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Manchester City 4 Bournemouth 0: Brilliant De Bruyne inspires slick City

Pep Guardiola made it eight wins from eight as Manchester City boss, with Bournemouth the latest team to be dazzled in a 4-0 loss to his in-form side.

Kevin De Bruyne fizzed home a free-kick with a quarter-of-an-hour played and the midfielder, who opened the scoring in last weekend’s Manchester derby triumph at Old Trafford, was in imperious form thereafter.

City’s record signing had a hand in further goals for Kelechi Iheanacho, Raheem Sterling and Ilkay Gundogan – the Germany international bringing up his first goal for the club after an impressive debut in Wednesday’s 4-0 Champions League win over Borussia Monchengladbach.

His team-mates were good value for matching that scoreline, to move five points clear at the top of the table ahead of Everton facing Middlesbrough in Saturday’s late game, although a red card for Nolito after the Spain forward clashed tempestuously with Adam Smith slightly blotted another highly satisfactory afternoon at the helm for Guardiola.

De Bruyne unleashed a stinging left-footed drive that was pushed to safety by Bournemouth goalkeeper Artur Boruc inside the first 15 seconds and the Belgium international was on hand to provide a 15th-minute opener

Jack Wilshere, making his full debut for Bournemouth, bundled needlessly into Nolito on the edge of the penalty area and De Bruyne sent the resulting set piece zipping under the leaping Bournemouth wall and in.

An attacking free-kick of their own saw Eddie Howe’s men picked apart with ruthless precision in the 25th minute.

Iheanacho collected the clearance and, after Nolito hooked the ball into midfield for De Bruyne to storm forward and play Sterling through, his run to touch home as the England winger unselfishly squared was perfectly timed.

Bournemouth continued to show attacking ambition but had Boruc to thank for saving with his legs from Sterling in the 39th minute, following further slick interplay with Iheanacho.

Eddie Howe sent on striker Callum Wilson at the interval and Junior Stanislas badly missed his kick when well placed in the City area.

It was a miss Bournemouth would soon regret as their backline retreated once more in the face of the superlative De Bruyne, who found Iheanacho to return Sterling’s earlier favour.

Boruc appeared to hurt himself sprawling fruitlessly at Iheanacho’s feet on the third goal and the Poland international required further treatment after saves from De Bruyne and Sterling.

He gratefully accepted a rebound off the base of his near post in the 64th minute after Sterling picked Charlie Daniels’ pocket and embarked on a barnstorming run across the Bournemouth area, past a host of challenges.

Two minutes later the fourth goal arrived – De Bruyne was again the architect as he set in motion a passing triangle with Nolito and Gael Clichy before picking out Gundogan to steer into the bottom corner.

Moments after De Bruyne made way to a richly deserved standing ovation that heralded a top-flight debut for 19-year-old Aleix Garcia in the 75th minute, Wilson side-footed against the crossbar.

City held on for a first Premier League clean sheet of the season, while keeping defensive lynchpin Vincent Kompany in reserve on the bench, although they are likely to be without Nolito for three matches after he aimed a headbutt at Smith.

Sat 17 Sep, 2016
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