Manchester City winger Jeremy Doku scored and created two more goals in seven blistering first-half minutes before adding two more assists in the second period as the champions hammered Bournemouth 6-1 to go top of the Premier League on Saturday.
Bernardo Silva netted twice but it was Belgian winger Doku who caught the eye as he dug into his bag of attacking tricks to lay the foundations for a dominant win by the home side, who lost leading striker Erling Haaland to injury at halftime.
After probing carefully for the opening half-hour, Pep Guardiola’s City free-flowing finally opened the scoring on the half-hour mark when Doku played a slick one-two with Rodri on the edge of the box before guiding the ball home.
Three minutes later Doku’s dazzling footwork left the Bournemouth defence flat-footed as he squared for Silva to score the second and in the 37th minute his left-foot shot was deflected into the net by team mate Manuel Akanji.
Having hit the post with a first-half header, Haaland limped towards the tunnel at the break and did not reappear for the second half as Phil Foden replaced him.
The visitors thought they had pulled a goal back soon after the break but Dominic Solanke’s effort was ruled out after a VAR check found winger Ryan Christie was offside in the build-up.
Doku continued to run at the visiting defence and in the 64th he set up Foden for a close-range finish to make it 4-1.
“He (Doku) is not shy to show his abilities, he wants to take everyone on even in training. He’s so difficult to mark and he’s going to be important this season,” City defender Nathan Ake told Sky Sports following the Belgian’s stellar performance.
Bournemouth’s Luis Sinisterra came on to score for the Cherries but a superb chipped effort by Silva and a diving header by Ake sealed the win to send City top on 27 points, one ahead of Tottenham Hotspur, who host Chelsea on Monday.
“There’s always improvement to be made, Pep is never happy or settled and neither are we, we have to keep going and improving,” Ake added.
Bournemouth boss Andoni Iraola felt the result was harsh.
“I don’t think the game should have ended the way it did, the punishment was too severe. Almost every time they had a clear chance they scored,” he told the BBC.