Bournemouth 0-1 Man City: Player ratings as Cityzens close gap on Liverpool to one point

  • Man City squeak past Bournemouth in Saturday's early evening kick-off
  • Phil Foden with only goal at Vitality Stadium
  • Marcus Tavernier and Enes Unal went closest for Cherries

Foden was Man City's hero again
Foden was Man City's hero again / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

Manchester City moved to within a point of Premier League leaders Liverpool with a 1-0 victory at Bournemouth on Saturday evening.

Phil Foden scored the winning goal midway through the first half and the visitors had to dig in deep to secure their victory on the south coast.

The Cherries did immensely well to stay in the game and ramped up the pressure on City late on but they couldn't quite carve out enough clear openings.

How the game unfolded

City should have taken the lead inside the opening ten minutes. Bernardo Silva dropped deep into his own box to collect the ball and play it long for Foden, who flicked it into the path of Erling Haaland, and he somehow fired wide when bearing down on goal.

Straight back down the other end, Ederson had to be at full stretch to deny Milos Kerkez's long-range drive.

With 24 minutes on the clock, City broke the deadlock. A clever dink over the Bournemouth backline from Mateo Kovacic found Haaland, whose bouncing half-volley was pushed aside by Neto, but only into the path of Foden to tap into an empty net.

After the break, Bournemouth came close to finding a leveller. Antoine Semenyo broke at pace down the right and skipped past the stumbling Nathan Ake, with his cross deflecting into the path of Marcus Tavernier, but his skewed effort was cleared in time by Ruben Dias.

Tavernier then fired wide after Dominic Solanke did incredibly well to hold the ball up in the City penalty area as Bournemouth's push for an equaliser continued.

Ederson produced a fine save to deny Solanke at the back post from a wicked Tavernier corner, with replays showing the ball was close to crossing the line.

Haaland's struggles in front of goal continued having burst into the box, only for Kerkez's last-ditch slide challenge to put him off and the chance went begging.

As the game headed into six minutes of added time, Bournemouth thought they were on level terms. Semenyo's cross picked out substitute Enes Unal - who spent two years on City's books - but his header bounced off the post.

City survived those six minutes to claim three precious points in the title race.

Bournemouth player ratings (4-2-3-1)

Erling Haaland
Senesi got stuck in / Clive Rose/GettyImages

GK: Neto - 4/10 - Set Bournemouth up to fail with a parry right into Foden's path for the opener. Failed to claim a few crosses and looked nervy throughout.

RB: Adam Smith - 6/10 - Let out a puff of the cheeks upon seeing Doku was entering the field of play. Did fairly well to clamp down Nunes at least.

CB: Illia Zabarnyi - 5/10 - A couple of hairy moments trying to play from the back and was notably shoved aside by Haaland early on in the second half.

CB: Marcos Senesi - 6/10 - Rash on occasion though was ultimately Bournemouth's most authoritative defender.

LB: Milos Kerkez - 6/10 - Full of energy, bursting up and down the left flank. Made a superb recovery challenge on Haaland in the second half.

CM: Lewis Cook - 6/10 - A neat and tidy midfielder in his own right, but it's hard to stand out against City's technicians.

CM: Ryan Christie - 6/10 - Similarly at a mismatch, though did burst through the lines on a couple of occasions.

RM: Antoine Semenyo - 6/10 - Ake didn't have his best of games but the speedy Semenyo didn't cause him enough problems.

AM: Justin Kluivert - 5/10 - Drove into pockets of space when Bournemouth played in transition but found it hard to stay involved in the game.

LM: Marcus Tavernier - 6/10 - Popped up in opportune areas during the second half but couldn't quite find a way through to goal.

CF: Dominic Solanke - 6/10 - Isolated in the first half but was involved plenty after the break, holding the ball up well and bringing others into play.


SUB: Dango Ouattara (68' for Tavernier) - 5/10

SUB: Alex Scott (68' for Kluivert) - 5/10

SUB: Romain Faivre (80' for Senesi) - 5/10

SUB: Enes Unal (88' for Christie) - N/A

SUB: Luis Sinisterra (88' for Kerkez) - N/A

Subs not used: Ionut Radu (GK), Mark Travers (GK), Chris Mepham, Maxwell Kingsley-Wellings


Andoni Iraola - 6/10 - Bournemouth showed they could compete on a technical level with the best team in the world, they just lacked a cutting edge.

Manchester City player ratings (3-2-4-1)

Phil Foden, Bernardo Silva
Foden led the way for Man City / Clive Rose/GettyImages

GK: Ederson - 7/10 - Came to City's rescue a few times with fine saves. Skipped past Solanke with a clever piece of skill.

CB: Manuel Akanji - 6/10 - Dragged out to right-back both in and out of possession. Barely troubled when on the back-foot though provided little in attack.

CB: Ruben Dias - 6/10 - Made some crucial blocks and clearances but seemed a little worse for wear after appearing to vomit shortly after half-time.

CB: Nathan Ake - 6/10 - A surprisingly unsteady return to the Vitality Stadium, but Bournemouth didn't capitalise enough on the Dutchman's shaky showing.

DM: John Stones - 7/10 - Covered every blade of grass. City's engine and often the one who started attacks.

DM: Rodri - 7/10 - Effortlessly smooth in the middle of the park. Bournemouth were more alert than Chelsea last week to keep him from shooting.

RW: Bernardo Silva - 6/10 - Began the game brightly having drifted into pockets of space, but his influence waned as the match went on.

AM: Mateo Kovacic - 6/10 - Came up with a fine pass into Haaland which led to Foden's opener, but generally struggled to fit in with his City teammates.

AM: Phil Foden - 8/10 - The only City attacker who was capable of producing magic at any given moment, while he also arrived in the right place at the right time for the first-half goal.

LW: Matheus Nunes - 5/10 - Often stranded out on the left wing and didn't have the pace or unpredictability to free himself. It made sense that he was eventually substituted for Doku.

CF: Erling Haaland - 6/10 - Troubled Bournemouth with his expert movement and unparalleled physicality but just didn't have his shooting boots on.


SUB: Jeremy Doku (63' for Nunes) - 6/10

SUB: Julian Alvarez (75' for Haaland) - 5/10

SUB: Kevin De Bruyne (84' for Kovacic) - 6/10

Subs not used: Stefan Ortega (GK), Kyle Walker, Rico Lewis, Sergio Gomez, Jack Grealish, Oscar Bobb


Pep Guardiola - 6/10 - City weren't at their best but they did just enough to get the job done.

Player of the match - Phil Foden (Man City)