Manchester City secured an impressive 5-1 win over Bournemouth on Saturday afternoon to maintain their two-point lead at the top of the Premier League table.
Raheem Sterling scored a first-half hat-trick, with this effort the pick of the goals as he finished his mazy run with an emphatic finish.
Despite losing both Sergio Aguero and David Silva to injury during the international break, as reported by the Manchester Evening News, Manuel Pellegrini’s side produced a dominant performance at the Etihad that would have delighted the Chilean tactician.
Sterling netted the first hat-trick of his professional career, while Wilfried Bony added a brace to inflict a heavy defeat on a Bournemouth side ravaged by injuries of their own.
Glenn Murray did give the visitors hope with his first-half goal reducing their deficit to 2-1, but it wasn’t enough as the hosts were far too clinical and enjoyed a comfortable afternoon’s work as they threatened to score with every attack.
The focus for City will now switch to Champions League matters as they take on Sevilla on Wednesday night, with Pellegrini’s side looking to solidify their place in securing qualification to the knockout stages of the tournament with a double-header against the La Liga outfit to come.
City rivals Manchester United also secured a victory on Saturday to ensure that they remained two points behind, while Arsenal will be hoping to follow suit when they take on Watford in the Saturday evening kick-off.
However, the results undoubtedly set up an intriguing Manchester derby next weekend with the two clubs set to clash at Old Trafford next Sunday with a place at the summit of the Premier League the prize on offer.