Manchester City Manager Pep Guardiola picked a youthful looking side in the Carabao Cup match.
The important thing here for Manchester City was to progress to the 4th round of this competition to face Burnley next week. To do that with a depleted team was the objective and this was mission accomplished.
City started with Zack Steffen in goal and he looked competent and assured throughout, despite not having too much to do. Kyle Walker was the Captain with Adrian Bernabe at left back and Taylor Harwood Bellis and Eric Garcia reunited at centre back.
Rodrigo anchored the midfield with Phil Foden and Tommy Doyle and Liam Delap made his debut up front, flanked by Riyad Mahrez and Ferran Torres.
More from Man City Square
- Rodri believes City can have even more success this season
- Grealish, Stones, and Kovacic will NOT play tomorrow
- My Manchester City UCL Group Stage predictions
- After Injury Guardiola is back in Etihad
- Phil Foden Scores Opener for England Against Scotland
For passages of play City retained possession but struggled to find a way through the well organised Bournemouth defence. City looked better when moving the ball quickly but too often the build up was pedestrian and easily thwarted.
Delap was a menace throughout the match, marauding across the front line and not frightened to leave his mark upon his marker. It was his power and attrition which brought about the first goal as he took a through ball from Foden in his stride and placed the shot with power, past the keeper.
Bournemouth equalised within 5 minutes thanks to a familiar looking defensive lapse upon the left hand side. Bernabe leaving too much space for the attacker.
From this point on, City laboured and eventually had to resort to bringing on the big guns to secure a result. First Bernabe went off with an injury to his shin and was replaced by Benjamin Mendy.
Next Doyle and Rodrigo were withdrawn for Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling and the intensity increased, but City were still too casual at times and complacent on the ball.
Delap flattened the Bournemouth keeper and was fortunate to escape with a yellow card. Although there was no malice in the challenge, it is the kind of foul which often receives a red card.
Foden tucked in what turned out to be the winner after the keeper kept out a Riyad Mahrez strike. There was some skill involved from Foden, hitting the rebound first time.
The win was never really in doubt in the last 15 minutes and City saw themselves through.
This was a useful opportunity to run the rule over some of the fringe players, and there were some mixed performances on show. Mahrez looked not quite fit. Torres looks like he may need some time to adjust and Harwood Bellis and Delap both looked as though they would benefit from loans.
The good news is City are still in the Carabao Cup and many key players are rested for the important upcoming Leicester match.