Manchester City breeze past Bournemouth in second gear
Sergio Agüero scores twice as Pep Guardiola’s side open up 14 point gap at the top
Sergio Agüero heads home Manchester City’s first goal during the Premier League match against Bournemouth at the Etihad Stadium. Photograph: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images
Manchester City 4 Bournemouth 0
Sergio Agüero took his tally of Etihad Stadium goals past 100 with a double as Premier League leaders Manchester City swept past Bournemouth 4-0.
Raheem Sterling also claimed his 16th goal of the season and Danilo his first for the club as Pep Guardiola’s side extended their League football record run of successive victories to 17. City’s four goals also took their Premier League total in 2017 to 101.
The result was never in doubt from the moment Agüero, subject of conflicting reports this week regarding his future, headed the opener after 17 minutes.
City were not at their sparkling best but still had far too much for the Cherries, who have now lost back-to-back games 4-0 after last week’s thrashing by Liverpool and are without a win in seven.
Eddie Howe’s men did little to extend the hosts and City were allowed to patiently work openings.
Defender Otamendi actually had City’s first serious chance with a fierce long-range shot but Asmir Begovic pushed it away safely.
The opener came as Fernandinho delicately clipped in a cross for Agüero. Bournemouth pushed up hoping to play the Argentinian offside but their timing went awry and was left to bring up his century of home goals with a simple diving header.
Bournemouth created little aside from an early chance which Junior Stanislas shot wide and injured himself in the process, forcing Howe to make a change.
But Wilson was unable to capitalise on either opportunity and City stepped up a gear to double their lead after the break.
This time Agüero was the provider, deftly flicking the ball behind him into the area for Sterling to race onto and lash home.
Bournemouth made no attempt to try to chase the game, perhaps settling for damage limitation, but it did not prove a successful policy as City continued to take the game to them.
David Silva, back in the side after missing two games for personal reasons, shot over and De Bruyne sliced an attempted shot. That proved De Bruyne’s final act as he signalled to the bench moments later but there were no obvious signs of discomfort as he was replaced by Ilkay Gundogan.
Agüero headed the third goal 11 minutes from time from a cross from another substitute, Bernardo Silva.
Danilo, another player to have come off the bench, put the seal on victory when he fired past Begovic after being set up by Sterling.