Charlie Daniels’ early screamer was enough to earn Bournemouth a point against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.
The defender opened the scoring with a superb half-volley before City struck back through Gabriel Jesus but Eddie Howe’s side looked as if they would manage to hold on for the point.
Both teams made a sloppy start to the match in the sunshine at Dean Court, giving up possession easily and committing unnecessary fouls.
It was Eddie Howe’s team that had the first chance of the game when Adam Smith drove down the right and cut the ball back to Joshua King inside the City penalty box, but the striker’s shot was blocked.
Bournemouth continued to build on their momentum and looked to be growing in confidence but no one could have anticipated the goal the would give Bournemouth the lead against Guardiola’s side.
With 12 minutes played, Howe’s side worked an attack down the left, only for Vincent Kompany to head away the resulting cross. Yet, the ball fell straight to Daniels who lashed it with his left-foot across Ederson’s goal, off the crossbar and into the back of the net for Bournemouth’s first ever goal against City in the Premier League.
Howe’s side looked confident in possession and willing to drive forward at City’s star-studded team, and they could have had a second goal when Andrew Surman picked out Jermain Defoe from the left, but the 34-year-old could only find the palms of City’s Brazilian goalkeeper with his first-time effort.
However, just eight minutes after the opener, one pin-point pass from Kevin De Bruyne to Jesus and City were level. The Belgian slid the ball on the floor to his Brazilian teammate, who had made a smart run between two of Bournemouth three centre-backs, and the young striker coolly rolled it past Asmir Begović into the back of the Bournemouth net.
Then shortly after the equaliser, when Guardiola’s team had found their swagger, Jesus could have had his and City’s second of the match. Benjamin Mendy’s smart first-time cross from the left picked out the man from Sao Paulo, who could only drive the ball wide of the post.
Guardiola’s side grew in confidence with Bournemouth pinned back in their own half. Then, Bournemouth’s young centre-back Nathan Ake had a moment of madness, trying to turn on the ball in his own half and was pick-pocketed by Jesus. The former Chelsea player then tripped the Brazilian forward but Mike Dean awarded a yellow card rather than a red.
Howe’s team went into half-time level, lucky to have 11 men still on the pitch and lucky not to have conceded a second after mounting pressure from the Manchester side.
City continued to build on their first-half success, knocking the ball around neatly and looking dangerous around the Bournemouth box. However, it was Howe’s team who came closest in the early stages when King’s curling effort struck the Man City post with Ederson rooted to the spot.
Guardiola then introduced Sergio Aguero who had a golden chance to put City in the lead, when Sterling rolled the ball to the Argentinian but his low shot was saved by Begovic.
With 73 minutes gone, Howe’s side were boxed into their own half and another City attack forced them into conceding a corner. De Bruyne’s cross was met by Nicolás Otamendi’s downwards header which bounced off the ground, hit the post and then bounced back out, allowing Bournemouth to clear their lines.
The south coast side sat deep with their two wing backs dropping back to make a five man defence when City had the ball. The tactic worked and Howe’s team even managed to work a late effort on goal through King, forcing the City keeper into a low save, but it was not enough to hold off City who in the 95th stole all three points through a deflected strike from Sterling which looped up over the Bournemouth defence and into the back of the net. The celebration led to a second yellow card and sending off for Sterling, but City leave with the win.
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