Kevin De Bruyne was the mastermind behind Manchester City’s 4-0 victory over Bournemouth in the Premier League on Saturday.
The Belgium international scored one goal and assisted another as Pep Guardiola’s hosts dominated their opening home fixture of the season at the Etihad Stadium.
Phil Foden matched the playmaker’s performance with a double goal of his own, while Ilkay Gundogan also got in on the act against an outclassed Cherries side, who completed the scoring with an own goal.
Scott Parker’s side started their first season back in the top flight with a win over Aston Villa last Saturday, but this was a significant step up.
City forced goalkeeper Mark Travers into several close-range saves early on, but Gundogan broke through when he produced a fantastic one-two with Erling Haaland to cut into the box and send a low finish home.
Just after the half-hour mark, De Bruyne increased the home side’s lead, taking on the Bournemouth defense before shaping a superb shot off the outside of his boot into the far corner.
And two quickly became three when Foden’s shot eluded Travers after some nice movement down the left from De Bruyne.
The half-time siren provided much-needed relief for the visitors, but they still struggled to cope with City’s strength, which dominated possession throughout.
Guardiola’s players played more leisurely after the break in hot temperatures, but a fourth goal ultimately came when the irrepressible Joao Cancelo had a square ball diverted into the net by Jefferson Lerma.
What does it imply? Champions are too hot for the Cherries.
City’s title defense is off to a good start, with two wins in two games.
After the first 45 minutes, a more open second half might have been expected, but Guardiola would have been satisfied regardless as his players kept control of the encounter, allowing Bournemouth to just three shots throughout.
De Bruyne is back in command.
Few players command the game as well as De Bruyne, and in the absence of an explosive striker performance from Haaland, his steady control triumphed.
He created four chances, more than any other player, including a beautiful ball for Foden’s goal, and the midfielder also scored.
Parker’s suffering against City continues.
It was a humbling afternoon in Manchester for Bournemouth, and it adds to Parker’s coaching woes against the champions.
This was his fifth encounter with them in the dugout, and his fifth loss, with a total of 15 goals conceded. He has overseen as many games without a win, as many losses, and as many goals conceded against no other side.
Important Opta Facts
- Manchester City has won all 11 Premier League games against Bournemouth, the best winning percentage by a team against another in Premier League history.
- Bournemouth is winless in all 17 league encounters with City (D2 L15), the most one club has met another without winning in Football League history.
- City have only lost one of their previous 30 Premier League games (W25 D4), against Tottenham in February.
- Since the start of 2021, only four players have scored more Premier League goals than City duo Ilkay Gundogan and Kevin De Bruyne (20 each): Mohamed Salah (33), Harry Kane (31), Son Heung-min (29) and Sadio Mane (21).
What comes next?
Manchester City will travel to Newcastle United on August 21, while Bournemouth will host Arsenal the day before.