Man City reaches 101 goals in 2017 by routing Bournemouth
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Sergio Aguero’s double took Manchester City’s Premier League goal total for 2017 to more than 100 as the runaway leaders beat Bournemouth 4-0 on Saturday.
Raheem Sterling also claimed his 16th goal of the season and Danilo grabbed his first for the club as Pep Guardiola’s side extended the top-flight football record to 17 successive victories.
City has 101 goals for the calendar year - across two league seasons - and it still has two games remaining. City has a 14-point lead over Manchester United, which is at Leicester on Saturday night.
City’s result was never in doubt from the moment Aguero, subject of conflicting reports this week regarding his future, headed the opener after 27 minutes.
City’s players were not at their sparkling best but still had far too much for Bournemouth, which has now lost back-to-back games 4-0 after last week’s thrashing by Liverpool and is without a win in seven.
Eddie Howe’s side did little to extend the hosts and City was allowed to patiently work openings.
Bournemouth’s Steve Cook headed dangerously close to his own goal after Kevin De Bruyne whipped in a dangerous cross and Aguero shot over after being played in by Nicolas Otamendi.
Otamendi actually had City’s first serious chance with a fierce long-range shot but goalkeeper Asmir Begovic pushed it away safely.
The opener came as Fernandinho delicately clipped in a cross for Aguero. Bournemouth pushed up, hoping to play the Argentinian offside, but its timing went awry and Aguero was left to bring up his century of home goals with a simple diving header.
Bournemouth created little, aside from an early chance which Junior Stanislas shot wide and injured himself in the process, forcing Howe to make a change.
City did offer the visitors some encouragement, however, as first Ederson failed to clear effectively after Callum Wilson outpaced the fit-again Vincent Kompany and then as Kyle Walker misplaced a pass.
But Wilson was unable to capitalise on either opportunity and City stepped up a gear to double their lead after the break.
This time Aguero was the provider, deftly flicking the ball behind him into the area for Sterling to race onto and lash home.
Bournemouth made no attempt to try to chase the game, perhaps settling for damage limitation, but it did not prove a successful policy as City continued to take the game to the visitors.
David Silva, back in the side after missing two games for personal reasons, shot over and De Bruyne sliced an attempted shot. That proved De Bruyne’s final act as he signalled to the bench moments later but there were no obvious signs of discomfort as he was replaced by Ilkay Gundogan.
Aguero headed the third goal in the 79th from a cross from fellow substitute Bernardo Silva.
Danilo, another player to have come off the bench, put the seal on victory when he fired past Begovic after being set up by Sterling.