Sunday, 18 October 2015

Stirling cashes in on Cherries' Etihad visit 5-1

Match Report
Man City  5 v 1 AFC Bournemouth
17 October 2015
Attendance 54,502
(a record attendance at the Etihad)

The script was perhaps already written before a ball was kicked at the Etihad. Not many bookies wanted to give the Cherries better than a 9-1 shot of pulling off a victory at the Etihad and while the Cherries could have been annoyed at Mike Dean not giving  an early penalty shout  early on, the southerner's defence was no match for Raheem Stirling's thirst for goals. Three goals for Stirling should have been more really and Wilfred Bony's two goals underline that Man City can cope without Aguero in the Premier League, but how soft were some of Man City's goals? It all came a little too easy for the Mancunians who were two up in 11 minutes. Only a consolation goal from Glenn Murray, which by the way was the best of the lot, gave the travelling fans some heart. Still we knew this was a tough fixture and our players too it to Man City for a lot of the game and will learn from the experience.
The Etihad Stadium.

Cherry Chimes speaks to two man City fans pre-match.

Of course it felt great for AFCB fans to see their team play at such a magnificent stadium. But it was also another sad day with the passing of former Man City and Everton manager Howard Kendall earlier that morning, and it was a day when AFCB fans should remember how all of the players gave their absolute best, even if they fell short of a very strong Man City team. 
Marc Pugh starts the Bournemouth warm up.
Bournemouth had to make changes for this game and that was made even clearer when Artur Boruc was injured during the warm up. So in came Adam Federici in goal and O'Kane came into midfield to make a five -man midfield, while Ritchie was moved to the left wing and Adam Smith came in on the right side.
Man City players appear.
The teams line up.
Players sand and get ready to applaud Howard Kendal.
More pictures are now on Match Day Gallery.

Man City set up 4-4-2 with Stirling with Bony up front and they didn't waste any time in testing out AFCB's defensive qualities. It was the Cherries that were on the attack at first though with Yaya Toure almost caught out at the back and then Dan Gosling pushing through the middle and into the box before Otamendi lunged in and got an awful lot of the man and not much of the ball. Still it was not enough for Mike Dean to use his whistle and play went on.

In a flash it was City on the attack and Bony bringing down Fernandinho's long ball with a bit of his arm as well as his chest, but no matter, he pulled the ball back across goal and Francis was on the spot to get the ball out of harms way. Fernandino clipped a similar ball forward again though and this time picked out Zabaleta on the right, who headed the ball back past Matt Ritchie and onto Bony's foot on the six yard box, before Stirling stabbed the ball home from all of two yards, in front of Steve Cook who was on his knees. Offside? well, possibly but the goal was given and City were 1-0 up on 7 minutes.

It was a lead that was soon doubled only four minutes later when De Bruyne swept down the left wing and found Sagna who supplied a low cross that Federici inexplicably spilt right in front of Wilfred Bony! The City striker just had to stay on his feet and sweep the ball in for the 2-0 lead which he duly did. Federici kicked the turf in disgust, but he had made the mistake and no one needed to say anything. Man City didn't need that kind of help. 

The Cherries did not drop their heads though and win a couple of corners as they pushed to try and atone for the softness of the goals they had enabled City to get. It was City though that had the class finishers we'd thought, although Bony's chip at goal was easily handled by Federici. AFCB's keeper had to work much harder though when Kevin De Bruyne let fly with a rasping effort from the edge of the box that he turned round the corner of the post.

While City fans expected there to be no let up on the Bournemouth goal a sustained bit of passing with Surman and then O'Kane making a way through for Glenn Murray to unleash a powerful drive that slipped under Joe Hart's left arm and into the back of the net for a 2-1 scoreline on 22 minutes. We'd scored!

The game was racing away and you wondered if it could become a thriller at this stage. Sagna picked up the first yellow card for a foul on Francis. Then City hit top gear with De Bruyne playing a wide ball to Stirling on the left and the quick footed striker calmly moved inside the box and on to his right foot, which had Cook stretching and scambling until he sat on his haunches. On Stirling went, passed Distin who lay stranded on the floor too, but as Federici and Daniels closed in to try and make the block, Raheem simply tucked the ball into the goal to make it 3-1. It was a demonstration in finishing and great talent and something the Cherries just couldn't cope with. Man City were rampant now.

By the half hour the possession was only 55 per cent to 45 per cent in City's favour but what they had done with that possession was opening AFCB apart. The sky blue fans didn't like it though when Eddie Howe's team did start stringing a good series of passes together, but the south coast team couldn't do it for long enough in this game.O'Kane picked up a yellow card just before half time and City kept coming forward.

