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The Ped Report AFC Bournemouth 1-2 City by Pedmachine
05 September 2017 19:18 Post ID: #605157
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It was another of Pep Guardiola's raffle ticket team selections that took the field on the sunny South Coast as this time Bournemouth were ready to pit their wits against City.

Stones, Sane and Aguero drew the short straws, Stones to accommodate fit again Mendy, Sane for his miserable out-of-position no-show against Everton and Aguero for his profligacy in front of goal in the same match, where he had enough chances to get himself on his way to the goalden boot.

Sulking Sergio apparently refused to leave the team bus and then did not go through his warm-up paces ahead of the match. Sanchez to City was more than just a rumble on TalkStretford. At least it shows a bit of passion. Sergio wants to play and just as he has in every other season at the Etihad, he will work out why he is not scoring and then make sure he does.

There was intended to be a more solid look to the side with Danilo replacing suspended Walker on the right and new-boy Mendy on the left. Kompany was accompanied by Otamendi in the centre, protected by Fernandinho. The pack-shuffle ahead of this, for me had two more players out of position with Bernardo on the right and Sterling on the left, creating the kind of inversion that was provided by Danilo when City last visited the South Coast. Silva, De Bruyne and Jesus made up the rest.

From the start the game was a bit scrappy with the hosts in no mood to let City settle into their stride and a series of robust tackles from both sides could have easily started the yellow card count on another Saturday.

When City were allowed to escape they looked threatening, but as has happened many times, that last ball from De Bruyne or Silva didn't reach its intended destination or was just an inch too long for a hungry-looking de Jesus.

Bournemouth looked to get forward quickly and with purpose and were rewarded almost at once with City's indecision at the back, I can't write what Sue called it, saw the ball fall freely to Daniels who hit a screamer past Ederson to put the hosts ahead to the delight of Cherry Bear watching in earnest.

If nothing else this alerted City to the fact that that they had a game on their hands and needed to sharpen up. It had an almost instant impact as City took over the game and pinned Bournemouth to the boards…temporarily. Otamendi got himself a free header from a corner but could not get enough power on it to trouble Begovic.

Bournemouth then sprang to the other end and with Fernandinho backing off the ball found its way to Defoe, clear and unattended. Somehow he hit it straight at Ederson when 2-0 looked more likely and City were off a big hook.

It had been a high-octane opening 20 minutes when City were awarded a free kick for a foul on Bernardo. De Jesus took it quickly and hared into the Bournemouth box in time to receive an elongated one-two from David Silva. He shrugged off the attendant Ake who was having a nightmare and toe-poked it home smartly to level the score.

After that the remainder of the first half was a catalogue of City's attacking prowess and how they nearly got themselves ahead. De Jesus went close twice, Silva, Sterling and De Bruyne all at times took incorrect options before Cook taking on the persona of a combined harvester mowed down de Jesus with both feet off the ground, out of control, but somehow escaped any kind of admonishment. When you think what Walker was sent off for last week and Schneiderlin for that matter, this must be one of the poorest pieces of refereeing I've seen from anyone, let alone a Mike Dean noted for distributing more cards than a croupier in a casino.

Not long after this Kompany took a chance and had to bring down King getting himself a yellow that was to signify a change in the Dean direction as after that he went to his pockets another dozen times, including twice for Sterling which saw City end the match short-handed again.

Somehow the hosts got themselves to the break with further concession, giving them the chance to re-group and try to get back to where they were when they started.

However, from the restart City started to apply the pressure. There was a succession of yellow cards for both teams, with Dean having accepted that by now Bournemouth should be playing with nine men. With the exception of the tidy Danilo, all City's defence were on yellows.

But City ploughed on. Silva might have got one as might Bernardo before Aguero replaced him. Otamendi hit the post, but it didn't look as though the breakthrough would come.

Guardiola sent on Sane for de Jesus and switched Sterling back to his favoured side. This posed a bigger threat to Bournemouth as City bombed down both flanks now with Sane and Mendy on the left and Sterling and Danilo on the right. But it still wouldn't go in.

Five stoppage minutes were signalled and Bournemouth tried to waste the first two with King rolling around pretending to be injured. Dean, however was to add these extra minutes on to the five signalled and those additions proved to be decisive, especially as the recently-introduced Afobe took a knock and delayed the ending even further.

Deep into this added-on time City's power as an attacking force finally bore fruit. With Guardiola and Howe almost at each other's throats by the dugouts, Aguero found De Bruyne who played it into Sterling. In turn Raheem brought in the overlapping Danilo whose one-two found Sterling in just enough space to change feet and pull the trigger. Yes it might have clipped Surman but it had enough on it to arrive just inside the far post sending the Blue Mooners into raptures. With the perimeter walls already breached Sterling went to share the fans' elation and found himself on the end of a second yellow as Dean sent him to the stands.

Guardiola sent on Stones for Silva to ensure that the dying minutes wouldn't prove terminal in terms of City getting three points and a huge sigh of relief was breathed in the Pedmachine household.

City are still not deadly enough in front of goal. Yes, against teams like this, space is limited but in the end it appears. The key is to straighten up the attack and not always play around the corners out wide. The goals were in fact a combination of each of these methods. De Jesus' goal was simply a straight line one-two. Sterling's was effectively a series of one-twos from wider positions.

The shenanigans with Aguero deprived him of trying to emulate a certain ex-Stretford who scored in nine consecutive away games. Sergio finds himself stuck on seven as his cameo today proved unfruitful.

I can see why Pep thinks he needs Sanchez. He reminds me a bit of Tevez. Non-stop action and goals to boot. He could yet be the tonic the attack needs to ensure that at the end of everything City creates there is a goal. I know that Messi, Suarez and Neymar looked to be a more potent dream ticket than Aguero, de Jesus and Sterling (or Sane), but that strike force has been broken up now and the midfield behind is losing power as Iniesta heads for the recycle bin, but with the chances that De Bruyne and Silva knit together and the added power of the men out wide in the shape of Mendy and Walker or Danilo, City should be cashing up with regularity.

Still, I'll take three away points from a hard fought match and look forward to the ructions that City's next Premier League match will cause in Crosby. Taking into account the way Liverpool presented themselves in the Champions League qualifiers it could end 6-6 when the teams convene at the Etihad after the boring international break.

That said, I feel the need to add that it is amazing how "hot ball syndrome" manages to cross oceans as once again the EFL managed to ensure that City got an away draw against competent opposition, Liverpool too for that matter, while the Stretfords can again have a midweek off and play their youth team against Burton Albion.

It then continued to UEFA when the Champions League draw handed the Stretfords, once again a bye to the knock-out stages and left City with a trip to the icy wastes of Ukraine a few days before playing the Stretfords who will have a Tuesday night tie at home. We all know that Sky or BT will have the derby on at 1230 on Saturday to favour the Stretfords.

For now, though we will hail Gabriel de Jesus for an outstanding performance and a well-taken goal. His all-round play is something to behold.

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