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Howe 'devastated' as City edge out Bournemouth

Premier League: Man City 2 Bournemouth 1

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David Silva

David Silva

Pool via REUTERS

David Silva

Bournemouth gave everything but were left needing a dramatic turnaround in their final two matches after a 2-1 defeat at Manchester City pushed them closer to relegation.

Eddie Howe's side produced a spirited performance at the Etihad Stadium but first-half goals from David Silva and Gabriel Jesus undid them despite a late David Brooks reply.

The loss left the Cherries three points off safety having played a game more than West Ham and Watford - who face each other tomorrow - above them.

With an inferior goal difference as well, it will now take a monumental change of fortune to extend their top-flight adventure into a sixth season.

Ultimately City had the quality when it mattered, the soon-to-depart veteran Silva curling in another fine free-kick and Jesus rifling in a second. The result made for a good few days for City after Monday's victory at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The sprightly Silva certainly looked far younger than his 34 years. He was soon into the action and underlined his mastery with a fine free-kick on six minutes after he himself had been fouled by Jefferson Lerma.

Before the break Silva combined with Jesus for the Brazilian to double the lead, showing great footwork before rifling a shot into the bottom corner.

Bournemouth roused themselves again in the second half and thought they had hope when King turned in a Stanislas ball at the far post but the flag was raised for offside. VAR showed it was an agonisingly close decision for the visitors.

VAR was called upon again after Jesus was awarded a penalty following a challenge by Cook and, after several replays, overturned the decision.

Bournemouth dug in for one last rally and substitute Brooks gave them late hope when he turned in another good run by Callum Wilson in the 88th minute.

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe was "devastated" with the result.

"It's not about performances at this stage of the season in a sense that we want results, we want points," he said.

"But I can't fault the lads for today. You can only look at what's happening in the present moment and we were excellent today.

"Just absolutely devastated to come away with nothing after giving so much to the game."

City boss Pep Guardiola praised Bournemouth for their positive performance.

"(It was) a real difficult game, even the first half. They play for important things and they give a lot of credit for what they have done," Guardiola said.