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Last-gasp Sterling breaks Bournemouth hearts

Bournemouth (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Raheem Sterling scored a 97th-minute winner and was then sent off as Manchester City snatched a dramatic 2-1 victory at Bournemouth in the Premier League on Saturday.

Bournemouth took a 13th-minute lead through a remarkable strike from left-back Charlie Daniels, who slammed a half-volley in off Ederson’s crossbar from a position wide on the left.

But David Silva teed up Gabriel Jesus to equalise eight minutes later and just as it looked like victory would elude City, Sterling struck deep into stoppage time with the aid of a big deflection off Andrew Surman.

Sterling, whose late volley earned City a 1-1 draw with Everton on Monday, celebrated by throwing himself into the away section and was shown a second yellow card by referee Mike Dean.

The outcome was harsh on Bournemouth, who are still searching for their first point of the season.

But for City manager Pep Guardiola, Sterling’s strike will spare him from the kind of inquest about his team’s goal-scoring problems that he faced after the draw with Everton.

He sprang a surprise before kick-off by dropping Sergio Aguero to the bench.

A glum-looking Aguero took his seat in the dug-out behind Guardiola and for 15 minutes it looked as though the visitors might have cause to regret their manager’s decision.

Bournemouth started positively, pressing the visitors high up the pitch and in particular making headway down the right flank.

Left-back Benjamin Mendy was making his City debut following his £52 million ($67 million, 56.2 million euros) move from Monaco and took time to settle against Adam Smith, the energetic home right-back.

The home side’s early efforts were rewarded when Daniels produced a wonderfully clean strike to beat Ederson.

– Quick-thinking Jesus –

There seemed little danger when the Bournemouth wing-back moved onto a loose ball wide on the left flank following Vincent Kompany’s clearing header.

But Daniels met the ball on the half-volley, arrowing a sublime shot past the soaring Ederson and in off the underside of the bar.

Bournemouth might have doubled their lead when Jermain Defoe –- making his first league start -– volleyed too close to Ederson from Surman’s chipped through-ball.

But Jesus was becoming more prominent and it was the striker’s quick thinking, together with Silva’s vision, that led to the equaliser.

The Brazilian played a quick free-kick to Silva after Bernardo Silva had been fouled by Nathan Ake before running beyond the Bournemouth defender to collect the return pass and slot home.

Ake had been caught out and a minute later he was fortunate to escape with only a yellow card after being robbed of possession by Jesus before tripping the City forward, blocking a clear run on goal.

The visitors were incensed by Dean’s decision not to send Ake off, but it appeared as though it would prove academic as City dominated the remainder of the first half, creating a succession of clear chances.

Jesus, whose explosive start to his City career was stalled here last February when he broke his foot, fired wide with a good opportunity before Bernardo Silva saw a shot saved after another mistake by Ake.

Somehow Bournemouth survived to reach half-time on level terms and having maintained a foothold in the game, they could have gone ahead in the 61st minute when Joshua King fired against the post.

That chance came after Nicolas Otamendi and Fernandinho combined to lose possession in a dangerous area and with his side wasteful at the other end, Guardiola’s frustration was becoming clear on the touchline.

Otamendi should have done better than direct a free header against the post from Kevin De Bruyne’s cross, which summed up his side’s second-half efforts up to then.

Then, with the game deep into added time, Sterling was twice involved in a move that ended with him collecting Danilo’s cross and sending a deflected shot past Asmir Begovic.

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