By Peter Hall MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) -Manchester City made it two wins from two at the start of the Premier League season by thrashing promoted Bournemouth 4-0 at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday. The champions wasted no time getting into their stride in the sunshine as Norway striker Erling Haaland marked his home debut with […]
Soccer-Manchester City thrash Bournemouth to continue fast start
By Peter Hall
MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) -Manchester City made it two wins from two at the start of the Premier League season by thrashing promoted Bournemouth 4-0 at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
The champions wasted no time getting into their stride in the sunshine as Norway striker Erling Haaland marked his home debut with an assist for Ilkay Gundogan’s opener after 19 minutes.
With the first goal on the board, City cut loose and scored a sumptuous second 12 minutes later when Kevin De Bruyne curled a fine strike into the net with the outside of his foot.
Phil Foden added another before halftime from De Bruyne’s assist and it was just a matter of how many more the hosts would help themselves to.
Haaland’s moment in front of goal came late in the second half but he failed to connect properly with Jack Grealish’s pull back.
It mattered little as a late own goal from Jefferson Lerma put the icing on the cake, with City maintaining their 100% start to the new campaign at a canter.
“As a team we did a really good performance,” City boss Pep Guardiola said. “They defend so so deep and so narrow.
“We started really well and we had chances. On a warm day it is not easy for many reasons. Without the ball we are there, with the ball we are patient enough to create the chances.”
In City’s first home match since their dramatic final-day victory over Aston Villa that clinched a fourth league title in five seasons, all eyes were on Haaland following his debut double at West Ham United last weekend.
The prolific former Borussia Dortmund hitman should have been presented with a golden chance early on to break the deadlock, but Foden elected to shoot rather than pass to his new team mate in open space, with Bournemouth goalkeeper Mark Travers denying the England international.
However, with his first touch of the game, Haaland turned provider for Gundogan, scorer of two crucial goals in that final-day success over Villa, who finished well into the far corner.
De Bruyne’s first goal of the season was a thing of beauty, before the Belgian midfielder added another Premier League assist to his vast collection, playing Foden through for a third inside 37 minutes.
City took their foot off the gas after the break but still had plenty of chances to add a fourth — Haaland missing the best — before Lerma diverted Joao Cancelo’s cross into the net for the final goal.
“The game was the game today,” Bournemouth coach Scott Parker said. “The levels were different today against a world class team. I am pleased with how the team stuck with it.”
(Reporting by Peter Hall; Editing by Ken Ferris, Clare Fallon and Ed Osmond)