Raheem Sterling scored a first-half hat trick and Wilfried Bony netted twice as Manchester City beat Bournemouth 5-1 Saturday to maintain its grip on first place in the Premier League.
With striker Sergio Aguero injured, Sterling picked up the scoring duties by putting City ahead with a tap-in in the seventh minute and Bony added the second four minutes later.
While Glenn Murray pulled one back for Bournemouth in the 22nd, Sterling restored the two-goal lead with a superb solo effort in the 29th, dribbling past two defenders in the area before slotting a low shot into the net. He completed his hat trick on the stroke of halftime and Bony netted his second in the 89th as City maintained its two-point lead of crosstown rival Manchester United.
City scored from its first serious attack as Fernandinho’s crossfield ball was headed back by Pablo Zabaleta and ended up with Sterling, who swooped in to tuck home from three yards.
City soon had a second as Bacary Sagna, playing at leftback because of injuries to Gael Clichy and Aleksandar Kolarov, whipped in a cross that Adam Federici could not hold and Bony pounced to score from close range.
Bournemouth replied when Murray scored with a shot from the edge of the area, but Sterling made it 3-1 just before the half-hour after being released by a superb through-ball from Kevin De Bruyne.
Sterling’s third also came from a rebound after Federici stopped an effort by Jesus Navas.
City stepped off the gas in the second half but Bony tucked home another goal late to round off the win.