League leaders Manchester City cruised to a comfortable 4-0 victory over AFC Bournemouth to continue Pep Guardiola’s spectacular winning start with the Citizens. After a slow start, Kevin de Bruyne scored a clever free-kick before playing the key role in City’s remaining three goals scored by Iheanacho, Sterling and Gundogan. This result means City have won 5 in 5 games in the Premier League this season and are looking early favourites for the title come May.
Now let’s take a look at the player ratings for the match.
Claudio Bravo – 6.5/10
The Chilean goalkeeper had a less busy afternoon compared to last week’s Manchester derby and showed bits of his footwork and distribution as well.
Bacary Sagna – 7/10
The City right-back had a solid afternoon which showcased his reliable defending coupled with supporting Sterling in attack. He made a crucial clearance with King facing an open goal as he continues to keep Zabaleta out of the side.
Nicolas Otamendi – 6.5/10
The Argentine defender started ahead of John Stones and a fit-again Vincent Kompany at centre-back. He, however, showed small signs of last season’s habits returning with King’s pace troubling him early on but he put on a decent showing including a crucial tackle on Joshua King inside City’s penalty box in the first half. He was replaced by John Stones early into the second half.
Aleksandar Kolarov – 7.5/10
The attacking left-back turned into centre-half delivered another top performance which showed discipline, good reading of the game and his long passes to switch play. Initially thought to be at risk of being sold, however now he is one of the key members of the City squad.
Gael Clichy – 6.5/10
The Frenchman looked a little rusty but he was not troubled much defensively as City was in control for most of the game. He combined well with Nolito on the left flank and was a constant outlet on the left wing.
Fernandinho – 8/10
City’s captain for the day continued his rich vein of form this year with a solid performance nullifying Bournemouth’s attacks and did not allow Jack Wilshere to grow into the game. He further won the free-kick that led to de Bruyne’s opener. He is firmly establishing himself as one of the first names on the team-sheet under Guardiola.
Ilkay Gundogan – 7.5/10
The former Borussia Dortmund midfield maestro made his full Premier League debut and did not look out of place in the new league or the team. He capped off the performance with a well-taken goal after making an intelligent run from midfield.
Raheem Sterling – 8.5/10
The 21-year old rise continues under the tutelage of Pep Guardiola as he put on another stellar display full of pace, work-rate and trickery. He picked an assist for Iheanacho’s goal and then performed role reversal for his goal.
However, it is his finishing that continues to let him down. He could have had another goal if not for his shaky finishing. The finishing was again in question as he embarked on a dazzling run reminiscent of Lionel Messi in Bournemouth’s box before failing to find the back of the net. Nonetheless, he had a terrific outing and will only improve under Guardiola.
Kevin de Bruyne – 9.5/10
The early contender for Player of the Year, de Bruyne put on another attacking masterclass in what is becoming a regular sight in City matches. He was involved in every goal and the City attack revolves around the Belgian.
He scored a cheeky free-kick to open the scoring before releasing Sterling who assisted the second goal. In the second half, he played another key pass for City’s third and then threaded a beautiful through-ball to pick Gundogan’s run who scored the fourth. Overall, the best City player on the day and the Man of the Match.
Nolito – 6.5/10
The Spanish international had a mixed afternoon which ended with a red card for a head-butt on the Cherries’ right back Adam Smith with whom he was entangled for the whole game on City’s left wing.
However, he started the game well, combining brilliantly with City’s attack and played a sweeping pass that led to the second goal. Now, he faces a 3-match ban for the straight red card.
Kelechi Iheanacho – 8.5/10
The 19-year old continues his impressive scoring form which now reads 10 goals from 14 shots on target and continues to prove himself as an able deputy to Sergio Aguero who is serving a suspension.
He links up well with the City attack, making crucial runs and unselfishly squared the ball to Sterling for City’s third apart from finishing a well-crafted move by the Citizens.
John Stones – 6/10
Stones replaced Otamendi early in the second half and slotted seamlessly into Otamendi’s position. He did his job well with the match in City’s bag by then and showed his ball-playing skills with a deep run into Bournemouth’s half late in the game.
Leroy Sane – 6/10
The German continues to build his match fitness and looked decent. He will be hoping to get his first start soon because of Nolito’s suspension.
Aleix Garcia – 6/10
The 19-year old made his first appearance of the season and did well to shield City’s defence and thwart Bournemouth’s attack in the final part of the game with key interceptions and awareness.