MX23RW : Thursday, December 6 12:07:32
Dec 1, 2018 at 3pm UK at ​Etihad Stadium
Man CityManchester City
Silva (16'), Sterling (57'), Gundogan (79')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Wilson (44')

Live Commentary: Manchester City 3-1 Bournemouth - as it happened

Relive Manchester City's 3-1 win over Bournemouth as Raheem Sterling makes Premier League history to help fire his side five points clear.
Live Commentary: Man City 3-1 Bournemouth - as it happened
© Reuters

Good afternoon and welcome to Sports Mole's live text coverage of the Premier League clash between champions Manchester City and Bournemouth at the Etihad Stadium.

The hosts come into this match sitting two points clear at the top of the table and with the chance to extend their lead over their closest challengers today as the rest of the top five do not play until Sunday.

Bournemouth, meanwhile, have enjoyed an encouraging start to the campaign but suffered a miserable November which saw them lose all three of their Premier League matches.

Make sure you don't miss a moment of the action courtesy of our minute-by-minute updates below.

2pmGood afternoon! Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for today's Premier League clash between Manchester City and Bournemouth at the Etihad Stadium!

These two sides have both enjoyed good starts to the campaign by their own standards, with City once again leading the way and Bournemouth sitting pretty in the top half a third into the campaign. This match should be a good, open and attacking contest between two teams who like to play expansive football, so we will hopefully be in for an exciting encounter here!

Let's start with a look at the team news...

2.02pmMAN CITY STARTING XI: Ederson; Danilo, Laporte, Otamendi, Zinchenko; Fernandinho, Gundogan, Bernardo; Sane, Sterling, Jesus

2.02pmMAN CITY SUBS: Muric, Walker, Kompany, Delph, Silva, Mahrez, Foden

2.04pmBOURNEMOUTH STARTING XI: Begovic; S Cook, Mings, Ake; Francis, L Cook, Surman, Daniels; King, Wilson, Fraser

2.04pmBOURNEMOUTH SUBS: Boruc, Rico, Gosling, Stanislas, Brooks, Defoe, Mousset

2.06pmFantasy football players, look away now - Sergio Aguero misses out entirely for Manchester City!

Manager Pep Guardiola hinted that he would rotate his squad for this match, and he has certainly done that, taking the opportunity to rest a few of his biggest names. Aguero is the biggest casualty as he is given the afternoon off completely, while the in-form David Silva only makes the bench.

Sergio Aguero in action during the Premier League game between Arsenal and Manchester City on August 12, 2018© Reuters

2.08pmGabriel Jesus leads the line in Aguero's absence, and it is by no means a completely second-choice Man City team with the deadly duo of Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane both starting once again.

Sterling in particular has been in excellent form this season, and he has a formidable record against Bournemouth too; the winger has scored in all five of his Premier League games against the Cherries, netting seven goals in total, and another today would see him become the first player in Premier League history to score in each of his first six appearances against a particular club.

2.10pmSterling's remarkable record against Bournemouth stretches further than just scoring too; he has had a hand in nine goals from his five Premier League appearances against the Cherries, scoring those seven and assisting two more. He averages a goal or assist every 48 minutes against Eddie Howe's side.

Behind that front three, Bernardo Silva returns in midfield after missing the past two games with a minor injury, joining Jesus in recovering in time to start today.

2.12pmIn all, there are five changes from the team which drew with Lyon in midweek, including an unexpected switch at right-back as Danilo replaces Walker.

Otamendi, Gundogan, Bernardo and Jesus also come into the team just to showcase City's incredible strength in depth, as Stones, Silva, Mahrez and Aguero drop out.

2.14pmAs for Bournemouth, they notably go for a three-man defence in an attempt to counteract this Man City juggernaut, which means a rare appearance for Tyrone Mings.

Indeed, the defender makes his first Premier League start of the season, and the teamsheet released by Bournemouth suggests that it will come at the heart of the defence too - an unfamiliar position to come up against a devastating City attack.

2.16pmIn practice, that back three will most likely end up as a back five - maybe even more - for the most part, with Charlie Daniels and Simon Francis as the wing-backs who will look to help deal with Sterling and Sane.

Daniels actually scored against City at the Vitality Stadium last season so may have one eye on getting forward too, but there is no doubt that they will need to be in defensive mode for the most part.

2.18pmIn all, Eddie Howe has made three changes to the team which lost to Arsenal last weekend, one of which is enforced as Jefferson Lerma misses out through a suspension due to picking up five yellow cards.

