The goal seemed to spark the visitors into life and they dominated the rest of the half without adding to their score. The three-man defence has recently come back into fashion with Antonio Conte using it to great effect last season with the champions Chelsea and also Mauricio Pochettino has been using a similar formation at Spurs.
Despite Sterling's suspension, the game will come as a huge morale boost for Guardiola's City, who now have seven points from three games and will head into the global break with renewed hope.
Both sets of managers exchanged words!
Bournemouth had never picked up a point against Manchester City in the Premier League and took the lead in stunning fashion through a spectacular Charlie Daniels strike from an angle which went in off the underside of the crossbar. Just after the 12-minute mark, Bournemouth was denied on the attack.
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It wasn't convincing but Guardiola could at least be consoled by the knowledge that City had finally clicked into gear.
The opening minutes of the second half was a mirror of the opening minutes of the first stanza. Nicolas Otmendi came closest for City as his header from a corner bounced off the post as Asmir Begovic was left motionless.
Rules say that players must not go into the crowd to celebrate goals or provoke anything that might be risky, although it appeared Sterling was simply celebrating in front of them when he was swallowed up.
The celebrations from the Manchester City bench and away end when Raheem Sterling's shot span off Andrew Surman's heel, up and into the net, were of extreme jubilation and relief. His celebrations will see him suspended, but City may argue that the three points was worth it. Bernardo Silva, making his first City start, controlled play along with his namesake David. He can over-elaborate on the ball, which may have been the reason for his 65th minute withdrawal, but the 23 year old will soon settle. They've also been given almighty odds to defeat Bournemouth next week despite Walker's absence. Jesus, perhaps unlike the predatory Aguero, is a complete striker, who creates for others as well helping himself to his fair share of goals.
"Bournemouth are a team who want to play".
Raheem Sterling's goal earned City three points but saw the England winger sent off for celebrating with supporters in the away section at the Vitality Stadium.