Goals from David Silva and Gabriel Jesus were enough to see off a tenacious Bournemouth side, as Manchester City grab an unconvincing 2-1 win at the Etihad
Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling were notable absentees from the starting lineup as Pep Guardiola made six changes to the side that hammered Brighton at the weekend.
Knowing a win would take them level on points with 17th-placed Watford, Eddie Howe’s men came into the game hoping to cause an upset in a desperate attempt to beat the drop.
David Silva put the Citizens ahead in the sixth minute with a sweetly struck free-kick from the right edge of the box, curling home his sixth goal of the season.
The Cherries came close to equalizing when Junior Stanislas’s powerful free-kick forced Ederson to make a brilliant save, pushing the ball on to the bar and out for a corner kick.
Though a goal down, Bournemouth had the confidence to attack and create goal-scoring chances for themselves. They were, however, left to rue those missed chances when Gabriel Jesus doubled the Citizen’s lead in the 39th minute.
The Brazilian cut inside the box from David Silva’s pass, skilfully beat two defenders with a sublime step-over, before drilling the ball into the bottom corner.
Manchester City had scored 10 goals in their last two Premier League games, but it was the visitors who posed a more attacking intent, as the Citizen’s once again missed Sergio Aguero’s influence.
Eddie Howe thought his side had finally pulled one back in the 59th minute, but Joshua King’s goal was marginally ruled offside by the video assistant referee.
A defensive lapse in concentration eventually gifted Bournemouth a way back into the game late in the second half.
Callum Wilson beat the offside trap on the counter, before laying the ball for Brooks, who coolly buried the chance from 6-yards out in the 88th minute.
It was, however, too little too late to mount a comeback, as the Cherries recorded their 21st loss of the season.
Pep Guardiola can now look forward to their FA Cup semi-final clash with Arsenal on Saturday, knowing he has a well-rested squad to travel to the Emirates.