Manchester City 2-0 Newcastle United: Player ratings as Hard-fought win keeps champions on Arsenal’s heels

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Manchester City kept up the pressure on Premier League leaders Arsenal with a 2-0 home victory against Newcastle United.

Arsenal won their game in hand in midweek to increase their advantage at the top to five points, but it was back to two ahead of their game on Saturday as City responded again.

Phil Foden’s first-half goal continued his rich vein of form, although City needed a second from substitute Bernardo Silva to make sure.

It was a familiar tale for a fading Newcastle side, firmly in the game but unable to take their chances and suddenly looking a little vulnerable at the back.

City could have been in front in the opening minute when Ilkay Gundogan headed over from a Jack Grealish cross, but the opening goal instead came from the opposite flank after 15 minutes.

Foden darted into the box away from three black and white shirts before his finish benefited from a deflection off the luckless Sven Botman – who similarly aided Marcus Rashford’s goal in the EFL Cup final last week.

Newcastle looked to be on the ropes but dug in and created the best chance across the remainder of the first half, only for Callum Wilson to miscue following Kieran Trippier’s square header.

With chances few and far between after the break, a triple Newcastle change created a spell of pressure.

But Pep Guardiola responded by introducing Silva, who swiftly put the game to bed with a snapshot from just inside the box after a smart Erling Haaland pass with 23 minutes left.

An excellent late Nick Pope save was required from Foden to cap the scoring at two before attention turned to title rivals Arsenal’s clash with Bournemouth.

Manchester City player ratings (4-2-3-1)

GK: Ederson – 4/10 – Couple of hairy passes throughout the game which added to the tension around the Etihad.

RB: Kyle Walker – 5/10 – Another City player culpable of some sloppiness throughout but used his pace to full effect.

CB: Manuel Akanji – 5/10 – A bit ropy in some one-v-one scenarios, including when got rinsed on the byline by Isak. A clean sheet’s a clean sheet, mind.

CB: Ruben Dias – 7/10 – Much more assured than most of his defensive colleagues, stepping up to win loose ball well.

LB: Nathan Ake – 7/10 – Good sliding block denied Longstaff from close range. A badly mistimed attempted header saw Ake clatter into the same Longstaff for a booking.

CM: Rodri – 7/10 – Sprayed the ball out wide before Foden opened the scoring. Retained possession excellently in some tough spots.

CM: Ilkay Gundogan – 7/10 – Headed over very early on and might feel he should have scored. Generally keot City ticking over and looked to get into the box.

RW: Phil Foden – 8/10 – Wonderful footwork and balance helped Foden breeze past Burn and Guimaraes and net again. Glided around the pitch at times, linking play to the delight of the Etihad.

AM: Kevin De Bruyne – 6/10 – Not at his sauntering best in what was a disjointed City display before his substitution.

LW: Jack Grealish – 7/10 – Always looked to drive forward, including in the build-up to that second goal.

ST: Erling Haaland – 7/10 – Not the most efficient of afternoons in front of goal but Haaland showed good presence of mind to set up Silva for the second goal.


Substitutes

Bernardo Silva (65′ for De Bruyne) – 7/10 – Netted just minutes after coming on, wrapping up the points with a fierce strike from Haaland’s pass.


Manager

Pep Guardiola – 6/10 – Reverted back to a more traditional formation but there this was more of an efficient display than a statement of intent from City.


Newcastle player ratings (4-3-3)

GK: Nick Pope – 5/10 – Got down smartly to keep out a Foden strike but was left flapping by both goals.

RB: Kieran Trippier – 5/10 – Some smart crosses in the attacking but lost the ball sloppily for City’s second. Made three fouls.

CB: Jamaal Lascelles – 5/10 – Held off Haaland when the Norwegian threatened to run in behind. Got more rattled as the game got away from Newcastle.

CB: Sven Botman – 6/10 – Nearly blocked Foden’s goal but instead diverted it past Pope. Pretty good positionally.

LB: Dan Burn – 4/10 – Turned like a truck every time the fleet-footed Foden knocked the ball past him. Involved in some late scuffling which saw him booked.

CM: Sean Longstaff – 5/10 – Decent chance that was well blocked by Ake. Didn’t see too much of the ball, instead covering ground as City’s midfield dictated play.

CM: Bruno Guimaraes – 6/10 – Appeared to take a knock which dented his movement in the first half. Looked bright in moments but didn’t dictate.

CM: Joelinton – 4/10 – Picked up a booking which rules him out of Newcastle’s next two league games. Missed a golden chance just before City grabbed their second.

RW: Miguel Almiron – 5/10 – Lost the Grealish vs Almiron battle with no chances to shoot on the break.

ST: Callum Wilson – 4/10 – Messed up a golden opportunity to equalise, totally scuffing his effort. May lose his starting XI spot as Isak impressed during a brief cameo.

LW: Anthony Gordon – 6/10 – Got in some barging shoulders and niggly challenges while helping out in defence but more will be expected in attack.


Substitutes

Allan Saint-Maximin (62′ for Gordon) – 5/10 – Arrived on the end of one or two attacks with no end product.

Alexander Isak (62′ for Wilson) – 6/10 – Had a shot well blocked and worked his way into the box beautifully by turning Akanji.

Joe Willock (62′ for Longstaff) – 6/10 – Whipped in a wonderful cross which Joelinton couldn’t make contact with.

Jacob Murphy (77′ for Almiron) – N/A

Matt Targett (87′ for Burn) – N/A


Manager

Eddie Howe – 4/10 – Newcastle were resolute in patches and stayed in the game but weren’t clinical with their best openings. It’s a recurring theme and one Howe needs to put a stop to.


Player of the Match – Phil Foden (Manchester City)

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