The 4-0 win over Bournemouth means City have gone the whole of 2017 unbeaten at home in all competitions and have become the first English team to score 100 top-flight league goals in a calendar year since Liverpool in 1982 (106). It takes our winning run in the Premier League to 17, which is second-longest sequence ever registered in one of Europe’s top divisions, and extends our lead at the top of the Premier League table to 14. Pep Guardiola’s side continue to find new ways of making this season even more remarkable.
What happened? In truth, the first half was uninspired. City, stymied by their opponents who camped behind the ball, found it difficult to construct the intricate passing moves that have become the hallmark of our play this season. Junior Stanislas had the first clear-cut chance but his half-volley from a good position failed to trouble Ederson in the Blues goal. Nicolas Otamendi then lofted a pinpoint pass over the top of the Bournemouth defence for Sergio Aguero, who cushioned it beautifully before unleashing a powerful effort with his right, but the ball sailed over the bar. Otamendi then let fly himself, striking the ball brilliantly from 35 yards and forcing a fine save from Asmir Begovic. Bournemouth, at this stage, were managing to frustrate City. But seconds later, the breakthrough came. Bournemouth tried to play out from the back, but City pressed high and hard to reclaim possession. The ball came to Fernandinho, who played a delightful pass to Aguero at the back post, and the Argentine produced a diving header that flew past Begovic. It was a rare moment of class in an otherwise dull first half. But as is so often the case, Guardiola’s half-time words raised the performance level of his team. City emerged with renewed vim and vigour, and set about dismantling their well-organised opponents. Raheem Sterling made it 2-0 with a first-time finish from Aguero’s defence-splitting pass, his 16th of the season in all competitions and the latest example of his growing influence. Indeed, his emergence as one of the most feared forwards in the Premier League has been a wonderful subplot to a brilliant season for City. Aguero scored his second header of the afternoon to make it three and notch City’s 100th Premier League goal of 2017. Bernardo, on as a substitute, flighted a cross right where Aguero wanted it and our record goalscorer applied the finish. And Danilo, another sub, finished off the rout when he coolly slotted home from Sterling’s pass. It wasn’t vintage City for much of the game but it was another fine result from a side who are steadily going down in Premier League history.
Man of the Match: Sergio Aguero Two goals – both fine headers – and non-stop running off the ball. A fine display.
Up next City travel to Newcastle in four days’ time, before a trip to Crystal Palace on New Year’s Eve. Should City win both matches, they would equal Bayern Munich’s European top-flight record of 19 consecutive wins.
Stats City have become the first English team to score 100 top-flight league goals in a calendar year since Liverpool in 1982 (106). City have ended 2017 unbeaten at home in all competitions. Aguero now has 101 goals at the Etihad.
Most goals for City at Etihad Stadium (all comps)
101 – Sergio Aguero (135 apps)
49 – Carlos Tevez (77)
40 – Yaya Toure (158)
31 – David Silva (163)
30 – Edin Dzeko (93)
City (4): Ederson, Delph (Danilo 80’), Otamendi, Walker, Kompany, Silva, Fernandinho, De Bruyne (Gundogan 73’), Agüero, Sterling, Sané (Bernardo 67’)