Foden strikes as Man City close gap on leaders Liverpool

24 Feb 2024

The champions weren't at their fluent best against AFC Bournemouth as they hung on to win 1-0 at Vitality Stadium

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Phil Foden was the Manchester City hero as his first-half goal gave the champions a hard-fought 1-0 win at AFC Bournemouth to close the gap on leaders Liverpool to one point.

City weren’t at their fluent best and had to hang on at the end at Vitality Stadium, but Foden struck for a fifth consecutive match against the Cherries, who were made to rue a number of missed chances.

The title race

Position Pos Club Played Pl GD Points Pts
1 Man City MCI 32 +44 73
2 Arsenal ARS 32 +49 71
3 Liverpool LIV 32 +41 71
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How the match unfolded

Man City made three changes from their 1-0 win over Brentford on Tuesday, with Nathan Ake, Matheus Nunes, and Mateo Kovacic replacing Kyle Walker, Julian Alvarez, and Oscar Bobb. Kevin De Bruyne was fit enough for only a place on the bench.

There was one change to the Bournemouth side that drew 2-2 at Newcastle United as Milos Kerkez came in for Lloyd Kelly.  

City dominated the early exchanges and should have led after nine minutes when Erling Haaland was played through on goal by Foden but the Norwegian shot wide of a post.

Moments later Kerkez produced a strike from 25 yards that Ederson had to tip over.

City’s superiority eventually told in the 24th minute as Haaland turned Marcos Senesi and fired a bouncing shot that Neto could only parry into the path of Foden, who converted from close range for his ninth goal of the season. 

Premier League - AFC Bournemouth v Manchester City

It was also Foden’s 16th goal of the season in all competitions, a joint-high for him alongside 2020/21.

Just before half-time Ederson was called into action again to save a long-range strike from Ryan Christie.

Bournemouth showed greater threat in the second half, having nine shots to City’s six. Marcus Tavernier scuffed an effort from a good position inside the box before then dragging his shot wide of the right post.

Dominic Solanke was inches away from bringing Bournemouth level as his back-post header from a corner was beaten away by Ederson from the goalline.

HawkEye BOUMCI Ederson save

Neto then superbly blocked Haaland’s effort before the Man City forward was replaced by Alvarez.

As the match entered stoppage time, Bournemouth substitute Enes Unal headed narrowly wide against his former team. 

Then another Bournemouth cross just missed its target as the Cherries were unable to find the goal that would have stopped City from an eighth successive away victory in all competitions.

A seventh match without victory drops Bournemouth a place to 14th on 28 points, eight clear of the bottom three.

Premier League

Position Pos Club Played Pl GD Points Pts
12 Fulham FUL 33 -2 42
13 Bournemouth BOU 32 -10 42
14 Crystal Palace CRY 32 -17 33
15 Brentford BRE 33 -11 32
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Club reports

AFC Bournemouth report | Man City report

Next five Premier League fixtures
Key facts

Since City’s last defeat against Aston Villa in December, they have won more league matches with nine and earned more points with 29 than any other side in the Premier League.

Bournemouth have never won a league match against City in 20 attempts, drawing twice and tasting defeat in 18, while losing all 14 in the Premier League. This is both the most that a side have faced another team without winning in English league history, and the most a side have faced another team without avoiding defeat in Premier League history.

As well as scoring the match's only goal, no player created more chances that Foden's four, or had more than his four shots, or won possession more times than his nine. The match was only the second time he created four or more chances and attempted more than four shots in a single Premier League away match in his career (also v Newcastle United in January 2024).

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