Manchester City took advantage of Liverpool’s slip-up against Tottenham with a comfortable 5-0 victory over Newcastle on Sunday which moved them three points clear in the Premier League title race.
Raheem Sterling headed in a classic City attack and Aymeric Laporte bundled in another before half time. Rodri wrapped up the points by finishing off Kevin De Bruyne’s corner before substitute Phil Foden grabbed the fourth, with Sterling registering a brace with one of the final kicks of the game.
Newcastle had an excellent chance to take a shock lead inside the opening ten minutes as Allan Saint-Maximin picked out striker Chris Wood, but the New Zealander’s header lacked power and was gathered by Ederson.
City went ahead in style as Ilkay Gundogan floated a ball into the box for Joao Cancelo to nod across goal to Sterling, who arrived on cue to give the hosts the advantage.
Wood soon had the ball in the back of the net for Newcastle from a corner, but Joelinton had strayed offside and the strike was chalked off.
City’s goal eased them into the game and it was soon 2-0, with Martin Dubravka spilling a Gundogan shot into Laporte’s path for the Spain defender to tap in.
The points were sealed when Pep Guadiola’s side got an easy third, with Rodri arriving to power home De Bruyne’s header at the near post.
Newcastle’s resolve had well and truly been broken and City added some gloss to the scoreline with two late strikes. Substitute Foden prodded in after nice work from Jack Grealish and Oleksandr Zinchenko before City walked in a fifth with Sterling converting from close range.
After a run of four straight wins which took them out of the relegation picture, Newcastle have now lost two games on the bounce, though hope of a top-ten finish remains for Magpies boss Eddie Howe.
For City, they reclaimed top spot in the Premier League and have three games in which to retain their title, holding a three-point buffer over Liverpool. They’re next in action on Wednesday when they face Wolves, while Newcastle take on Arsenal next Monday.
1. Manchester City (4-3-3)
GK: Ederson – 7/10 – Made a few stops he was expected to make. Distribution was also threatening at times. Did well to keep out Wilson ten minutes from time.
RB: Joao Cancelo – 7/10 – Grabbed an assist for his nod across goal for Sterling. Constantly a danger on City’s right.
CB: Ruben Dias – 6/10 – Given little to worry about by Newcastle’s attackers. Did seem to be moving gingerly and was taken off at half time.
CB: Aymeric Laporte – 7/10 – Had a chance to score unmarked at the back post but got too much on his effort. Made no mistake the second time around. Passing got sloppy in the second half.
LB: Oleksandr Zinchenko – 7/10 – Put some dangerous deliveries into the Newcastle box. Not threatened by Almiron all game and got a late assist for Foden’s strike.
DM: Rodri – 8/10 – Broke up play and distributed well. Good run at the near post to head in City’s third.
CM: Ilkay Gundogan – 7/10 – Great knock into the middle for the opener. Had a role in the second too. Always looking for the ball and used it well.
CM: Kevin De Bruyne – 8/10 – Powered forward on the half-turn and played some nice passes out wide. Nice corner picked out Rodri for City’s third.
RW: Raheem Sterling – 8/10 – A classic goal for Sterling, who arrived on time to head in. Didn’t get many more shooting opportunities until second-half stoppage time, when he netted his second.
ST: Gabriel Jesus – 6/10 – Miscontrolled one opportunity close in and couldn’t get on the end of a Zinchenko ball across goal. Decent outing but didn’t get any shots away at goal.
LW: Jack Grealish – 7/10 – Came alive at the end of the game, driving past Trippier in the build-up to Foden’s strike before laying one on a plate for Sterling.
SUB: Fernandinho – 6/10 – Went into central defence for Dias at half time. Made some important interventions.
SUB: Phil Foden – 7/10 – Got in the box to finish off a flowing City move.
SUB: Conrad Egan-Riley – N/A
2. Newcastle (4-3-3)
GK: Martin Dubravka – 5/10 – No chance for the first goal but his spill allowed Laporte to make it 2-0. Made some stops to stop the scoreline getting embarrassing.
RB: Emil Krafth – 5/10 – Allowed Rodri a free run to head in City’s third. Did well enough to restrict Grealish’s influence on City’s left.
CB: Jamaal Lascelles – 4/10 – Looked uneasy and often couldn’t keep up when City’s attackers poured forward.
CB: Dan Burn – 4/10 – Couldn’t stretch far enough to clear the danger before Sterling nodded in. Talked his way into a booking.
LB: Matt Targett – 5/10 – Struggled to match the runs of Cancelo and Sterling, One or two dangerous deliveries into the City box.
CM: Bruno Guimaraes – 5/10 – Agricultural challenge on Grealish saw him deservedly booked. Was chasing shadows in midfield, such is City’s quality.
CM: Sean Longstaff – 4/10 – Often found running towards his own box when De Bruyne and Gundogan charged through the middle.
CM: Joelinton – 5/10 – Didn’t get too many opportunities to drive from midfield.
RW: Miguel Almiron – 3/10 – No influence in attacking areas.
ST: Chris Wood – 5/10 – Scuffed one header – Newcastle’s best chance of the game – and soon had a strike disallowed for offside.
LW: Allan Saint-Maximin – 6/10 – Allowed Cancelo to run beyond him for City’s opener. Made an excellent chance which Wood couldn’t convert and always looked like Newcastle’s most threatening outlet.
SUB: Kieran Trippier – 5/10 – Returned from injury for his first appearance since February. Got burned by Grealish before City’s fourth.
SUB: Callum Wilson – 5/10 – Excellent chance to pull one back was saved by Ederson.