Journalists say ‘excellent’ Man City man shone v Bournemouth.
Manchester City climbed to the top of the Premier League table with a 4-0 victory over Bournemouth on Saturday, and Ilkay Gundogan was one of many players who shone at the Etihad Stadium.
Only Kevin De Bruyne created more chances than Gundogan, and he also scored, proving his selection after being frustrated with a lack of playing time last season.
Gundogan opened the scoring in the 19th minute, finishing into the bottom corner after playing a give-and-go with Erling Haaland. The German international started alongside Rodri in a deep-lying role, but his running off the ball caused Bournemouth problems.
Tom Gott of 90min gave Gundogan a player rating of 8/10 and said he was ‘involved in absolutely everything’ at the Etihad and made a lot of ‘smart runs’ to tear the Cherries apart. Simon Bajkowski of the Manchester Evening News gave the 31-year-old a player rating of 8/10 and said he delivered an ‘excellent performance’.
Against Bournemouth, Gundogan played for 64 minutes, had 49 touches, won two aerial duels, completed 89.5% of his 38 passes, created three chances, had two shots with 50% hitting the target, made two tackles and won two freekicks.
He’s now started both league games for City this season and is likely to keep his place if he continues to put in good performances.
Scott Parker ‘pleased’ with second-half performance at Man City
Cherries were defeated 4-0 at home by the champions, trailing 3-0 at halftime thanks to goals from Ilkay Gundogan, Kevin De Bruyne, and Phil Foden.
Parker’s men dug in after the break, only conceding again with 11 minutes remaining when Joao Cancelo’s cross flew in off the heel of Jefferson Lerma.
“This is not our league, and Man City away is not a game that will define our season,” Parker said after the loss.
“Of course, we’ll analyze this game and figure out where we can improve and get a little bit better.” But we pick ourselves up and go again.”
Parker said of his team’s fight and character after falling behind 3-0: “I was very pleased with that.” You’re watching the game as well, and there have been many teams here where you can see the patterns of what happens in those games – 3-0, four, five, six, you’re playing against a team that can expose you at any time and open that up.
“What that usually boils down to is probably quality, but a team losing heart and will and before you know it, it becomes trickier.”
“So I was pleased that the second half was what it was. Not pleased with the result, of course not, but at the same time, I understood what (Saturday) may look like.”
Cherries now have a week to prepare for the visit of Arsenal to Vitality Stadium.
Mikel Arteta’s Gunners have won both their opening Premier League fixtures so far, seeing off Crystal Palace and Leicester City.