City Steals Last Gasp Winner as Sterling Earns Win and Red Card
Manchester City snatch a last-gasp winner with a late Raheem Sterling effort, who was sent off in the celebrations after, against a resilient Bournemouth side, in a match where both sides could have ended the game with ten-men.
Bournemouth sent the crowd into raptures to get the game off to an exciting start when defender Charlie Daniels smashed a fine half-volley into the roof of the net, before Brazilian striker Gabriel Jesus equalled the score line with a toe-poked shot past goalkeeper Asmir Begović. Deep into stoppage time, Sterling bagged the winner with a deflected shot, before being shown a second yellow for celebrating with the crowd.
On a sunny day at Dean Court, the home side starter the brighter side of the two, taking the early impetus with Norwegian striker Joshua King breaking through the Manchester City defence. After playing a one-two, bearing down on goal the forward hit a snap shot which was blocked by defender and captain Vincent Kompany.
Passing and probing in a good early spell, the Cherries took the lead after the ten minute mark when left back Daniels latched on to a miscued clearance to break the deadlock with a thumping half volley. With Kompany heading a cross clear, the ball sat up perfectly for Daniels, who couldn't have hit the shot any sweeter as his left-footed strike flew into the top corner off the crossbar.
Then minutes later, England international and former Sunderland star Jermain Defoe, in his first start of the season in the Premier League, should have made it two to the good. After excellent build up play inside the opposition's half, midfielder Andrew Surman lofted a brilliant curling pass into the box, which was instinctively hit on the volley by Defoe 10 yards out. An excellent reaction save from new signing Ederson kept his side in the game.
It didn't take the Citizens too long to wake up to the sustained spell of pressure, with Brazilian star Jesus equalising for the visitors in the 21st minute. Taking a quick free kick 30 yards out, the skilful forward played a one-two with playmaker David Silva, whose through ball cut apart the defence and put it on a plate for Jesus to dispatch into the bottom corner.
In the controversial moment of the half, Bournemouth were lucky to still have eleven men on the pitch, as Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola showed his frustration on the side line with referee Mike Dean only giving ex-Chelsea man Nathan Aké a yellow card, even after bring Jesus down in a clear last-man opportunity.
The away side ended the half the more dominant team, with full back Danilo having a couple of good opportunities to go in at the break ahead. In the beginning of the second half, the referee had to make a big call again as Cherries defender Steve Cook flew into a wild challenge with Jesus, as replays showed his feet went off the ground in a reckless tackle.
With half an hour to go, King was so close to putting his side back in front, with a fine curling effort just outside the box, as his left-footed shot crashed off the post to get the crowd on their feet.
Manchester City also had the match officials to thank as Belgian talisman Kompany, who was already on a yellow card, pushed Defoe in an off the ball challenge which would usually warrant a booking, as Dean showed his lenient nature in a match full of rash challenges. Moments later surprise substitute Sergio Aguero had a penalty claim waved away, as the Argentine was adjudged to have collided into defender Adam Smith instead of being intentionally brought down.
The striker then nearly made an instant impact, after a mazy run from England winger Sterling created a brief opportunity for the stocky Argentinian forward, who scuffed his shot into Begovic.
As the Citizens pushed for a winner, tough tackling centre half Nicolás Otamendi had one of the best chances of the half for the visitors, as his rising header hit the post from an in-swinging corner.
In the closing stages, King broke from a Manchester City corner and was through on goal, but his shot was parried away. Deep into stoppage time, Sterling finally broke the deadlock again to snatch a vital three points in the dying moments of the match, as a cross from Danilo was put away by the England international, notching his eighth goal against the Cherries, controversially beyond the five minutes of stoppage.
As a final twist to an enthralling game, the goalscorer was then sent off for a second yellow card, by celebrating with the crowd, which is deemed a bookable offence for provoking the supporters.