Sunday, March 3, 2024

Newcastle 2-3 Manchester City: What Were The Key Talking Points As Pep Guardiola’s Men Make Up Some Crucial Ground In The Title Chase?

Tom Dunstan in Editorial, English Premier League 14 Jan 2024

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In what was a pulsating affair from St. James’ Park on Saturday evening, Manchester City mounted a stellar comeback as they secured a 3-2 victory against Newcastle.

While Pep Guardiola’s men might have got off to a dream start as Bernardo Silva produced a sublime flicked finish midway through the first half, Newcastle certainly came roaring back in a remarkable fashion.

Despite being heavily dominated for large spells, the Magpies entered the half-time break with a 2-1 lead as Alexander Isak and Anthony Gordon bagged a quickfire brace in front of a sellout crowd in the north east.

However, with the Sky Blues knowing the importance of making up some ground in the title chase, it was the returning Kevin De Bruyne who proved to be City’s hero here.

Producing a wonderful finish from outside of the box just five minutes after coming on as a second half sub, the Belgium international wasn’t done there.

Breaking Newcastle’s hearts in the stoppage time as he assisted 20-year-old sensation Oscar Bobb for a maiden Premier League goal, City now find themselves sat just two points adrift of Liverpool and top spot.

On the flip side, suffering a major collapse on home soil this weekend, Newcastle have now lost eight of their previous 10 appearances across all competitions and they have come free-falling down the table.

In what was a real Premier League classic from St. James’ Park on Saturday, we have taken a look at the key talking points.

Manchester City make their move

Although Manchester City might have found themselves at the heart of a domestic wobble when returning from November’s international break, the former Barcelona boss has seen his superstar squad come roaring back in a stellar fashion.

Making real history last season as they became the first English club since 1999 to be crowned treble champions, the Sky Blues have their sights set on another record-breaking flurry in 2024.

Getting their hands on a maiden FIFA Club World Cup title last month, Guardiola’s side have won all of their previous six appearances across all competitions and they have certainly clicked into gear in the final third.

Extending on their FA Cup adventure last week as they breezed their way to a routine 5-0 romp against Championship outfit Huddersfield, City will take plenty of positives away from a thrilling comeback here.

Now moving just two points adrift of Liverpool and finding a route to the top of the Premier League standings, the defending champions will believe that Saturday’s 3-2 victory at St. James’ Park is a major statement of intent to those around them.

The pressure on Howe’s shoulders is intensifying

While Newcastle might have claimed a welcomed FA Cup boost last weekend as they secured a 3-0 romp away at historic local rivals Sunderland, the Magpies find themselves at the heart of what has been an extended crisis.

Crashing out of the Champions League last month and failing to book any kind of European adventure for 2024, Howe’s side have come tumbling down the table and now face a major uphill battle in their bid to book another top-four finish.

Suffering a late collapse here and continuing to show some rather glaring defensive issues, the former Bournemouth boss reportedly has mounting pressure on his shoulder at St. James’ Park.

Opening the New Year with an action-packed 4-2 defeat at the hands of Liverpool, Newcastle have remarkably lost eight of their last 10 appearances across all competitions – a run that stems all the way back to December 2nd.

Finishing this weekend’s fixtures holding just a one-point buffer from slipping out the top-half of the Premier League table, the Magpies have also lost three of their previous four contests at St. James’.

De Bruyne is back with a bang

Although Manchester City might still be without the services of attacking icon Erling Haaland due to an extended foot issue, fans around the Etihad would have been hugely excited by De Bruyne’s return to first-team action.

While the 32-year-old might still be waiting to make a first Premier League start since the opening weekend of the 2023/24 campaign, De Bruyne certainly made a real impact here.

Coming off the bench with just over 20 minutes remaining at St. James’, the one-time Chelsea starlet put in a dominant display and bagged his first goal of the season just five minutes after taking to the pitch.

Eventually spearheading City’s comeback on Saturday evening and producing the decisive assist for Bobb’s dramatic winner, it is no secret that De Bruyne’s return to full fitness couldn’t have come at a better time for the defending champions.

Although Guardiola’s men might still find themselves sat two points adrift of Liverpool and top spot, De Bruyne’s return could prove to be pivotal in this year’s Premier League title scarp.

Match Report

Newcastle: Dubravka, Trippier, Schar, Botman, Burn, Longstaff, Guimaraes, Miley, Gordon, Isak, Almiron

Subs: Hall

Manchester City: Ederson, Walker, Dias, Ake, Gvardiol, Kovacic, Rodri, Doku, Foden, Silva, Alvarez

Subs: De Bruyne, Ortega, Bobb

Goals: Newcastle: Isak (35’), Gordon (37’) – Manchester City: Silva (26’), De Bruyne (74’), Bobb (90+1’)

Yellow Cards: Newcastle: Guimaraes – Manchester City: Silva, Rodri

Red Cards: N/A

Referee: Chris Kavanagh

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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