Riyad Mahrez scored the only goal as Manchester City overcame injuries to Kevin de Bruyne and John Stones to edge past Bournemouth and go two points clear at the top of the Premier League.
The champions lost De Bryune and Stones either side of the break before Mahrez – on for Belgian De Bruyne – fired City in front at the start of the second half.
Sergio Aguero hit the bar from long range before Mahrez saw his header well saved by Artur Boruc as City continued to dominate.
But Pep Guardiola’s side held on for a narrow victory that puts the pressure back on title rivals Liverpool, who can return to the summit with victory over Everton in the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park on Sunday.
It was a second 1-0 win in the space of four days for City, who once again dominated possession but were forced to be patient against dogged and defensive opponents.
They only created one clear-cut opportunity in the first half, when David Silva met De Bruyne’s low cross but could only side-foot wide.
Seconds before the break they suffered their first injury blow when De Bryune went down unchallenged and immediately signalled to the bench that he wanted to come off.
It was the same scenario at the start of the second period, with John Stones walking off the field to be replaced by Vincent Kompany.
Despite those setbacks, City continued to push forward and deservedly took the lead after 55 minutes. Charlie Daniels failed to properly clear Bernado Silva’s pass, the ball falling Silva who teed up Mahrez to fire home at Boruc’s near post.
The Bournemouth goalkeeper could possibly have done
The 39-year-old showed great athleticism to tip Aguero’s lofted effort on to the bar before pushing Mahrez’s header away from point-blank range.
Bournemouth offered little as an attacking forced in reply, failing to have a shot at goal or force a single corner.