Football

Man City beat Bournemouth as spirited Cherries' survival hopes fade


Had Bournemouth played with this spirit throughout the season, perhaps they might not be feeling the cold hand of relegation.

For the Cherries, although there was honour in defeat, this was a savage blow to their fading hopes of preserving their Premier League status.

Defeat means they are likely to need a minimum of four points from their final two games, against Southampton and Everton, to stay up.

But with an inferior goal difference to Watford and West Ham, who meet tomorrow, the odds are firmly stacked against Eddie Howe’s beleaguered side.

As vibrant as they were here, eight defeats in their last 11 Premier League games have left Bournemouth in a perilous position, their five-year spell in the top flight now in grave danger.

David Silva opened the scoring brilliantly

Pep Guardiola looked to be giving them a helping hand by naming his three most potent attackers – Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez – on the bench, only the latter two coming on.

Bournemouth were looking to build on their 4-1 comeback win over Leicester last weekend, which had given them renewed hope.

But they never had enough to really trouble City, who won without having to fully exert themselves ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal.

City went ahead in the sixth minute, David Silva winning a free-kick just outside the area, then curling it beyond the reach of Aaron Ramsdale.

Jesus doubled City’s advantage

The hosts settled into their familiar routine of keep-ball, the game descending into little more than a training exercise for the hosts.

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Bournemouth were left to feed off scraps, but had sight of the City goal in the 22 minute, when Josh King turned well but was unable to keep his shot on target.

Ederson had to be at his best in the 34 minute, diving at full-stretch to palm a Junior Stanislas free-kick onto his left-hand post to preserve City’s lead.

Dominic Solanke had a chance to level three minutes later, but saw his effort blocked by Otamendi. It proved a costly miss, with City doubling their lead in the 39 minute through Gabriel Jesus.

Brooks pulled one back for Bournemouth

Silva threaded the ball though to Jesus, who danced his way past three opponents before applying a clinical finish low into the far corner, to effectively kill the game.

The visitors had the ball in the net a minute before the hour, but VAR ruled King, who turned in a Stanislas shot, was offside.

City won a penalty when Steve Cook was judged to have fouled Jesus, but VAR overturned it.

Substitute David Brooks pulled one back for the visitors with two minutes left, but it was too little, too late.





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