BOURNEMOUTH, England — Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling was sent off for exuberantly celebrating a stoppage-time winner that led to fans spilling onto the pitch at Bournemouth on Saturday.
Sterling was shown a second yellow card of the game after celebrating scoring in the seventh minute of stoppage time among jubilant away fans to clinch a 2-1 victory in the English Premier League.
As City fans leapt on the field, City striker Sergio Aguero also exchanged words with a policeman and Benjamin Mendy was held back by other officers.
A Bournemouth steward claimed to have been assaulted by Aguero but the club said the police complaint was later withdrawn. It followed Aguero responding to video circulating on Twitter by posting: “About their steward, I did not hit anyone, this allegation is false, and the tv pictures prove it.”
Police said two fans were arrested in the melee that led to Sterling seeing red and left City manager Pep Guardiola.
“If you cannot celebrate with the fans, the best solution is not to invite the fans,” Guardiola said. “You can imagine how happy he is, how happy the fans are.”
Bournemouth was left with nothing to show for a strong showing after City forward Gabriel Jesus initially canceled out a fine strike from Charlie Daniels.
Before Sterling’s strike looped in off Andrew Surman on the south coast, it looked as though Guardiola was going to be left frustrated for the second time in a week following the home draw against Everton.
“It is absolute madness,” City captain Vincent Kompany said. “Just like we had against Everton, the few chances we have, we maybe don’t score them. Today we deserved to win but they made it incredibly hard for us.”
Bournemouth has now opened the season with three losses, while City has seven points from nine.
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe’s shift to a back three helped his side deal with City’s wealth of attacking talent for much of the game. The hosts did well to keep the pressure on Guardiola’s side in the early stages and it led to them taking the lead in spectacular fashion.
Dan Gosling’s cross was headed away from the near-post by Vincent Kompany, only for Daniels to latch onto the loose ball and arrow a shot past goalkeeper Ederson and in off the crossbar from an acute angle in the 13th minute.
“I watched it back at halftime and said, ‘If we are going to concede goals like this, then just focus on scoring’ because it was just an unbelievable goal, from an angle as well that I thought was impossible,” Kompany said. “It goes to show that no matter how much you dominate the game, anything can happen at any time.”
City levelled when Gabriel Jesus took a swift free kick, and David Silva’s slide-rule ball back to the Brazilian was converted with ease in the 21st.
Guardiola turned to Aguero with 25 minutes remaining. Aguero was straight into the action, seeing calls for a penalty turned down by referee Mike Dean before firing straight at Begovic.
Nicolas Otamendi should have put City in front but his free header from Kevin De Bruyne’s corner hit the frame of the goal.
After almost five minutes of added time, after King had been denied at the other end, Sterling collected the ball inside a packed Bournemouth box and deflected the ball in off Surman.
Dean had already booked Sterling for a foul when the England winger was booked again and dismissed, but there was no time for Bournemouth to take advantage of the dismissal.
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