After opening the 2022/23 campaign with a routine display in the capital, Manchester City once again impressed as they cruised their way to a 4-0 romp against Bournemouth on Saturday afternoon.
Not having to get out of second gear in their first appearance at the Etihad this season, goals from İlkay Gündoğan, Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden and Bournemouth’s Jefferson Lerma helped the defending champions make it back-to-back victories.
Although summer arrival Erling Haaland was disappointed to have not added to his Premier League tally here, Pep Guardiola’s side really couldn’t have wished for a better start.
In a showdown between two sides who are expected to be battling it out at opposite ends of the table this season, we have taken a look at the main talking points following Saturday’s meeting at the Etihad.
Guardiola’s superstars go storming on
Signing off their pre-season preparations by watching Liverpool lift this year’s Community Shield, there is no doubt Guardiola’s superstars have come roaring back.
Despite squeezing in just a pair of friendly matchups over the summer, Manchester City have already cemented their status as the team to beat this season.
Managing to retain their Premier League crown back in May thanks to a one-point buffer over their bitter title rivals, the one-time Bayern Munich boss should find the mood in his squad at a red-hot high.
Along with breezing past last season’s Europa League semi-finalists West Ham thanks to a 2-0 victory in east London last weekend, the Sky Blues didn’t have to get out of second gear here.
Now opening the 2022/23 campaign by bagging six goals and yet to concede a single strike in return, Guardiola couldn’t have demanded a better start from his defending champions.
Next seen away at Newcastle on August 21st, City have the feel of a side looking to make some serious history this season.
Another De Bruyne masterclass
With Haaland opening his Premier League account thanks to a brace in the capital last weekend, City’s latest icon had stolen most of the headlines prior to Saturday’s meeting.
However, with the Norwegian striker only managing to muster nine touches here before being replaced in the second-half, it was Kevin De Bruyne who spearheaded City’s charge at the Etihad.
While the one-time Chelsea starlet might have watched Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah claim last season’s PFA Player of the Year award, the 31-year-old hasn’t wasted any time in getting started this time around.
Producing a sublime finish with the outside of his boot just after the half-hour mark here and opening his Premier League account for the 2022/23 campaign, the Belgium international only underlined his importance to Guardiola’s squad.
Already notching a goal and a pair of assists in City’s back-to-back appearances, De Bruyne completely controlled proceedings against a Bournemouth side who often had all 11 men behind the ball.
An expected afternoon for Bournemouth
Making their Premier League return at the second attempt earlier in the year, Bournemouth certainly laid down a real marker on the south coast last weekend.
Despite facing what appeared on paper to be a tough opening showdown against Aston Villa, Scott Parker’s side were more than deserving of their 2-0 victory at the Vitality.
However, despite picking up some perfect momentum on their top-flight return last weekend, the ex-Fulham boss would have known that his side faced a monumental task on Saturday afternoon.
Heading down the Etihad tunnel at half-time already chasing a 3-0 deficit, the Cherries will simply be glad to see the back of the English heavyweights.
Now losing each of their last 12 straight meetings against the defending Premier League champions, a run that stems all the way back to October 2017, Bournemouth face another huge challenge next time out.
Despite impressing with that 2-0 victory against Villa last weekend, Parker’s men now face back-to-back showdowns against Arsenal and Liverpool.
Manchester City: Ederson, Walker, Dias, Ake, Cancelo, De Bruyne, Rodri, Gündoğan, Mahrez, Haaland, Foden
Subs: Alvarez, Grealish, Lewis, Silva, Stones
Bournemouth: Travers, Mepham, Lerma, Kelly, Stacey, Cook, Pearson, Smith, Christie, Tavernier, Moore
Subs: Billing, Lowe, Senesi, Stanislas
Goals: Gündoğan 19′, De Bruyne 31′, Foden 37′, Lerma OG 79′
Yellow Cards: Stacey, Mepham
Red Cards: N/A
Referee: David Coote
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