Thursday, May 23, 2024

Manchester City 2-0 Newcastle: What Were The Main Talking Points As City Punch Their FA Cup Semi-Final Ticket?

Tom Dunstan in Editorial, FA Cup 17 Mar 2024

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In a showdown that was largely one-way traffic on Saturday evening, Manchester City punched their FA Cup semi-final spot as they secured a 2-0 victory against Newcastle.

While both of Bernardo Silva’s deflected efforts might have been fortunate to have found a route past Martin Dubravka in the first-half, Pep Guardiola’s men dominated on either side of the interval.

Not really having to get out of third gear here and cruising their way to this season’s final four, the Sky Blues should have their sights set on completing another domestic romp this season.

Putting in another dominant display at the Etihad and tipped as a standout contender to get their hands on a eighth FA Cup crown in 2024, Guardiola’s men have also not suffered a single defeat across any competition since the start of December.

Failing to find any kind of fluidity here and facing a real uphill battle in their bid to book any kind of European finish this season, the Magpies have continued on an inconsistent rut on either side of opening the New Year.

Now suffering back-to-back defeats against Premier League opposition, Newcastle have also lost three of their previous four contests away from St. James’ Park.

On an evening when Manchester City cruised their way to a Wembley return, we have taken a look at the main talking points from the Etihad.

City have hit top gear at a vital time

Although Manchester City might have their sights set on defending their maiden Champions League crown this season, Guardiola has always been vocal about his desire to claim another FA Cup title in 2024.

Getting their hands on a seventh FA Cup trophy last season after securing a famous 2-1 victory against bitter local rivals Manchester United, the former Barcelona boss still has a treble-winning campaign on the cards.

While the Sky Blues might be facing a real battle with Arsenal in their bid to make more Premier League history this year, they have only continued to shine since opening the New Year.

Although City might have been left both frustrated and relieved last weekend as they eventually had to settle for a 1-1 stalemate away at Liverpool, Guardiola’s men are unbeaten in all of their previous 22 straight appearances across all competitions.

With an epic Champions League quarter-final battle against Spanish giants Real Madrid pencilled in for next month, City will once again take plenty of positives away from another dominant display on Saturday evening.

The pressure is on Howe’s shoulders

Although Eddie Howe might have made real history at St. James’ Park last season as the Magpies clinched a first Champions League ticket since 2006, the former Bournemouth boss appears to find some mounting pressure on his shoulders.

Struggling to find any kind of fluidity this season and suffering major European heartbreak back in December, Newcastle have now managed to muster just a single victory from any of their previous six domestic appearances within 90 minutes.

Missing out on what they had billed as a potential opportunity earlier in the week as they fell to an action-packed 3-2 defeat away at Chelsea, it has been heavily suggested that the St. James’ Park hierarchy are weighing up a potential change in the dugout this summer.

Signing off February with a routine 4-1 drumming at the hands of title contenders Arsenal, Howe will certainly be concerned by his side’s glaring defensive issues.

While Newcastle might have dealt with a string of public injury issues this season, the Magpies have recorded just a single clean sheet from any of their last nine outings across all formats.

City have turned the Etihad into a fortress

Overcoming what could have been a potential FA Cup banana skin on Saturday evening and not really having to get out of third gear, the Sky Blues have certainly gained a real reputation for their success on home soil.

Including their routine 2-0 victory here, Man City have won all of their previous 10 straight showdowns against Newcastle at the Etihad – a run that stems all the way back to October 2014.

Likewise, extending on their Champions League adventure earlier in the month and booking their quarter-final ticket thanks to a 6-2 aggregate victory against Copenhagen, City have certainly hit top gear at a crucial time.

Remarkably not suffering a single FA Cup defeat in the blue half of Manchester since a 2-0 loss at the hands of Middlesbrough way back on January 2015, Guardiola’s men have turned the Etihad into a real fortress.

Returning from March’s international break when they welcomed bitter title rivals Arsenal to town, City should feel that they hold a major psychological advantage.

Match Report

Manchester City: Ortega, Walker, Dias, Akanji, Gvardiol, Kovacic, Rodri, Foden, Silva, Doku, Haaland

Subs: Alvarez, Bobb

Newcastle: Dubravka, Murphy, Lascelles, Schar, Botman, Burn, Willock, Guimaraes, Longstaff, Gordon, Isak

Subs: Almiron, Anderson, Hall, Krafth, Miley

Goals: Silva (13’, 31’)

Yellow Cards: Schar, Lascelles, Almiron

Red Cards: N/A

Referee: Simon Hooper

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom has spent the past six years as one of our senior writers and betting experts. Alongside working with numerous publications from across the globe, Tom also graduated from the University of Falmouth in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Media.
Spending almost the past decade working in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, he has also spent time featuring in sports radio. Tom can be followed on Instagram - @iamtomdunstan

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