Date: 27th August 2017 at 7:23am
Written by: bigfatolly

Today a fixture which is one usually to dread at the best of times,but with Bournemouth having an indifferent start to the season on the back of two poor performances against Watford and West Brom,many fans were predicting an embarrassing score line in front of the Sky TV cameras.

Manager Eddie Howe rang the changes as hinted at in midweek,a new system meaning wingers were dispensed with,in came Tyrone Mings,Dan Gosling and Jermaine Defoe for their first Premier League starts of the season a 3-5-2 (attacking) or 5-3-2 (defending) formation was the order of the day.

City gave a debut to new signing Benjamin Mendy, also dropping Stones,Aguero and Sane to the bench.

The opening exchanges were pretty even with neither side really gaining a foothold,although Cherries were looking much better than in previous games,pressing well,physical,and some neat passing being played.

Central to this surprisingly was the much maligned Andrew Surman,who seemed to be reacting to recent fan criticism.Indeed it was Cherries who broke the deadlock in the 14th minute,a ball that had broken into the box was cleared only as far as DANIELS who hit a rasping left foot shot from the corner of the box straight into keeper Edersons top corner.
Now the stadium was rocking with Bournemouth in the ascendancy they almost added a second minutes later when a forward pass as rare as a lunar eclipse from Andrew Surman found Jermaine Defoe stretching in the box,his first time stab saved well by Ederson.
However it was City who had the next chance and took it well,a quick free kick in Bournemouths half caught the defence napping,a slide rule pass from Silva found JESUS who slotted home.
Nathan Ake was apparently lucky not to be red carded after bringing down Jesus,and the half came to a close with no more incident.


The second half started as the first had finished,Bournemouth looking good in their new defensive formation,City pressing at every opportunity.
However Bournemouth were playing with that bit more passion and to me looked more like scoring,indeed almost doing so,Josh King rattling the upright with a curling shot on 60 minutes.
City were starting to press forward more with Bournemouth falling deeper and deeper,but some stout defending and wayward passing ensured the game looked as though it would peter out to a draw,City’s best chance coming when Otamendi found himself free in the box,his header rebounding off of the inside off the post straight into Begovic hands.
The not yet match fit Defoe was replaced by Benik Afobe,City also making a change with Jesus making way for Aguero,to huge groans from the Dean Court faithful.
With one or two injuries plus a bit of time wasting from both teams it was obvious there would be a fair bit of injury time,indeed 5 minutes went up on the board,but no one could predict what would eventually happen in that long five minutes.
Afobe picked up a small injury and was replaced by Mousset,who immediately was chasing and harrying enthusiastically,with the clock ticking down and down.
Five minutes seemed to be up when Mike Dean who had had an average game up to this point,inexplicably handed the game to City on a plate.
With City breaking upfield,Mousset made a clean tackle in the centre circle,fully winning the ball,Dean gave a free kick much to the crowds annoyance,City gained yardage with it,took it quickly and panic ensued,Cherries dropped deep,the ball found STERLING,whose weak shot deflected off of Andrew Surman and looped over Begovic to break Cherries hearts.
In the ensuing wild City celebrations,Sterling was booked and sent off by Dean when he got back to the centre circle.
A disgraceful few minutes from Dean,who not only played 7 minutes of injury time when 5 was given,but allowed City a get out of jail card free with the free kick decision.
This was a much better battling performance from Bournemouth,who for the first time in the Premier League matched City blow for blow and should have had a point for all their endeavour.


Player Ratings

Begovic 6 not much to do,distribution poor,is he really a Boruc upgrade at this point?
Daniels 8 magnificent goal of the season contender,gained confidence
Cook 7 Quiet but more solid than previous games
Ake 7 Aerially dominant but a few dodgy moments,lucky to not be sent off
Mings 8.5 not great positionally,but physical,calm and a born leader
Smith 7 getting back to his confident self,some good blocks and runs
Surman 8 best performance in a long time,he even passed forwards a few times
Arter 7 better performance but still not up to speed,he can do better
Gosling 7 worked hard but looked a pace off ,needs games
Defoe 7 nearly bagged a dream debut goal ,worked very hard,looks a good partner for King
King 7 looking like getting back to his old self after a slow start.So,onto Arsenal next after the International break,will Eddie keep the same formation or tweak it again?
After this performance,I have no worries that we can easily stay up this season,we look to be spluttering into life,if we can get King and Defoe firing,we’ll be fine.

Report by bigfatolly