchester City youth to step up. In their previous round, Bournemouth beat Premier League’s Crystal Palace 11-10 on penalties after a goalless draw, with Bournemouth dominating the statistics.
It was a senior debut for Liam Delap (son of Stoke’s Rory Delap), Zach Steffen and Adrián Bernabé. Without captain Fernandinho and vice-captain Kevin De Bruyne on the pitch, it was Kyle Walker who wore the armband. Rodrigo was present to shore up the midfield along with Tommy Doyle with Riyad Mahrez, Phil Foden and Ferran Torres behind Delap.
The first ten minutes provided few chances for either side. The first real chance came just after the ten-minute mark, with a brilliant ball from Foden over the top which left Torres one on one with Bournemouth keeper Mark Travers, producing a good save in the end. Foden was looking particularly bright with a second beautiful ball through to Mahrez at the 15-minute mark, again pulling out a save from the Bournemouth stopper.
A third City effort and a third superb ball from Foden through to Delap opened the scoring for the Blues at 18 minutes. Delap was on the top of the box on the left-hand side and struck the ball across Travers into the far top corner. 1-0 to the Citizens and a dream debut for Rory’s son. Delap was Manchester City’s youngest debutant scorer (17y 229d) since Rony Lopes against Watford back in 2013 (17y 8d).
Bournemouth replied straight away with a goal 22 minutes in. Sloppy defending from the Blues. Bernabé was caught too high up field giving Surridge space at the top of the right-hand side of the City box to turn and finish across Steffen. A good finish from the Bournemouth striker, a low cross into the bottom corner. Game on, 1-1.
An injury for Bournemouth just 26 minutes in with Lloyd Kelly coming off for Jordan Zemura on. Zemura started their second-round tie against Crystal Palace and made an earlier than expected appearance.
Another good chance goes amiss for Manchester City, a strong cross in from captain Walker over the top of the Bournemouth defence but it was just ahead of Delap, ever so slightly beyond his reach.
Very bad news for City, and the last thing they needed- another injury to a left-back. Bernabé is off on a stretcher with just ten minutes of the first half to go after a clash to his shin. Originally it did not look serious, but he seemed in a lot of pain. Benjamin Mendy on.
That would have been just what City needed to go into the dressing room at half time with a lead. A narrow miss from Rodri who struck a clean shot about 20 yards out. It just missed the top right corner and there would have been nothing Travers could have done about that. City went into the break all square, 1-1.
The second half started much like the first with City dominating possession but little in by way of chances. The first one of the second half coming when Mahrez whipped in a ball which looked like a cross but dragged just to the side of the top corner.
A chance came for the away side with Surridge having time and space in City’s box just after the 50-minute mark. He took too long and a superb last-ditch challenge from Rodri gave a sigh of relief to Pep’s side.
Just seconds later and another chance came for the visitors. It was Surridge yet again who collected a ball from over the top and was left one on one with the second choice City keeper. It produced a great save; Steffen will be happy with that as he aims to challenge Ederson for the top spot.
59 minutes in and Mahrez looked to assist with a corner into the mix which met Taylor Harwood-Bellis in the middle of the box, but he put it just wide.
With the 60-minute mark came on last season’s PFA Player of the Year Kevin De Bruyne. Exactly what City fans would want to see to calm the midfield and provide some magic.
Bournemouth’s second substitution saw Steve Cook on for Diego Rico with just under half an hour to play.
Another substitute for the Blues saw Doyle leave the field for City XI player Raheem Sterling. Pep must want to finish the tie off and avoid tiring players with penalties, the aim to push the Citizens comfortably into the fourth round.
That’s exactly what City needed! 74 minutes on the clock and a strike from Mahrez beats Travers but just clipped the post. It fell perfectly for Foden and he scuffed it into the ground but it looped over the Bournemouth keeper and put City in front again! 2-1 Blues.
Bournemouth made their third substitution after the City goal where David Brooks was off for Kilkenny.
The final bit of action of the game and a horrible late challenge on De Bruyne. What looked like a concern for City seemed to be good news as a few minutes after the nasty tackle De Bruyne sat up and was fine to play the remaining couple of minutes of added time.
Final Score: 2-1