Manchester City have now faced all of the other 19 teams in the Premier League and have not lost to any of them. The latest victim was Newcastle at St. James’ Park, but it was a tough one for the Blues. They found a goal in the first half but had to fight hard against a resilient Newcastle in the final period, but Pep Guardiola’s men managed to keep the clean sheet and reach 18 Premier League wins in a row.
The game started with a shot from midfield by Jonjo Shelvey, and that was the only time during the entire half in which Newcastle tried to go forward. For the rest of the 45 minutes the Magpies parked a bus in front of their goal and defended for their lives. But City were too creative on the night, and they created a giant number of chances despite the defensive structure from the opposition.
City had 90% possession at one point, and they used the ball well to constantly find opportunities. Rob Elliot was the star of the half for Newcastle making some big saves throughout the period, but the goalkeeper couldn’t stop Raheem Sterling who found the back of the net after a wonderful pass from Kevin De Bruyne.
At halftime, a thoroughly dominant performance from the Blues gave them the lead, but it was too narrow and Newcastle had some hope.
Newcastle finally decided to go forward in the second half, still maintaing their 5-4-1 formation but pressing higher up the pitch and looking to cause problems on set pieces. They were never able to create any real chances, but they always carried a threat with the ball.
City still had a lot of possession but weren’t able to have the same creativity and precision we saw in the first half, and it seemed like the Blues were just looking for the final whistle without conceding an equalizer. The plan worked despite a golden chance for Dwight Gayle in added time, but City held on to the win.
Man City: Ederson; Walker, Kompany (Jesus), Otamendi, Danilo; De Bruyne, Fernandinho, Gundogan; Bernardo (Sané), Agüero (Mangala), Sterling
Goal: Sterling (31’)
Newcastle: Elliot; Yedlin, Mbemba (Merino), Lascelles, Dummett, Manquillo; Murphy, Diamé, Shelvey, Aarons (Atsu); Joselu (Gayle)