This time De Bruyne tried his luck from 20 yards out but Federici was equal to it in getting a hand to the shot that fizzed off his left glove and onto the bar before going out for a corner - a brilliant save! Moments later though a long kick from Joe Hart saw Navas in the clear with Surman unable to react or at least confused by Federici coming out to try and claim the ball. The timing was all wrong. Navas rounded Federici who had come out passed the 18 yard box and you'd think that Navas had a simple task to put the ball into the goal, but he made a right hash of it. Stuck with trying to get the ball in his left foot he managed to get passed Federici again and with only Surman and O'Kane to beat, yet somehow Federici managed a point blank save as he regained his footing - amazing! But the ball fell out to Stirling who made short work of chance, rifling in the shot through Federici's legs and passed the despairing Daniels on the line to complete his hat-trick and make it 4-1. City were out of sight and we'd only played 45 minutes! Great for the neutral but not so much fun for us.
Getting ready for the second half.
Joe Hart down at the Bournemouth end.
Second Half
Man City made a sub at half time as Yaya Toure was replaced by Fernando. It was still City looking most likely to score. Bony fed Stirling in once more only for Raheem to be held up by Distin and he could only hit the side netting - a let off. Sagna was the unlikely player that forced Federici to make the first save of the second half though. Bony also weaved his way through a Surman challenge and put that man Stirling in again, but he screwed his shot wide of the far post.

AFCB were getting slight chances though. Gosling was making a few runs and did mange to get a head to one cross but put it well wide. Murray did have a good chance on 56 minutes but shot wide. It was then up the other end and Stirling hit the side netting.

Navas made a good pass to Bony for him to shoot but it was straight at Federici.Pellegrini was confident enough to take off De Bruyne and bring on Samir Nasri just after the hour. Bony again had a shot a few moments later but it was wide.

The closest the Cherries came to getting the fans excited was a driven shot from Daniels from the left which just drifted over the bar although hart didn't seem the slightest bit worried by it. Shaun MacDonald replaced Eunan O'Kane, but it was more a case of keeping the score down by now.

King also came on after 74 minutes with Murray going off to much applause. Kelechi Iheanacho replaced the other goal hero Stirling on 77 minutes and Pugh stepped on the pitch so that Adam Smith could depart. 

With 10 minutes to go it always looked like City were destined to get another goal, but Pugh offered fresh hope and Francis started to get forward and Gosling ballooned a shot over.

A record attendance at the Etihad was met by this game with AFCB fans singing "You only came to see the Bournemouth!" It was then that Josh King looked set to get his first AFCB goal having turned to face goal in the box, but as the ball came down it was clipped off of his boot by Magala and the chance was gone.

In fact the ball was now with Navas who went on a long run up the right and his ball into Bony saw the striker turn a fading Steve Cook and snap his shot passed Federici to make it 5-1. And just when that was deflating enough the pacey Iheanacho raced through for what looked like sixth goal, but he was given offside when it was perhaps not the right call. It had still been a beating though and now AFCB have to come back from this.
All over.
The players did not seem to want to stay so long
but Eddie made sure they came over to the away fans.
We were proud of them not disappointed.
The harsh reality of the top team exposing the weaknesses in the Cherries' defence was made clear. I just hope this kind of defeat does no long term damage in the minds of the players. They fought hard and had a few unlucky decisions, but the talent of the City team could not be denied. De Bruyne and Stirling were cutting-edge and it is something that should inspire the Cherries to become like that. There will be other games that AFB will be more competitive in and it is in those games where the ruthless finishing for the Cherries needs to be demonstrated. Murray's goal at least proved that they can score against the best teams.
Well played lads!
Federici, Francis, Cook, Distin, Daniels, Smith (Pugh 78), Gosling, Surman, Ritchie, O'Kane
(MacDonald 65), Murray (King 74)

Cherries' Subs:
Bennett, Cargill, Pugh, MacDonald, King, Kermorgant, Tomlin

AFCB Ratings
Federici 7, Francis 7, Cook 6, Distin 6, Daniels 6, Smith 6, Gosling 7, Surman 6, Ritchie 8, O'Kane 6, Murray 8

Referee Watch: Mike Dean 4/10 will we ever be impressed by a game refereed by Mike Dean?

Man City
Hart, Zabaleta, Otamendi, Mangala, Sagna, Y Touré (Fernando 45), Fernandinho, Jesús Navas, Sterling (Iheanacho 78), De Bruyne (Nasri 62), Bony

City Subs:

Kompany, Fernando, Nasri, Caballero, Demichelis, Roberts, Iheanacho

1 comment:

  1. Time has come for some fierce realisation that we are out of our depth....yes injuries have been calamitous but I do not understand why we not play the players we bought in the summer transfer window....if they can't get in the team then why buy them...King,Tomlin Atsu....and what about Rantie......I fail to understand why we bought in Atsu on loan yet he doesn't get a sniff......hard to criticse the manager...but this is not working......We desperately need some defenders.....bring in much as I hate to say this....the Newcastle game is a six pointer...its difficult to see where the next point is coming from