Lewis Cook comes into the midfield in his place, while Mings and Andrew Surman also come into the team ad Gosling and Brooks - the latter of whom has been in fine form of late - drop out of the team.

2.20pmCallum Wilson will lead the line once again for the Cherries having netted six times in the Premier League already this season - form which has earned him a call-up to the England squad.

Josh King has also been in decent goalscoring form this term and notched on his return to the side against Arsenal last time out with a stunning effort which nestled into the top corner at the end of a lightning counter-attack.

Josh King scores for Bournemouth against Arsenal in their Premier League clash on November 25, 2018.© Reuters

2.22pmBournemouth do have players who can hurt Man City, then, but today's hosts go into just about every game at the moment as huge favourites to win and this match is no different - indeed, even more so than usual given how well suited they seem to be against Bournemouth.

The air of invincibility surrounding Pep Guardiola's side was damaged by Lyon for the second time this season in midweek as they earned a 2-2 draw, but domestically there doesn't seem to be any stopping them right now.

2.24pmThere are more questions being asked of City so far this season than there was last term, with Liverpool still unbeaten and Chelsea only suffering their first defeat last weekend, yet still Guardiola's champions lead the way.

Today is a real chance for them to put more pressure on those below them too, as the rest of the top five do not play until tomorrow. City currently have a two-point lead at the top, but victory here would extend that to five ahead of Liverpool's derby against Everton tomorrow.

2.26pmCity have still only dropped four points in the Premier League so far this, with the only two matches they have failed to win also being the only two games in which they have failed to score in the first half - against Wolves and Liverpool.

Scoring in general has not been a problem at all for Guardiola's side, though, with their 4-0 rout of West Ham last weekend taking them up to 40 for the season from their opening 13 games - a average of more than three per game.

Manchester City players celebrate David Silva's goal against West Ham United on November 24, 2018© Reuters

2.28pmMan City have scored 12 goals more than any other team in the Premier League this season, but they have also been superb defensively, conceding a joint-league low five goals from 13 games.

Incredibly, only one of those goals have come from open play too - against Newcastle on September 1 - with two coming from penalties and the other two from other set pieces.

2.30pmCity are now unbeaten in 19 Premier League games, winning 16 of those and conceding just eight goals in the process, while they come into this match on a run of five consecutive wins which include 19 goals for and only two against.

Should Man City avoid a massive upset today then it would be the third time that they have gone on an unbeaten run of 20+ games in the Premier League, with only Manchester United (seven times) and Arsenal (four times) managing it more often.

2.32pmCity have been even more dominant at home this season, boasting a 100% record at the Etihad Stadium in the Premier League with seven wins from seven, during which they have average almost four goals per game.

Indeed, that Premier League home winning run stretches back to eight matches including the tail end of last season, while they have only lost one of their last 38 in front of their own fans - winning 31 of those.

2.34pmCity have now scored a whopping 125 home goals in the Premier League under Pep Guardiola, which is three more than Bournemouth have managed home and away during the same period - and the Cherries are not exactly regarded as a low-scoring team.

Another reason behind their dominance is their ability to hold on to a lead, and they are the only club in the Premier League this season yet to drop a point from a winning position. Indeed, they haven't conceded a single goal in the final half an hour of games yet this term.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola pictured on September 29, 2018© Reuters

2.36pmIt all makes for very daunting reading from a Bournemouth perspective, but Eddie Howe was in bullish mood during the buildup to this match and insists that his side are not scared of their trip to the Etihad.

Their previous record against City - and particularly at this stadium - suggests that he perhaps should be, but on the whole Bournemouth will be feeling good about themselves have enjoyed an impressive campaign so far.

2.38pmThe Cherries' promising start has begun to fade a little now, though, and they come into this match having lost all three of their Premier League outings in November, each by a 2-1 scoreline.

Bournemouth had only lost three of their previous 13 Premier League outings prior to this alarming dip in form, and while the Etihad may not be the best place to reverse such a slide, Eddie Howe will know that his side need to turn things back around sooner rather than later.

2.40pmIt is far from panic stations for them just yet, though, and Howe certainly would have taken sitting eighth in the table after a third of the campaign.

Bournemouth are already halfway to the magic 40-point mark and sit three points closer to the top four than the relegation zone. Survival will still be Bournemouth's number one goal this season, but they can begin dreaming bigger if they continue how they have started this season.

2.42pmAnother defeat today would see Bournemouth lose four Premier League games on the bounce for the first time since September 2017, and for just the fifth time since their promotion to the top flight.

