Erling Haaland on target as Manchester City close gap to Arsenal with comfortable win at Bournemouth

Erling Haaland of Manchester City celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Manchester City at the Vitality Stadium on 25 February, 2023 in Bournemouth, United Kingdom.
(Image credit: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

Erling Haaland scored his 27th Premier League goal of the season as Manchester City (opens in new tab) kept the pressure on leaders Arsenal (opens in new tab) by cruising to a 4-1 win at struggling Bournemouth (opens in new tab).

The Norwegian hitman had found the net only once in his previous four league outings – a paltry return by his devastatingly prolific standards – but he now has a 10-goal lead over Harry Kane in the Golden Boot (not much of a) race. He's also bagged five more goals than Bournemouth have managed as a team this term.

Haaland had almost put City in front at the Vitality Stadium, his shot smacking against the crossbar and falling to Julian Alvarez to convert, but he was on hand to double their lead as he met Phil Foden's ball across the face of goal just before the half-hour mark.

Foden then got on the scoresheet himself, capitalising on Philip Billing's horribly misjudged pass behind his own defence to send Pep Guardiola's side in 3-0 up at half-time.

A Chris Mepham own goal increased the visitors' lead early in the second half, with Jefferson Lerma notching a consolation late on.

The result puts City within two points behind Arsenal, who won 1-0 away to Leicester (opens in new tab) earlier in the day. The reigning champions have played a game more than the Gunners, although they do still have them to come at home.

Gary O'Neill's Bournemouth, meanwhile, remain a point from safety in 19th after their fifth home match without a win.

Next up for Guardiola and co. is a trip to Bristol City in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Tuesday night, before they return to Premier League action at home to Newcastle (opens in new tab) next Saturday lunchtime.

For Bournemouth, it doesn't get any easier: the Cherries travel to Arsenal next Saturday.

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Tom Hancock started freelancing for FourFourTwo in April 2019 and has also written for The Analyst and When Saturday Comes, among others. He supports Wycombe Wanderers and has a soft spot for Wealdstone. A self-confessed statto, he has been known to watch football with a spreadsheet (or several) open...