Man City keep pace with Arsenal as Haaland leads Bournemouth rout

Manchester City scored three goals in a rampant first half performance against Bournemouth.
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Manchester City kept pace in the Premier League title race with a 4-1 mauling of relegation-threatened Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday.

Pep Guardiola's second-placed side were five points behind Arsenal before the match, but were unphased as Julian Alvarez, Erling Haaland and Phil Foden each scored in a dominant first half performance. Chris Mepham's own goal made City's victory even more comfortable early in the second half with Jefferson Lerma's late goal a mere consolation.

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City dominated their relegation-threatened opponents from the off and Julian Alvarez opened the scoring on 15 minutes.

Haaland's shot ricocheted off the crossbar after Ilkay Gundogan played Phil Foden in with an inch-perfect ball, but Alvarez was present from inches out to sweep home.

It did not take Pep Guardiola's side long to double their advantage as Haaland scored 14 minutes later to become City's record goalscorer in a single Premier League season.

Gundogan's industry again fashioned the opening as his far post cross towards Foden was directed into the path of the Norway striker, who tapped home for his 33rd goal in all competitions this season, and his 27th in the league.

"His [Haaland] impact has been incredible," City manager Pep Guardiola said. "We love him and he's making a lot of goals. Today ... we found him more. He's an incredible threat to our opponents, so we're very pleased."

The visitors sealed victory on the stroke of half-time as Foden pounced on Philip Billing's slack pass to shake off Jack Stephens' challenge and slot past Neto to put City three goals ahead.

City extended their lead to four just six minutes into the second half as Chris Mepham diverted the ball into his own net from Alvarez's strike. Foden again supplied the ball into the box as Guardiola's side ran rampant.

Lerma scored seven minutes from time with an emphatic finish, its only significance was denying City goalkeeper Ederson his 100th Premier League clean sheet.

"If you make a small mistake they will punish you," Bournemouth boss Gary O'Neil said.

"I thought we were front foot, tried to be aggressive, created some chances, but we've come up against an excellent side and you need everything to go your way in those moments.

"We gave it a good go, but we weren't quite good enough on the day."

The defeat saw Bournemouth plummet to 19th in the league table after both Leeds United and West Ham United won on Saturday.