Manchester City cut Arsenal’s lead atop the Premier League table to just two points with a hard-fought win over Newcastle United at the Etihad Stadium.
The hosts began the brighter side, with Ilkay Gundogan heading over when well placed. Despite this, the opener came through a moment of magic from the in-form Phil Foden, who cut inside Dan Burn before holding off Sven Botman to fire past Nick Pope, and hand the Cityzens a vital lead.
Despite their dominance, however, they could not add to that lead, with Newcastle holding firm until the half time interval, and Callum Wilson missing a glorious chance to draw his side level.
The second half began in similar vein, but a second half triple change began to move the game in Newcastle’s favour. Joelinton found fresh air rather than the ball eight yards out in the best chance of the game.
But, within moments of being introduced, Bernardo Silva put the tie to bed, tucking home a second goal for the hosts and sending them well on their way to three valuable points.
- GK: Ederson (5) - Very shaky with his feet and had very little to do bar a late save from a Kieran Trippier Free Kick.
- RB: Kyle Walker (8) - Cruised through the game and remains a vital cog in the City defence.
- CB: Ruben Dias (6) - Solid but unspectacular at the back for his side.
- CB: Manuel Akanji (7) - Continues to look a bargain for the Cityzens and was largely untroubled.
- LB: Nathan Ake (8) - Impressive once more at left-back for the Champions.
- CM: Rodri (7) - Dealt with the threat of Bruno Guimaraes and Joelinton well for the most part.
- CM: Ilkay Gundogan (7) - Mr reliable once more in central midfield, the German kept his side ticking over well.
- CM: Kevin De Bruyne (5) - Was well below his best and was uncharacteristically loose in possession.
- RW: Phil Foden (8) - Continued his excellent form and looked a class apart in the first half. Was more muted in the second.
- ST: Erling Haaland (5) - Grew increasingly frustrated as he wasn’t found by his teammates, and had another quiet outing for the Cityzens.
- LW: Jack Grealish (7) - Handed Kieran Trippier a major headache and was a vital driving force for his side.
- Bernardo Silva (8) - Came on and immediately scored to justify his introduction.
- GK: Nick Pope (6) - Didn’t have a great deal to do aside from picking the ball out of his net. Could do nothing about either goal.
- RB: Kieran Trippier (5) - Lucky to escape a booking late in the first half for a cynical foul on Jack Grealish. Couldn’t have his usually influential impact on the game/
- CB: Jamal Lascalles (6) - Sparked concern with his inclusion but dealt with Erling Haaland well for the most part.
- CB: Sven Botman (5) - Will feel that he should have done better for both goals. Guilty of giving the ball away on several occasions looking to play into midfield too.
- LB: Dan Burn (5) - Struggled to deal with the lively Phil Foden for the first half. Was better in the second.
- CM: Bruno Guimaraes (7) - Continues to prove himself a level above his teammtes and was tidy against the Manchester City onslaught.
- CM: Joelinton (6) - Picked up his customary yellow card and was guilty of an awful miss in the second half.
- CM: Sean Longstaff (6) - Had one effort blocked in the first half but was otherwise tidy.
- RW: Miguel Almiron (5) - Offered very little for Eddie Howe’s side.
- ST: Callum Wilson (5) - Should have done better with a great chance in the first half
- LW: Anthony Gordon (5) - Couldn’t get any joy against Kyle Walker and his first Premier League start ended just after the hour.
- Alexander Isak (6) - Showed some nice glimpses
- Alan Saint-Maximin (5) - All-action but couldn’t make anything happen in an attacking sense.
- Joe Willock (5) - Couldn’t really get into the game
- Jacob Murphy (6) - Put one excellent cross into the area
- Matt Targett (N/A) - Came on for the final five minutes.