Ominously, all four of those previous four-game losing streaks or more have included a defeat at the hands of Manchester City, and their hopes will not be particularly high of avoiding the same fate today.

2.44pmBournemouth have a mixed away record so far in the Premier League with three wins and three defeats from their six such matches, but they have only won three of their previous 16 before that so it still represents a marked improvement on the road from Eddie Howe's side.

The Cherries have remarkable also never lost an away Premier League against the reigning champions, beating Chelsea in 2015-16 and 2017-18 and drawing with Leicester in 2016-17.

Eddie Howe in charge of Bournemouth on October 6, 2018© Reuters

2.46pmIndeed, Bournemouth have recorded three wins over the defending Premier League champions since their promotion to the top flight in 2015, which is a tally only today's opponents Man City can better in the same period.

The Cherries often raise their game against the biggest opponents, then, although they have now lost their last six matches against members of the 'big six', stretching back to a 3-0 win over Chelsea in January.

2.48pmThe most recent match in that run came just last weekend as Bournemouth fell to a 2-1 defeat at home to Arsenal, with Aubameyang getting the winner after King had cancelled out Lerma's spectacular own goal.

Bournemouth are in the midst of a difficult run of fixtures at the moment too, with matches against Manchester United (twice), Arsenal, Manchester City, Liverpool Chelsea and Tottenham among their final 11 outings of 2018.

2.50pmPREDICTION: Right, we have 10 minutes remaining until kickoff at the Etihad Stadium, which means that it is time for a prediction!

It is hard to see anything other than a home win today in truth. Man City have been in such good form of late, particularly at home, while Bournemouth have fallen out of form at just the wrong time for this fixture.

SPORTS MOLE SAYS: Man City 4-0 Bournemouth

2.52pmAre there any glimmers of hope for Bournemouth, then?

Well, not when it comes to the head-to-head record for sure as they have lost all six of their previous Premier League meetings with Man City, scoring just twice and conceding 21 times in the process.

2.54pmIndeed, Man City have never lost a competitive match against Bournemouth from 12 previous meetings, all of which have come in the league.

The best the Cherries have managed has been a draw - on two occasions - but they have lost 10 of their previous 12 clashes against today's opponents.

2.56pmBournemouth have a particularly poor record at the Etihad too, where they have conceded 13 times in their last three visits and lost by a four-goal scoreline on each occasion.

The most recent of those was a 4-0 defeat last December when Aguero helped himself to a brace, while the Cherries lost by the same scoreline here last season and were beaten 5-1 on their first visit to the stadium.

2.58pmRight, the players are out and we're almost ready to get started here! A reminder of the team news before we do begin...

MAN CITY STARTING XI: Ederson; Danilo, Laporte, Otamendi, Zinchenko; Fernandinho, Gundogan, Bernardo; Sane, Sterling, Jesus

BOURNEMOUTH STARTING XI: Begovic; S Cook, Minga, Ake; Francis, L Cook, Surman, Daniels; King, Wilson, Fraser

1 minKICKOFF:  Here we go, then! Bournemouth get us underway at the Etihad!

1 minLess than 25 seconds on the clock and Man City already get in behind the defence. Jesus exchanges passes with Sane and the German races down the left before putting a low cross into the box which Begovic gets his hands to in front of Jesus.

3 minUPDATE: Huddersfield have made an even quicker start than Man City! Zanka has given them the lead inside the first minute against Brighton!

4 minHalf a chance for Bournemouth as they work a short corner well between Daniels and Fraser, the latter of whom is released to the byline with a clever flick. He fizzes the ball into the box, but it is behind Wilson and his attempted improvisation sends the ball bouncing off target.

6 minBournemouth have another chance to break as Lewis Cook gets a challenge in on Sterling and Fraser suddenly bursts forward. He is able to carry the ball a long way, but there is a lack of support and in the end he has to go back again.

8 minSane moves through the gears effortlessly to drive into a crossing position, fizzing a ball across goal which Begovic gets a hand to.

10 minSane has made a really good start to this match, and the crowd voice their appreciation for his defensive duties this time as he tracks King all the way back before stealing possession off him. That will please his manager!

11 minCHANCE!  My word, what a cross this is from Zinchenko. Out of nothing he whops a devilish cross into the box which Jesus very nearly gets on the end of. That was less than a yard away from the opening goal, and it was all down to the quality of the delivery.

13 minUPDATE: More goals from elsewhere to tell you about - Hernandez has given West Ham the lead against Newcastle, while Jamie Vardy has broken the deadlock for Leicester from the penalty spot against Watford.

