Pep Guardiola and Manchester City came dangerously close to dropping points for a second consecutive game but were saved by a late Raheem Sterling goal at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Charlie Daniels opened the scoring with a left-footed half-volley from the left-hand side that will be hard beaten when the Goal Of The Season award is handed out at the end of the year.
Bournemouth had started better and deserved the lead but it wasn’t long before Man City came to life and completely dominated for the remainder of the half.
With David Silva, Bernardo Silva and Kevin de Bruyne poking and prodding Bournemouth’s defense for weaknesses, they had the leveller eight minutes after Daniels’ goal when, on 21 minutes, Gabriel Jesus made a smart run inside Nathan Ake and slid past Asmir Begovic.
The Citezens came close time and time again in that first half with Bournemouth seemingly relying on luck rather than any coherent plan to repel their opponents. Danilo had an effort that Begovic saves, as did Fernandinho but by the time Mike Dean blew the whistle at the end of the half, the scoreline remained the same.
Man City started the second half as the first half ended and how they meant to go on with a number of chances that were either saved by Begovic or weren’t proper chances at all.
The more the game progressed, however, the more Bournemouth started to eye a counter-attack and even an unlikely lead. With Joshua King charging forward at every opportunity and forcing fouls from Kompany and Mendy, who were booked for the fouls, City could never throw the entire kitchen sink at them.
It looked like Howe’s side had held firm but in the seventh minute of injury time, with just five supposed to be played, Joshua King had a chance that Ederson saved and from which City broke. The ball ended up bouncing over the line from a Raheem Sterling strike as the travelling City support exploded into life along with Guardiola and the City bench.
The English winger was then sent off amidst the celebrations for a second yellow as he was engulfed by the crowd. Guardiola and Sterling were as confused as everyone watching but Mike Dean seemed sure. city will surely ask questions of the sending off after the weekend but for now they have their three points in the bag and that’s all that matters.
It was a strange end to a game that Bournemouth will feel hard done by in losing and one that City needed plenty of luck to win.