Erling Haaland registers strange statistic on home debut as Mark Travers keeps the City score down
MAN CITY 4-0 BOURNEMOUTH
Manchester City cruised to a serene Saturday afternoon victory against Scott Parker's Bournemouth. Erling Haaland registered a strange statistic on his home debut while Ireland goalkeeper Mark Travers did well to keep the score somewhat respectable.
Sure enough, City had the early running of the fixture and they had four corner kicks in the first 12 minutes. Travers helped one low shot around his right-hand post before palming over a firm Riyad Mahrez. It was a solid start from the 23-year-old but it soon got better.
A slick passing move down the left flank cut the Cherries defence apart and Phil Foden was put through on goal. Haaland had his arms out wide, imploring Foden to square the ball so he could slot home, but the England star backed himself. Travers spread himself wide and deflected Foden's low shot over with an outstretched boot.
Despite Travers' early heroics, it felt inevitable that City would break the deadlock well before the half-time break. Sure enough, the opener arrived on 18 minutes when Haaland turned provider and hooked a ball through for Ilkay Gundogan to rifle home from 15 yards out.
30 minutes in and Bournemouth were punished on a ruthless City counter-attack. They were left with a four-on-four after Rodri nipped in to steal possession back. Foden found Kevin De Bruyne on the right wing and the Belgian dribbled in to just inside the box before curling a shot to the bottom right-hand corner with the outside of his boot.
City continued to toy with the Bournemouth defence as the first half wound down, and De Bruyne was the provider for Foden with a cute inside pass. Foden's shot on goal fizzed off the surface but Travers will be livid with himself for not keeping it out. The strike hit his midriff and spun in, putting the visitors 3-0 down.
Mark Travers kept busy again
With the result already looking a foregone conclusion, Manchester City set about keeping some zip in their play and building up the early goal difference.
Mark Travers was needed to keep out a low De Bruyne shot after he was played through by Gundogan. Undeterred, City kept coming.
Pep Guardiola rang the changes as he brought on the likes of Jack Grealish, John Stones and Bernardo Silva, who got a standing ovation from the City fans. Haaland snatched at his best chance of the game when Grealish teed him up, and was then replaced by Julian Alvarez for the final 15 minutes.
It was a curious outing for Haaland, who caused headaches for the Bournemouth defence and had an assist, as he was registered as having only eight touches of the ball across his 75-minute appearance.
Haaland 8 touches and 2 successful passes pic.twitter.com/HlLwY2AD0o
— Jøeł (@BleedRedLa) August 13, 2022
Romelu Lukaku watching Erling Haaland only have 8 touches today pic.twitter.com/beN6N2ZyIy
— Ciano🇬🇭 (@Buokrom_Lukaku) August 13, 2022
Man City finish at a canter
Travers needed to be at full stretch, on 77 minutes, to get a touch to a low Riyad Mahrez cross, which deflected the ball past Grealish and Alvarez. De Bruyne and Joao Cancelo chased the ball down and kept it in play before the defender drove in a low ball that deflected off the heel of Jefferson Lerma and into the Cherries' net.
The final score saw City's goal difference improve to +5 and it is enough to keep them top against other 100% performers, Arsenal and Leeds United.
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