15 minIt looked ominous for Bournemouth when Sane made that early break in behind, and City do still look dangerous when they have the ball, but Eddie Howe will be content with how his side have defended so far. Still a long way to go, though!


16 minGOAL!  Manchester City break the deadlock as the returning Bernardo Silva tucks home a loose ball from inside the area with aplomb!

Zinchenko clipped the ball over the top for Sane, who got there ahead of a slightly hesitant Begovic. Begovic still manages to thwart Sane's touch, but the ball drops kindly for Bernardo to tuck home a confident finish into the empty net.

Bernardo Silva scores the opener during the Premier League game between Manchester City and Bournemouth on December 1, 2018© Reuters

18 minSHOT!  Sane is released behind the City defence once again here as he races on to Gundogan's pass before clipping a cross to the edge of the box, where Bernardo is waiting. The goalscorer's first-time volley is on target, but it is cleared away before it can test the keeper,

20 minUPDATE: Crystal Palace have also taken the lead against Burnley through James McArthur, meaning that all of the 3pm kickoffs have seen a goal inside the opening 20 minutes.

22 minMan City are just playing keep-ball at the moment, dominating possession and just knocking it about amongst themselves inside the Bournemouth half. Complete control.

24 minSane feeds the ball into the feet of Jesus, who spins inside the area and gets a shot away, but Mings heads it away from danger.

26 minUPDATE: Leicester have doubled their advantage against Watford, with James Maddison adding to Vardy's opener at the King Power Stadium.

28 minBournemouth are perhaps showing City a little too much respect at the moment. It is easier said than done against this City side, of course, but they are allowing the hosts to dictate play completely at the moment.

30 minWe've had half an hour in this match now and Bournemouth have managed to limit Man City's chances to a certain extent, but they need to do more if they are to get themselves back into this match. They have have just 30% possession so far.

32 minUPDATE: Huddersfield have had the lead against Brighton since the opening minute, but they will have to see it out with 10 men. Mounie has been sent off for the Terriers!

34 minPoor from Danilo as he gifts the ball straight to Bournemouth on the halfway line, and immediately the visitors look to pounce. However, an errant pass in the buildup sees the attack fizzle out as Bournemouth waste a rare chance to get at this Man City defence.

36 minMan City have not been at their best so far today, but they have still dominated the opening 36 minutes here. Sane has looked like their most dangerous player down the left, with his pace causing all sorts of problems.

37 minSHOT!  Right on cue, Sane collects a pass from Sterling before cutting inside, but he goes for power over placement with his shot and blasts it a long way over the crossbar.

39 minSAVE!  Bournemouth's best moment of the match so far comes as King cuts inside from the left flank and clips a cross into the box. Wilson is a whisker away from getting contact on it, which probably would have taken it past Ederson, but the Brazilian keeper gets down to push the cross away after Wilson misses it.

41 minThis has been better from Bournemouth in the last few minutes. They are beginning to get a bit more joy going forward and are putting the City defence under pressure now.

42 minCHANCE!  Decent chance for the visitors as King latches on to a cross inside the box and volleys it goalwards, but Otamendi blocks it before it can trouble the keeper.


44 minGOAL!  Bournemouth have the equaliser, and it is the first goal City have conceded from open play since the beginning of September!

It is a really good header from Wilson too as he strains every sinew to divert Francis's cross past Ederson, having beaten Otamendi in the air. Game on at the Etihad!

Callum Wilson celebrates his equaliser during the Premier League game between Manchester City and Bournemouth on December 1, 2018© Reuters

45+1 minThere will be one minute of added time at the end of this first half.


3.56pmCould we have a shock on the cards at the Etihad Stadium! Man City have not dropped a single point from a winning position this season, but they are level against Bournemouth at the break having conceded a late equaliser in that first half.

The hosts dominated for the vast majority of the match and looked in complete control until Bournemouth began to come back into it towards the end of the first half.

3.58pmThe opening goal arrived after just 16 minutes when Sane latched on to Zinchenko's clipped pass over the top before seeing his attempted lob saved by Begovic.

The ball dropped loose into the area, though, and Bernardo was alive to the possibility and fired a confident first-time finish into an empty net to give City the lead.

4pmHowever, Bournemouth threw a spanner in the works by levelling things up just before half time, though, with Wilson scoring his seventh goal of the season with a brilliant header.

Wilson climbed highest in the area but still had a lot to do after beating Otamendi in the air, diverting his effort beyond a helpless Ederson.


46 minKICKOFF:  Manchester City get us back underway at the start of the second half!

