Man City 2-0 Newcastle: Brilliant Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva strike to cut Arsenal’s title advantage
Manchester City put the Premier League title pressure back on Arsenal after seeing off Newcastle 2-0 in Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off.
A goal in each half from the in-form Phil Foden and substitute Bernardo Silva means the gap at the summit is back down to two points at least for a few hours, with leaders Arsenal hosting lowly Bournemouth in a 3pm game at Emirates Stadium.
Meanwhile, Newcastle’s poor recent run of form continues, with the losing Carabao Cup finalists still without a top-flight win since January 15 as their Champions League ambitions take a further hit. They certainly had their moments here, but have now suffered an incredible 14 consecutive league defeats at the Etihad.
Despite a slightly sloppy start, City, who made two changes from their thumping win over Bournemouth as Kevin De Bruyne and Kyle Walker replaced Julian Alvarez and Rico Lewis, dominated most of the first half, monopolising possession and having an early chance as captain Ilkay Gundogan headed Jack Grealish’s cross onto the roof of the net inside 60 seconds.
They were ahead after only 15 minutes, with Foden taking in Rodri’s sweeping pass before driving brilliantly into the box and beating four defenders before seeing his clipped effort deflect past England goalkeeper Nick Pope - back from the suspension that ruled him out at Wembley last weekend - off defender Sven Botman.
It was Foden’s fourth goal in just three games after a midweek double in the FA Cup fifth-round victory at Bristol City and his 13th of the season already across all competitions. He is now only one shy of his tally for the whole of last term.
Newcastle almost hit back straightaway through midfielder Sean Longstaff, but his attempt was brilliantly blocked by Nathan Ake inside the area.
Erling Haaland nodded wide De Bruyne’s trademark pinpoint centre as City looked to double their advantage before the break, though the visitors spurned another key chance when Callum Wilson miskicked after Kieran Trippier had headed Longstaff’s diagonal pass across the box.
The second half began as a very-low key affair, with Grealish denied a penalty after being felled by Trippier and Joelinton going in late on Rodri to incur his 10th yellow card of the season and an automatic two-match suspension.
However, a triple attacking change to introduce Alexander Isak, Allan Saint-Maximin and Joe Willock appeared to revitalise Newcastle, with Willock instantly providing a delicious cross that Joelinton could not convert in the middle.
Isak’s movement was causing City plenty of problems until they struck the clinching goal against the run of play, Ake winning the ball high up the pitch and Grealish driving once more before substitute Bernardo took one touch and picked out the bottom corner after a neat touch from Haaland.
The Portuguese had only been on the pitch for two minutes and 12 seconds after replacing De Bruyne, but reacted wonderfully to put the game beyond reach and ask more questions of Arsenal in a fierce title battle.