Jeremy Doku takes Erling Haaland celebration to make Man City point – Simon Bajkowski

The match had gone exactly how everyone expected it to as the Premier League champions dominated the relegation strugglers, and Jeremy Doku was instrumental in making that show on the scoreboard with a goal, an assist, and a shot that cannoned in off Manu Akanji. Yet while several Bournemouth players warmed up on their half of the pitch and another of their bench went through drills to come on immediately, the only City presence on the pitch was the ground staff.

For everyone else inside the Etihad, the game seemed over enough for Pep Guardiola to rest some of his key men and give opportunities to others. That attitude is not what has taken City to five out of the last six Premier League titles though and there was no room for complacency even in such a mismatch.

The one enforced change at the break is enough to cause City a worry, with Erling Haaland limping off at the end of the first period and being replaced by Phil Foden. Perhaps the Norwegian would have carried on if the scoreline or the match had been different, although given it was only a day ago that Guardiola was declaring him so fit he didn&apost need a rest it cannot be taken as a positive to see him depart so early.

City shouldn&apost need him for the Champions League game in midweek against Young Boys, but head to Chelsea next weekend and their league fixtures after the international break start with three of the top five in Liverpool, Spurs, and Villa. The chances of the Blues winning those fixtures will be significantly lower without their prolific No.9.

If that could be a story for the weeks to come, Doku was undoubtedly the star for Saturday. The former Rennes winger could probably consider himself the most unlucky out of anyone in the squad not to make the starting XI for the derby, yet nobody would fault Jack Grealish&aposs performance.

After a sticky start to the campaign not helped by an unfortunate injury, Grealish has seen Doku made a bright start to his City career and responded as he needed to – with big performances that earned him an opportunity against United that he used to further improve his position. With just one summer signing in the XI at Old Trafford, it felt like Guardiola had gone back to his Treble formula to bring the best out of the Blues.

A home game with Bournemouth offered a chance to look ahead and Doku was one of four changes from Sunday, with fellow signing Mateo Kovacic also brought in. After a quiet start, Doku exploded into life to produce three goals in eight minutes and give Guardiola the best possible competition for Grealish he can have.

Doku may be raw but he is great to watch and a fantastic throwback to old-fashioned wingers. The comparisons with fan favourite Leroy Sane are obvious, but here there was plenty of Peter Beagrie about Doku as he took up the crusade of why beat several players when you can beat the same one several times.

Having already given City the lead by exchanging a crisp one-two with Rodri and deftly lofting the ball beyond Andrei Radu in the Bournemouth goal to break the deadlock on the half-hour mark, he then turned Chris Mepham one way and then the other before squaring for Bernardo Silva to double the lead.

Minutes later, Doku waited too long to receive the ball after a short corner to be able to hit it with his right. Instead, he turned onto his left and let loose for the same result (albeit deflected in off Akanji). Having been brought in to help City unlock tight defences in games like this, this was a textbook performance of exactly what is wanted from him.

Such a commanding lead still wasn&apost enough for Guardiola to relax, perhaps mindful of early changes he had made last season when beating Leicester by the same scoreline that nearly went all wrong. He was right too, with City starting the second half sloppily as Bournemouth had a goal disallowed and hit the bar.

However, as long as Doku was on the pitch he was a menace and he showed skill again in the box to tee up Foden for goal number four. That was the cue, with 25 minutes to go, for Guardiola to make a triple substitution and bring off Rodri, Julian Alvarez, and John Stones.

City&aposs fourth goal could not halt their slide in standards and neither could the substitutes, with Bournemouth quickly getting a goal back through Luis Sinisterra. It was never going to change the game, yet still appalled Guardiola as he waits for his team to cut out their sloppy play.

Doku and Bernardo Silva combined again to glorious effect for the fifth goal and Oscar Bobb grabbed his first assist when Nathan Ake headed home in injury time. With a jubilant Etihad bouncing to the strains of Old Trafford is Falling Down, it has been a buoyant few weeks for the Blues with the only surprise at the end of a 6-1 thumping that it wasn&apost Haaland doing a lap of honour for the fans but Doku.