Manchester City showed their strength in depth on Saturday when they brushed aside a spirited Bournemouth outfit to record their seventh league win of the season.

Missing first choice striker Sergio Aguero, inspirational captain Vincent Kompany and playmaker David Silva, City showed that their Summer acquisitions have the mentality to cope with potential banana skins. Raheem Sterling was clinical in front of goal and Kevin de Bruyne was outstanding in his distribution and ability to create chances. Perhaps most gratifying for manager Manuel Pellegrini was the alertness of recent signing Wilfried Bony who helped himself to a brace despite the close attentions of Bournemouth's central defenders.

City will look to next weekend's Manchester Derby as their first real test of this season's genuinetitle contenders. United remain second in the Premiership following their impressive result at Everton where they were able to banish their humiliation at Arsenaljustbefore the International break. The game takes place at Old Trafford andCity have a good recent record against their cross-city rivals having won fiveof their last six encounters.

Pellegrini's side will still be without Aguero but Kompany and Silva are in contentionfor recalls. Pellegrini was quick to point out atlast week'snews conference that the strength of his squadis vital if the team areto challenge for silverware this season.He felt that previous campaigns had been undermined by weaknesses in personnel with the result that the team failed at crucial moments.

Now Pellegrini sees two players contending for each of the eleven team places with positions becoming interchangeable between squad members. it also gives the Manager options from the bench if he feels changes are required at key times during matches.

The Blues now have to translate their imperious league form to the Champions League where they face the challenge of Spanish giants Sevilla on Wednesday night at the Etihad. The true measure of their progress will betested to the limitsby Pellegrini's former chargeswho have wonthe UEFA Cup in the past two years.