It was tougher than expected, but Manchester City got it done.
The Citizens were coming off a disappointing 1-1 draw against Wolverhampton, and needed to get back to winning ways at home against a struggling Newcastle United side. The Magpies worked hard and made things difficult for City, but Pep Guardiola’s men were too much to handle for Rafa Benitez’s side. In the end, the regining Premier League champions extended their undefeated start with a solid 2-1 win over Newcastle at Etihad Stadium. Raheem Sterling and Kyle Walker netted for City, while DeAndre Yedlin found the back of the net for the Magpies.
The game wasn’t easy, though. Not even if we consider that City got off to an impressive start. It wasn’t long before City jumped ahead to a 1-0 lead thanks to Sterling, who took advantage of a pass from Benjamin Mendy to place the ball out of Martin Dubravka’s reach. The former Liverpool star didn’t have a good performance with England during the 2018 FIFA World Cup, but he has been thriving with City once again. It was Sterling’s second goal of the campaign since he already scored in the season opener against Arsenal.
City were in control through the most of the game and by the 25th minute, Dubravka was one of the best players out there. The Czech goalkeeper denied City time and time again, and it seemed as if Newcastle could pull the upset if they had only one chance… and that’s exactly what happened in the 30th minute. Salomon Rondon held up the play against City’s defensive line and crossed it towards the six-yard box, where Yedlin appeared out of nowhere to place the ball past Ederson. Oddly enough, Newcastle finished the first half alive with a 1-1 draw but City were dominating the game entirely.
That supremacy was translated into the score shortly after the start of the second half thanks to Kyle Walker. The often-criticised defender emerged as City’s unsung hero when he struck a shot from 25 yards out into the bottom right corner out of Dubravka’s reach. Walker took advantage of a pass from Sergio Aguero to put City in front 2-1, and they would never let the advantage fade. In fact, they could have easily added a few more goals to their account hadn’t it been for Dubravka’s impressive performance.
The Czech goalkeeper denied David Silva and Fernandinho, while Gabriel Jesus had a goal disallowed due to offside. Newcastle never gave up, but they couldn’t do enough to upset City’s defence. And while many fans expected this game to be far easier, City still got the job done. They were not as impressive as they have been in past matches, but they still walked away with the three points.
Undoubtedly, these are the kind of games that City need to win if they want to win the Premier League title for a second straight season.
Manchester City: Ederson; Walker, Stones, Laporte, Mendy; Fernandinho; Mahrez (Gundogan, 76′), David Silva (Kompany, 89′), Sterling; Aguero, Gabriel Jesus (Bernardo Silva, 58′)
Subs not used: Muric (GK), Otamendi, Delph, Foden
Newcastle United: Dubravka; Yedlin, Lascelles, Fernandez, Clark (Murphy, 81′), Dummett; Kenedy (Atsu, 54′), Ki, Diame, Perez; Rondon (Joselu, 73′)
Subs not used: Darlow (GK), Longstaff, Sterry, Muto
Goals: Sterling (1-0, 8′), Yedlin (1-1, 30′), Walker (2-1, 52′)
Referee: K. Friend (ENG). No cards were shown.
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