Despite the 1-0 result I thought Man City were excellent against a very well organised Bournemouth team.
The first half was a story of utter Man City dominance with anything but a goal, Bournemouth defended as if their life depended on it and Nathan Ake was superb. Although, Nicolas Otamendi almost scored a goal of the season with that overhead kick! The first half ended in huge disappointment for Manchester City as Kevin De Bruyne went off injured as he mouthed the word ‘hamstring’.
The maligned Riyad Mahrez was his replacement and Bernardo Silva moved into the centre.
The second half started and Vincent Kompany replaced John Stones, as a precautionary measure, Man City played one of their best halves of football this season. They were electric, David Silva refound his form and Ilkay Gundogan was once more highly impressive.
The left hand side for Man City caused many problems as Oleksandr Zinchenko mopped up any danger and Raheem Sterling causes havoc. It was a similar move that caused the first goal, Sterling found Bernardo Silva who found Riyad Mahrez who got his redemption with a goal.
Here’s how I rated the players:
GK: Ederson - 7
Ederson once more had very little to do in regards of being a goalkeeper but his passing was superb and he set up Raheem Sterling on many occasions in the 2nd half.
RB: Kyle Walker - 8
Kyle Walker was immense today, both defensively and offensively. Going forward he was a constant threat and out put in a few threatening deliveries. Defensively he was tough as shown by his hard battle with Ryan Fraser exerting his physical superiority.
CB: John Stones - 6
It was a tidy return for John Stones as he played well. He broke up attacks well and broke the lines effectively too.
CB: Nicolas Otamendi - 8
I said weeks back that if Nicolas Otamendi got a run in the team he’d find his feet. That he has done with another quality performance, bossing the battle with Josh King and causing problems in the opposition box, with an impressive overhead kick!
LB: Oleksandr Zinchenko - 9 (MOTM)
Wow! The young lad from Ukraine really is having a fantastic time as a Man City player. He was targeted from goal kicks and looked a little troubled. However, he won husband headers well elsewhere and was so physical in the tackle. Going forward was a delight playing neat one-twos with David Silva and Raheem Sterling, then executing whipped crosses perfectly!
CDM: Ilkay Gundogan - 7
Pep Guardiola seemed irritated in the week about Ilkay Gundogan not singing his contract. Today was another example why, he was strong in the tackle and clever with his passing as City looked to break down Bournemouth!
CM: Kevin De Bruyne - 7
This was Kevin De Bruyne’s best half in a City shirt this season. He was at the heart of everything, he was quick and looked like any ball he played would cause a goal or corner at the very worst. I pray his injury is not as bad as first feared…
CM: David Silva - 7
When I saw David Silva’s name on the team sheet I was quietly nervous and that doesn’t happen. However, he was very good today constantly causing problems and playing ‘El Mago’ style through balls. It’s important he keeps this form up!
RW: Bernardo Silva - 6
He was not as his best on the right-hand side and was struggling against the impressive Bournemouth block. However, when he moved into the centre Bernardo was back home and looked as dangerous as he did against West Ham (despite playing on the right)
LW: Raheem Sterling - 7
His form was the same as Bernardo Silva, it was a tough first half but he came to life in the second half. It looked as if he moved upfront along side Sergio Aguero, his electric pace and dribbling ability could have led to a few more goals
ST: Sergio Aguero - 7
Like the other City attackers, the first half was a tough one. However, in the second half Sergio Aguero was very fluent with Raheem Sterling dropping deeper to make mazy runs and dribble through the defence with ease. There was one chipped attempt late into the second half that would have been world class had he of scored!
SUB: Riyad Mahrez - 7 (45’)
Riyad Mahrez needed a good performance when he came on to replace Kevin De Bruyne. He gave just that. His goal was well taken with a tidy finish. However, it was his aggression and work off the ball that impressed me. He battled hard and looked a constant threat going forward.
SUB: Vincent Kompany - 6 (48’)
He filled in well for John Stones and did a tidy job. He further limited the threat of Josh King and broke up attacks with vital interceptions
SUB: Gabriel Jesus - N/A (90’)
Worked hard to run down the game