Premier League
Bournemouth0Man City2

Bournemouth 0-2 Manchester City

Sergio Aguero
Sergio Aguero started on the bench for Manchester City for the third straight game

Manchester City moved up to second in the Premier League with a hard-fought victory over Bournemouth at Vitality Stadium.

Having started on the bench again, City striker Sergio Aguero appeared after just 14 minutes following an injury to Gabriel Jesus.

But it was Raheem Sterling who grabbed the opener from close range on the half-hour mark, having been denied by a brilliant Artur Boruc save two minutes before.

The hosts thought they had replied immediately, but Joshua King's strike was ruled out after he was adjudged to have pulled John Stones' shirt in the build-up.

Harry Arter's curling shot stretched City goalkeeper Willy Caballero into a fine save, before Tyrone Mings put City's second into his own net under pressure from Aguero.

Leroy Sane rattled the bar late on, as City extended their unbeaten run to five games in all competitions.

Can City win the title?

Manchester City possession
Manchester City focused almost half of all their attacks down the left-hand side of the pitch where Leroy Sane was situated. Despite setting up a goal, the German lost possession 21 times - more than any other player

Pep Guardiola's side jumped three places in the table to emerge as Chelsea's closest challengers, eight points behind the leaders, who dropped points at Burnley on Sunday.

City face at Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on 5 April. They will take inspiration from their title-winning team of 2011-12 when they clawed back the same deficit on rivals Manchester United - on that occasion with just six games remaining.

This time they have 13 games in which to do it as former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss Guardiola looks to win a top-flight domestic title for the seventh time in the past eight seasons.

The Spaniard's pacy wingers were the difference on this occasion, as Sane's fleet-footedness set up Sterling for his sixth league goal of the season, before the England forward showed superb trickery to beat a defender and force Mings into a costly mistake, after pressure from Aguero.

The Argentine, who failed to start for the third consecutive game, was sent on after Jesus turned his ankle in the opening minutes.

Analysis - 'The gap is too big'

Former Chelsea striker Chris Sutton on BBC Radio 5 live

"I don't think City can catch Chelsea. It's too big a gap with Chelsea performing as they have done, but it was a comfortable performance - they are brilliant going forward.

"I thought John Stones was outstanding and David Silva majestic. Since being thrashed 4-0 by Everton in January they have responded superbly. Things are coming together for City at the right time."

Bournemouth battling to survive?

Media playback is not supported on this device

Eddie Howe reflects on Bournemouth's 2-0 defeat to Manchester City

Eddie Howe's men have big problems. They have not won a game in 2017, extending their winless run in all competitions to seven games.

Their main worry is in defence, having conceded at least two goals in each of their last 10 games, yet at the other end they tested Caballero just once in this game.

To make matters worse, the Cherries have picked up just one win from their last nine games and had midfielder Jack Wilshere and defender Simon Francis go off injured in the first half.

In their second ever season in the top-flight, Bournemouth are 14th in the table, six points above the relegation zone. With Swansea and Hull showing improvement, the south coast side could get dragged into a fight for survival should their poor form continue.

Man of the match - Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)

Raheem Sterling
One goal and one assist, Sterling is showing signs of getting back to his best form

'The right result with a thousand million passes'

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe: "City were very good. For an away team that was a very controlled performance. Our lads gave absolutely everything, I can't ask any more of them.

"We need to get our bounce back - that's only going to come from a win, but I think today was a positive step."

Media playback is not supported on this device

Bournemouth 0-2 Man City: Pep Guardiola learnt from Arsenal and Liverpool results

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola, speaking to BBC Sport: "We made a real performance. I am so pleased with how we did and especially the last 10-15 minutes, we did the right way to make the result with a thousand million passes. It is important to score goals, we are in deficit but it is OK."

What next?

Manchester City travel to Huddersfield in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Saturday (kick-off 15:00 GMT), while Bournemouth do not play again until 25 February when they go to West Brom (kick-off 15:00 GMT).

Happy Monday for Guardiola - the stats

  • Raheem Sterling has scored five Premier League goals against Bournemouth, the most he has against a single opponent.
  • Sterling has equalled his Premier League goal tally from last season for City (six in 23 this season compared to six in 31 last season).
  • Sterling has won 24 of 25 Premier League games in which he has scored, only losing against West Ham in September 2014.
  • Pep Guardiola has won all six league games he has managed on a Monday, with an aggregate score of 20-1.
  • By contrast, Bournemouth have lost all four of their Premier League games contested on a Monday, without scoring a single goal.
  • Bournemouth have lost all four of their Premier League games against City, scoring once and conceding 15 goals.
  • The Cherries took until the 67th minute to register their first shot on target in the game.
  • Only Leicester (one) have collected fewer Premier League points in 2017 than Bournemouth (two).

