After crushing rivals Manchester United in the derby, Pep Guardiola's swaggering City side now faces a very different challenge against Premier League newboys Bournemouth.
City were purring like a luxury supercar last time out, gliding past United with ease. But can they shift gears to see off the pesky Cherries? Or will City get stuck in the mud against fired-up opponents?
Bournemouth have shown fighting spirit under new boss Gary O'Neil and won't just roll over. However, keeping City's frightening attack quiet looks an almost impossible task.
Slick Silva and Haaland seem unstoppable right now. Bournemouth's overworked defenders face a Herculean challenge to keep them under wraps.
This has a mismatch written all over it on paper. But City can't afford to be complacent. A tricky test awaits Guardiola's boys by the seaside.
The match will take place on Saturday, 4th November 2023, at Etihad Stadium
City Demolish Sorry United in One-Sided Derby
The long-suffering United fans endured more derby misery as City underlined their status as the top dogs in Manchester once again. Guardiola's men oozed class from start to finish, passing United into submission with their slick, structured approach. The red half of Manchester are enduring a lengthy period in the shadows of their high-flying neighbors. On this evidence, City will take some toppling.
Haaland and Foden Run Riot Against Hapless United
Erling Haaland and Phil Foden were the stars of the show as Manchester City cruised to a 3-0 demolition of rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford. Haaland grabbed a first-half penalty and a header in the second period to take his tally to 11 Premier League goals already this season. Foden rubbed salt in United's wounds with a late third, pouncing on Haaland's unselfish cutback to compound the misery for the woeful home fans.
Kompany's Frustration as Clarets Come Up Short Again
It was another afternoon of disappointment for Burnley boss Vincent Kompany as his side suffered their 8th league defeat of the campaign against Bournemouth. Despite taking an early lead through Charlie Taylor's sweet strike, the Clarets couldn't hold on and were sunk by Philip Billing's wonder goal from distance. Kompany was frustrated that his team couldn't see out the win, but he was even more upset that a possible handball wasn't reviewed by VAR in injury time. The result leaves Burnley stuck in the relegation zone and Kompany with many problems to solve.
Semenyo Solo Stunner Pegs Back Poor Clarets
Burnley's lead didn't last long as Antoine Semenyo bagged Bournemouth's equalizer with a dazzling solo run and finish. He picked the ball up in his half before turning on the afterburners, zooming past several defenders, and firing home. The Clarets backed off and allowed Semenyo space to drive forward at speed. Once he built up steam there was no stopping the Bournemouth bullet train. Semenyo's superb solo strike canceled out Taylor's opener and showed how vulnerable Burnley can be defensively.
Billing's Belter Seals Cherries' First Win
Midfield maestro Philip Billing produced a moment of magic to finally give Bournemouth their first victory under manager Andoni Iraola. With Burnley struggling to clear their lines, Billing decided enough was enough and smashed in a fizzing 40-yard volley that left Clarets keeper Aro Muric grasping at thin air. It was a goal worthy of winning any game and it secured the three points for the battling Cherries. After several near misses, Billing came up with the goods right on cue.
Tarky's Tricks Trouble Cherries Backline
Burnley's Dwight McNeil and Anass Zaroury caused problems for Bournemouth with their pace and dribbling down the wings. The tricky wing wizards gave the Cherries' full-backs headaches at times with their quick feet and direct running. But it was midfielder Josh Brownhill who was the Clarets' main creative source, carving openings with his clever passing range. 'Tarky' tried his best to pull the strings, but Burnley just lacked the cutting edge to make their dominance count.
Radu's Saves Preserve Cherries' Lead
On loan keeper, Andrei Radu was heroic at times to keep Burnley at bay with some super stops. When called upon, the Romanian shot-stopper showed safe hands and quick reflexes. His finest moments came in the second half when he denied Rodriguez and Zaroury with top-drawer saves. Radu was an inspired signing by Iraola and he ensured the Cherries clung to their lead with important interventions when it mattered most.
Cherries Show Maturity to Clinch First Win
Despite their youth and inexperience, Bournemouth demonstrated maturity beyond their years to close out a vital victory. Iraola's kids stood firm as Burnley piled on late pressure, defending their box with their lives. The Cherries showed a resilience missing in recent displays to protect their lead. Battling through adversity will benefit this young Bournemouth side as they seek to establish themselves in the top flight. An important show of steel from the kids!
Manchester City: Ederson, J. Gvardiol, Ruben Dias, John Stones, Kyle Walker, B. Silva, Rodri, J. Grealish, J. Alvarez, Phil Foden, E. Haaland
AFC Bournemouth: Andrei Radu, Lloyd Kelly, M. Senesi (if not injured), I. Zabarnyi, Max Aarons, P. Billing, Alex Scott, M. Tavernier, R. Christie, A. Semenyo, D. Solanke
Billing vs Rodri
Philip Billing's wonder strike sealed a huge win for Bournemouth last time out. His sweet volley showed Billing has ammunition in his locker that can hurt any team.
However, keeping him quiet will be Rodri - City's midfield sentinel. The Spanish enforcer doesn't give opponents an inch and will look to boss the engine room.
Rodri vs Billing shapes up as a pivotal contest. If City's midfield general overwhelms Bournemouth's playmaker, the Cherries will struggle to build attacks.
But if Billing can find space to dictate play, he could spring a surprise. His vision and distribution could pose problems if Rodri sticks tight enough. A huge battle that could determine this game's outcome.
On paper, this looks like a total mismatch, but Bournemouth isn't just here to make up the numbers. Their spirit and fight make them dangerous opponents.
City will need to match the Cherries' intensity and desire. If Guardiola's men are slightly off their game, newly promoted Bournemouth could spring a shock.
So City must put their foot down hard on the gas from the first whistle. Do that, and their attacking talents should prove too hot for the Cherries to handle.