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2018/2019 English Premier League
  • Riyad Mahrez (55')

Riyad Mahrez winner sends Manchester City above Liverpool to top Premier League

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Bournemouth 0-1 Man City: Mahrez leads City back to the top (1:25)

Riyad Mahrez was in the right place at the right time to secure a win for Manchester City and send them to the top of the Premier League. (1:25)

Substitute Riyad Mahrez scored the only goal as Manchester City beat Bournemouth 1-0 at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday to return to the top of the Premier League.

The home side showed champions City plenty of respect in the opening 45 minutes, defending deep and forcing their opponents to probe patiently for openings, and they conceded little in the way of goalscoring chances.

City manager Pep Guardiola was forced to replace the injured Kevin De Bruyne with Mahrez at half-time, and he was quickly followed by defender John Stones, who was substituted early in the second half with a thigh problem.

The visitors continued to probe and their patience finally paid off when David Silva teed up Mahrez, who lashed home a shot with his right foot to break the deadlock 10 minutes into the second half.

Bournemouth were unable to raise their game and goalkeeper Artur Boruc pulled of a number of fine saves. He was quick off his line to thwart a breakaway attempt by Raheem Sterling and Aguero clipped the underside of the crossbar before Boruc beat away a close-range header from Mahrez.

"We made one of the best performances we have played," Guardiola said. "They were very organised, but they didn't have one shot.

"We created a few chances. People should understand how difficult it is to attack 11 [defending] players."

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe was disappointed to see his side's defensive efforts undone by what he termed an "ugly" goal.

"You want to be competitive and that was the way for us to make the game tight, show toughness and mentally hang in. The only frustration is their goal was ugly, which is very unlike them," he said.

The win put City top on 71 points, two ahead of Liverpool who face Everton in the Merseyside derby on Sunday. Bournemouth, who have lost four of their last five, remained 12th on 34 points.

English Premier League Standings

POS Team GP GD PTS
1 Liverpool 34 +57 85
2 Manchester City 33 +64 83
3 Tottenham Hotspur 33 +30 67
4 Arsenal 33 +26 66
5 Chelsea 34 +21 66
6 Manchester United 33 +19 64
7 Leicester City 34 +1 47
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 33 -1 47
9 Everton 34 +2 46
10 Watford 33 -1 46
11 West Ham United 34 -10 42
12 AFC Bournemouth 34 -12 41
13 Crystal Palace 34 -6 39
14 Burnley 34 -18 39
15 Newcastle United 34 -11 38
16 Southampton 33 -15 36
17 Brighton & Hove Albion 33 -21 33
18 Cardiff City 34 -33 31
19 Fulham 34 -44 20
20 Huddersfield Town 34 -48 14