PEP Guardiola admitted Cherries had made Manchester City ‘suffer’ after watching his side scrap their way to a 3-1 win.

A much-changed City team maintained their grip on top spot in the Premier League after second-half goals from Raheem Sterling and Ilkay Gundogan saw off the battling visitors.

The first period had ended with Callum Wilson cancelling out Bernardo Silva’s opener and Eddie Howe’s men threatened again early in the second.

“We suffered a lot in the first half, especially in the last 20 minutes,” said Guardiola.

“The opponents had a good side and were strong in front, so we could not press. They played long balls and attacked the channels.

“They are taller than us and stronger than us. That can happen. In the last 20 minutes we were flat and it was not the rhythm we needed.

“That is why I was delighted to win in that way. Everything is so tough.”

Sterling hit a post with a deflected effort early in the second period before he and Gundogan put the game beyond Cherries.

“In the first half, Raheem was not there but then he made a slaloming run and changed the game,” said Guardiola.