Bournemouth v Manchester City - Story of the match
Sergio Aguero offered a reminder of his value to Manchester City as they moved to second in the Premier League with a 2-0 win at Bournemouth.
The striker, whose future has been the subject of growing speculation since he lost his starting place to Gabriel Jesus, came off the bench to replace the injured Brazilian and force an own goal after Raheem Sterling had given them the lead.
In his pursuit of a first victory of 2017, Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe recalled £15million club-record signing Jordon Ibe, handing the winger his first league start since their defeat by Sunderland on November 5.
TWEET OF THE MATCH
"Superb management by Pep sticking with the front 3 and what an impact by Kun when called upon #EarnYourPlace #BOUMCI" - former City and England winger Trevor Sinclair (@trevor8sinclair) backs Pep Guardiola's decision to leave Sergio Aguero out of the starting XI again.
Raheem Sterling. David Silva was again influential, but as well as regularly stretching Bournemouth's defence and scoring City's first goal, his confidence and footwork brilliantly created their second. He can really thrive under Pep Guardiola.
VIEW FROM THE BENCH
That City are eight points behind first-placed Chelsea, despite their form and results stuttering so much mid-season, shows much about why it disappointed that it has been so long since they were truly involved in the title race. Victory at Bournemouth provided the latest demonstration that many of the flaws are being improved upon, that Guardiola's influence is being felt, and that hereafter they can have a fine end to the season.
Eddie Howe's Bournemouth are yet to win in 2017, and injuries to Jack Wilshere and Simon Francis - after another one recently to Callum Wilson - could prove damaging. The manager regardless inspired an admirable performance from his team, and remains capable of so much, so he should be allowed to continue to work without unnecessary pressure.
HIGHLIGHT OF THE MATCH
The one-two between Jordon Ibe and Wilshere, creating a goalscoring chance for the former in the first half, was as classy as it was fast. Ibe was prevented from scoring by Willy Caballero, but with those two playing with such quality and belief, there is little reason Bournemouth's struggles should continue.
Artur Boruc: 6
Adam Smith: 7
Simon Francis: 6
Steve Cook: 6
Charlie Daniels: 7
Andrew Surman: 6
Harry Arter: 7
Jack Wilshere: 7
Jordon Ibe: 8
Ryan Fraser: 7
Joshua King: 7
Tyrone Mings (for Francis, 23 mins): 6
Benik Afobe (for Wilshere, 45+3mins): 6
Marc Pugh (for Ibe, 76mins): 5
Willy Cabellero: 7
John Stones: 7
Aleksandar Kolarov: 6
Bacary Sagna: 7
Yaya Toure: 7
Leroy Sane: 8
Kevin de Bruyne: 7
David Silva: 8
Raheem Sterling: 8
Gabriel Jesus: 6
Sergio Aguero (for Jesus, 15 mins): 7
Nicolas Otamendi (for Toure, 70 mins): 6
Nolito (for Sterling, 90+2mins): 5
WHO'S UP NEXT?
West Brom v Bournemouth, Premier League, February 25
Huddersfield v Manchester City, FA Cup fifth round, February 18