London (AFP) – Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola was left scratching his head after Raheem Sterling was sent off moments after giving his side a last-gasp 2-1 victory at Bournemouth on Saturday.
Sterling celebrated his deflected 97th-minute winner by throwing himself into the jubilantly celebrating away end and was shown a second yellow card by referee Mike Dean.
“You can imagine how happy he is, how happy the fans are,” Guardiola said. “If you cannot celebrate with the fans, the best solution is not to invite the fans.”
Elsewhere, Newcastle United and Swansea City both picked up their first wins of the Premier League campaign with victories over West Ham United and Crystal Palace respectively.
Guardiola, who dropped Sergio Aguero, saw his side fall behind in the 13th minute at the Vitality Stadium courtesy of a sensational strike by Bournemouth left-back Charlie Daniels.
Dan Gosling’s left-wing cross was headed clear by Vincent Kompany and from a position just wide of the penalty area on the Bournemouth left, Daniels hammered a scorching half-volley in off the bar.
David Silva teed up Gabriel Jesus to equalise eight minutes later and after both sides had hit the post, Sterling struck the winner.
The five minutes of stoppage time indicated by the fourth official had already elapsed when Danilo crossed from the right and Sterling beat Asmir Begovic via a sizeable deflection off Andrew Surman.
Accompanied by his team-mates, Sterling tore off in celebration and threw himself into the arms of the City fans at the front of the away section, only to then be dismissed by Dean.
After the game, a Bournemouth steward complained to police that he had been struck by Aguero, who had come on as a substitute, during the celebrations.
But City were reportedly confident Aguero had no case to answer.
– De Boer in doldrums –
“Winning in the last minute is always special,” said Guardiola, who had seen Sterling score a late equaliser in Monday’s 1-1 draw at home to Everton.
“It was a tough game. It is always complicated against Bournemouth. They play long balls, balls into the channels and play set-pieces, but we got into the game.
“We tried, our finishing was not good, but we are there.”
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe said he was “very proud” of his team.
“It was a difficult game,” he said. “There’s no denying how good they are. We dug in and defended really well and made it difficult for them.
“We slowed the game down and looked like we were going to get a great point.”
With Huddersfield Town dropping points in a 0-0 draw with Southampton and West Bromwich Albion in action on Sunday, Manchester United can go clear at the summit by beating Leicester City later on Saturday.
Rafael Benitez’s Newcastle got off the mark at the third attempt after goals from new signing Joselu, Ciaran Clark and Aleksandar Mitrovic secured a 3-0 home win over West Ham, who remain without a point.
Frank de Boer is still waiting for his first point — and goal — as Palace manager after a 2-0 loss at home to Swansea, who prevailed courtesy of goals from Chelsea loanee Tammy Abraham and Jordan Ayew.
Watford’s Miguel Britos was sent off for an awful studs-up foul on Anthony Knockaert in a 0-0 draw against Brighton and Hove Albion at Vicarage Road.
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