EPL

Manchester City 2-0 Newcastle United: Hard-fought win keeps champions on Arsenal's heels

By Sports Desk March 04, 2023

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.

What does it mean? Same old for City against Newcastle

Newcastle had played out a thrilling 3-3 draw against City at St James' Park back in August, but it has always been a different story at the Etihad Stadium, where the Magpies have never won in the Premier League.

Indeed, this was Newcastle's 14th straight league defeat away to City. That matches the longest sequence of home wins for any one team against another in the competition's history, with Everton having won 14 in a row against Fulham at Goodison Park.

Foden finding best form again

In scoring on Saturday, Foden reached 50 Premier League goal involvements (33 goals, 17 assists) and became the youngest player to that mark for City.

At 22 years and 280 days, Foden beat Gabriel Jesus' record by just 10 days – something that would have seemed improbable even a week earlier after a difficult post-World Cup spell.

But with a goal and an assist against Bournemouth before this goal (following two in the FA Cup in midweek), the England man is firmly back on track.

Howe selection hurts his side

Eddie Howe spoke ahead of this match of the need for Newcastle to "pose a threat", but his team selection certainly did not help them in that regard.

Allan Saint-Maximin started on the bench, having provided two assists and won the free-kick for a third goal in the sides' previous meeting, while the struggling Wilson was preferred to Alexander Isak and duly squandered the Magpies' biggest chance – one of only four team attempts.

What's next?

CIty are at Crystal Palace next Saturday, while Newcastle host Wolves the following day looking for a first win since January.

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