Three things we learnt from Manchester City's 4-0 destruction of Bournemouth
Pep Guardiola and his new side continued their unstoppable run of form with a demolition job at the Etihad on Saturday afternoon as Bournemouth were seen off with ease, despite the decision to rest summer signing John Stones.
If five victories from five games in the Premier League to date, the Spaniard will have been even more delighted with the manner in which the Citizens dominated possession, with 66% of the ball, and the game, with a number of shots keeping Artur Boruc busy in the Bournemouth goal.
It was Kevin De Bruyne who opened the scoring in an impressive display with a cheeky free-kick fired underneath the wall. A superb team move then saw Raheem Sterling set up Kelechi Iheanacho to tap into an open goal before half-time, with the young forward returning the favour just after the break for Sterling to score. Then, there was a league debut goal for German midfielder Ilkay Gundogan, with a smart finish from a defence splitting pass from de Bruyne.
The display was slightly marred by Nolito’s head butt late on which meant he saw a red card after the altercation with Adam Smith, and although the decision was controversial, Guardiola confirmed post match that the club would accept the decision to send off the Spanish winger.
Read on over the next few pages to discover three things that we have taken from the game…
Kevin De Bruyne is on fire
Kevin De Bruyne’s cheeky free-kick just 15 minutes into the Saturday afternoon fixture was representative of the confidence that the Belgian has developed playing in a central role under Pep Guardiola, and his performances have excelled massively in the position, leading to some much deserved praise for the attacking midfielder.
After the game, the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager compared his talented playmaker with the likes of Lionel Messi, labelling him as one of the best players he has ever coached, some high praise indeed for a man who oversaw a team made up of World Cup winners in Germany and arguably the most successful European team in decades in Barcelona.
De Bruyne continues to maintain a superb run of form which he has established since the start of the season, though he may face a challenge in the coming weeks. With Guardiola a keen fan of rotations, De Bruyne will have to ensure that if he is rested, it does not affect his form, and he must maintain this unstoppable run which have already made him an early contender for player of the year.