46 minQuick start to the second half from Bournemouth as Wilson slides the ball through to King, who chips his cross to the back post. Ederson can only watch as it floats narrowly wide, with Daniels almost getting on the end of it to turn it home.

48 minUPDATE: Brighton have levelled things up against 10-man Huddersfield at the John Smith's Stadium through Shane Duffy.

50 minHandbags here as Fernandinho is angered by Wilson, who barged into Ederson. Tempers flare momentarily, but there is nothing much in it.

52 minMan City are being forced to play with 10 men at the moment after Zinchenko caught an elbow from his own teammate Fernandinho. Blood is streaming from his nose at the moment and they are struggling to stop it.

54 minOFF THE POST!  So nearly a goal for City as Sterling collects the ball on the right and brings it all the way inside into the area, beating five or six defenders in the process. He eventually gets a shot away from inside the box and it takes a deflection off Surman before bouncing against the post and being hacked away!

55 minMAN CITY SUB: City give up on trying to stop Zinchenko's bleeding and on comes Fabian Delph in his place.


57 minGOAL!  History for Raheem Sterling as he maintains his 100% record of scoring against Bournemouth in the Premier League!

The winger gives the ball to Danilo, whose low drive draws a save from Begovic. However, the Bournemouth keeper parries it out into a dangerous area and Sterling has continued his run into the box, where he is waiting to tuck home the rebound.

Raheem Sterling celebrates putting his side back ahead during the Premier League game between Manchester City and Bournemouth on December 1, 2018© Reuters

59 min

61 minIf Bournemouth are to get back into this match for a second time they they will have to do something no-one has managed against City so far this season - score against them in the final half an hour of a match.

63 min

65 minCity have resumed control of this match now, but they will want a third goal after being pegged back once already today.

67 minSAVE!  Clever effort from Jesus as he flicks a backward header towards the bottom corner from Gundogan's free kick, but Begovic gets down smartly to turn it around the post.

68 minCHANCE!  City are starting to pile the pressure on now! Jesus does really well to keep an attack alive and turns his man smartly on the byline before pulling the ball back into the middle. It goes all the way through to Fernandinho, who drills his finish wide of the target.

70 minJust 20 minutes remaining in this match now and Bournemouth are still in this game. Another City goal would surely wrap up the points, but while the deficit remains at one, Bournemouth have a chance.

72 minBOURNEMOUTH SUB: Time for a Bournemouth change as David Brooks replaces Fraser.

74 minUPDATE: West Ham have doubled their lead against in-form Newcastle through Javier Hernandez, while Brighton have come from behind to lead 10-man Huddersfield.

75 minCHANCE!  Half a chance for Bournemouth here as a long throw is flicked on twice towards the near post, where Wilson is waiting. He swings and misses it, though, only getting a corner.

77 minMAN CITY SUB: The hosts make their first change of the match as David Silva replaces Jesus.


79 minGOAL!  Game over at the Etihad!

Silva is immediately involved as he slides a lovely pass inside the full-back for Sane, who reaches the byline before firing a low cross into the box. Gundogan is waiting there and applies a simple finish, wrapping up all three points for the hosts.

81 minThat is the two-goal cushion Man City were after, and it looks as though they will be going five points clear at the top of the table today. They haven't been at their scintillating best, but have still been comfortably good enough today.

83 minUPDATE: Crystal Palace have doubled their lead against Burnley at Selhurst Park - they are heading for a long overdue win!

85 minCHANCE!  Sane deserves a goal today, and he almost gets it here. The winger twists and turns down the left channel, beating Steve Cook all ends up before firing an effort towards goal which Begovic does really well to turn over the top.

86 minBOURNEMOUTH SUBS: Double change from the visitors here as Wilson and King are replaced by Junior Stanislas and Lys Mousset.

87 minMAN CITY SUB: Man City also make a change as Riyad Mahrez replaces Bernardo.

89 minMahrez looks like he is in behind the defence momentarily as he races through on goal, but Mings does really well to recover and make a challenge.

90+1 minThere will be three minutes of added time at the end of this match.


4.58pmAnother win for Manchester City, then, as they move five points clear at the top of the Premier League table until tomorrow at least.

In the end it was all fairly routine for the hosts, although they were given a scare when Wilson cancelled out Bernardo's opener at the end of the first half. However, goals from Sterling and Gundogan after the break wrapped up all three points for the home side.

5pmRight, that is all we have time for this afternoon!

Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for today's Premier League clash as City move five points clear at the top of the table by beating Bournemouth. I will leave you with our match report, and be sure to stick around for reaction too.

From me, though, it is goodbye for now!

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