Manchester City continued their winning run to the season and remained top of the Premier League log as goals from Kevin De Bruyne, Kelechi Iheanacho, Raheem Sterling and Ilkay Gundogan gave Guardiola’s men a 4-0 win over Bournemouth before Nolito saw red at the Etihad Stadium.
Guardiola’s men were commanding in possession and scintillating on the counter-attack. The Spaniard is threatening to mould a highly talented squad into something even greater than the sum of their parts.
From the back, where Aleksandar Kolarov again looked composed at centre-half, to a forward line formidable even without the suspended Sergio Aguero, City were magnificent and too strong for Bournemouth.
The hosts, and De Bruyne in particular, were in the mood from kick-off with the Belgian needing just eight seconds to register the first shot. Artur Boruc saved comfortably but the tone was set. City spent most of the first 15 minutes encamped in the Bournemouth half and the seemingly inevitable breakthrough came after Jack Wilshere, making an ignominious first Cherries start, tripped Nolito. De Bruyne looked to be eyeing up the top corner at the resulting free-kick but instead cleverly rolled the ball under the wall to wrong-foot Boruc.
A quick break almost led to another straight away as De Bruyne fed Nolito but the Spaniard shot straight at Boruc.
Bournemouth could not stem the flow, however, and after De Bruyne led another raid and released Sterling, the England forward unselfishly teed up a second goal for Iheanacho.
Only rarely did Bournemouth break into the opposition half, let alone reach the final third. When Joshua King did get behind the defence and squeeze the ball past Claudio Bravo, Nicolas Otamendi tidied up with little alarm.
Were it not for Boruc, City could have won even more convincingly. The Pole saved a long-range effort from Kolarov and denied Sterling at close quarters following another slick move.
He was hurt as City scored their third goal, another superb counter-attacking effort. De Bruyne was again the instigator, sending Iheanacho free, and the Nigerian collided with the keeper in the process of setting up Sterling with the easiest task of scoring.
Minutes later the fourth goal came, De Bruyne set in motion a passing exchanges with Nolito and Gael Clichy before picking out Gundogan to guide into the bottom corner.
then came Nolito’s moment of madness in the closing moments as Smith caught Nolito and The Spaniard angrily pushed his head towards him. He did not seem to make firm contact but referee Jon Moss issued a red card.