Line-ups

Bournemouth

  • 1Boruc
  • 15A Smith
  • 2FrancisSubstituted forMingsat 23'minutes
  • 3S Cook
  • 11Daniels
  • 6Surman
  • 33IbeSubstituted forPughat 76'minutes
  • 32WilshereSubstituted forAfobeat 45+3'minutes
  • 8ArterBooked at 68mins
  • 24FraserBooked at 26mins
  • 17King

Substitutes

  • 4Gosling
  • 7Pugh
  • 9Afobe
  • 14B Smith
  • 19Stanislas
  • 21Allsop
  • 26Mings

Man City

  • 13Caballero
  • 3Sagna
  • 24Stones
  • 11Kolarov
  • 25Fernandinho
  • 17De Bruyne
  • 42Y TouréBooked at 10minsSubstituted forOtamendiat 70'minutes
  • 21Silva
  • 7SterlingBooked at 57minsSubstituted forNolitoat 90+2'minutes
  • 33JesusSubstituted forAgüeroat 15'minutes
  • 19SanéBooked at 64mins

Substitutes

  • 1Bravo
  • 4Kompany
  • 6Fernando
  • 9Nolito
  • 10Agüero
  • 18Delph
  • 30Otamendi
Referee:
Neil Swarbrick
Attendance:
11,129

Match Stats

Home TeamBournemouthAway TeamMan City
Possession
Home38%
Away62%
Shots
Home5
Away17
Shots on Target
Home1
Away5
Corners
Home3
Away7
Fouls
Home8
Away11

Live Text

Match ends, Bournemouth 0, Manchester City 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Bournemouth 0, Manchester City 2.

Attempt missed. Leroy Sané (Manchester City) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Kevin De Bruyne with a through ball.

Offside, Manchester City. Nolito tries a through ball, but David Silva is caught offside.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester City. Nolito replaces Raheem Sterling.

Offside, Manchester City. Aleksandar Kolarov tries a through ball, but David Silva is caught offside.

Attempt saved. Aleksandar Kolarov (Manchester City) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Fernandinho.

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Steve Cook.

Leroy Sané (Manchester City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Adam Smith (Bournemouth).

Leroy Sané (Manchester City) hits the bar with a left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left.

Foul by Sergio Agüero (Manchester City).

Andrew Surman (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Fernandinho (Manchester City) header from the right side of the six yard box is too high. Assisted by David Silva with a cross following a set piece situation.

Leroy Sané (Manchester City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Adam Smith (Bournemouth).

Substitution

Substitution, Bournemouth. Marc Pugh replaces Jordon Ibe.

Foul by Raheem Sterling (Manchester City).

Tyrone Mings (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester City. Nicolás Otamendi replaces Yaya Touré.

Goal!

Own Goal by Tyrone Mings, Bournemouth. Bournemouth 0, Manchester City 2.

Attempt missed. Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) right footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Raheem Sterling.

Booking

Harry Arter (Bournemouth) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Attempt blocked. Joshua King (Bournemouth) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Harry Arter with a cross.

Corner, Bournemouth. Conceded by Willy Caballero.

Attempt saved. Harry Arter (Bournemouth) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Benik Afobe.

Offside, Bournemouth. Steve Cook tries a through ball, but Joshua King is caught offside.

Booking

Leroy Sané (Manchester City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Leroy Sané (Manchester City).

Adam Smith (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Offside, Bournemouth. Charlie Daniels tries a through ball, but Benik Afobe is caught offside.

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Adam Smith.

Booking

Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Leroy Sané (Manchester City).

Adam Smith (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Tyrone Mings.

Foul by David Silva (Manchester City).

Andrew Surman (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt blocked. Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Leroy Sané with a headed pass.

Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Chelsea25193352183460
2Man City25164551292252
3Tottenham25148346182850
4Arsenal25155554282650
5Liverpool25147454302449
6Man Utd25139338211748
7Everton25118640271341
8West Brom2510783431337
9Stoke258893036-632
10West Ham2595113443-932
11Southampton2586112831-330
12Burnley2593132736-930
13Watford2586112942-1330
14Bournemouth2575133549-1426
15Swansea2573153154-2324
16Middlesbrough25410111927-822
17Leicester2556142443-1921
18Hull2555152249-2720
19Crystal Palace2554163246-1419
20Sunderland2554162446-2219
View full Premier League table

Top Stories