Manchester City 2 – 0 Newcastle United
Phil Foden’s superb solo goal helped Manchester City see off Newcastle and ensured the defending champions kept up the pressure on Premier League leaders Arsenal.
Foden struck after 15 minutes, gliding in from the right and holding off two challenges before seeing his shot deflected home off Sven Botman.
Newcastle responded well and were causing plenty of problems until City substitute Bernardo Silva slotted home to put the game out of their reach midway through the second half.
The win means City move to within two points of the Gunners, who play Bournemouth later on Saturday, while Newcastle remain fifth, four points behind Tottenham.
While the result will be disappointing for Newcastle manager Eddie Howe, as his side looked to bounce back from last weekend’s Carabao Cup final defeat, there were plenty of positives for him in defeat.
His side were on top when Erling Haaland set up Silva to make it 2-0 from the edge of the area, with Joelinton going close and substitute Alexander Isak denied by an onrushing Ederson.
Isak was particularly impressive whenever he was on the ball and his return to full fitness will be a big boost for Newcastle, who have now won only one of their past eight league games, as they look to rescue their stalling season.
Foden the star of the show for City
City made hard work of this game at times, especially after half-time when some sloppy passing gave Newcastle the impetus to come forward and threaten an equaliser.
But they still showed flashes of their best attacking form, with Ilkay Gundogan and Haaland both just off target with headers before the break.
Foden was the star of the show, however, with some silky touches out on the right flank showing his current mood, as well as the stylish way he took his goal.
Overall it was a job well done for Pep Guardiola’s side, with the bonus of a welcome clean sheet – Ederson’s 100th in the Premier League – after a run of league games where defensive errors always seemed to result in them conceding a goal.
Newcastle need to find a cutting edge
Newcastle’s spirit was admirable but their lack of goals remains a concern – they have now managed only three goals in eight league games in 2023, which is a big reason why they have not won any of the past five of them.
But there were signs of life in their attack here, starting in the first half when Callum Wilson and Sean Longstaff both had good chances – Wilson miskicked from just eight yards out, while Longstaff took too long to shoot, allowing Nathan Ake across to block.
The Magpies were even more of a threat when Allan Saint-Maximin, Joe Willock and Isak were all introduced at the same time, just after the hour mark, but they could not make the most of the period of pressure that followed.
Silva’s strike underlined how finishing was the biggest difference between the two sides on the day, and Newcastle will have to find their cutting edge if they are going to stay in the hunt for a Champions League spot.