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Gossip: City run saluted, defenders linked

WINNING RUN: City celebrate another victory

WINNING RUN: City celebrate another victory

The press plaudits continue to roll in for City after we secured a remarkable 18th consecutive Premier League win, this time a 1-0 victory at Newcastle.

Two of City's most prominent performers this season - Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling - were involved in the goal at St James' Park and they are praised far and wide, while there is a touch of defender speculation ahead of the opening of the January transfer window.

Let's start with the Guardian's Jacob Steinberg, who reported: "Sterling has 17 goals for the season now, many of them coming at crucial times, and the way that he rolled his studs over the ball to squeeze a difficult chance past Elliot was another demonstration of his increasing maturity. What really took the breath away, though, was De Bruyne’s vision, how quickly he spied the opening and worked out the angles, how easy it was for him to flight the ball towards his intended target.

"Newcastle’s early caution was understandable in that context, even though they occasionally troubled City after letting go of their fear and introducing Christian Atsu and Dwight Gayle. Nicolas Otamendi had to clear a Rolando Aarons chip off the line after Kyle Walker’s slip, Gayle headed wide and it must have been satisfying for Benítez when Guardiola replaced Agüero with Eliaquim Mangala near the end.

"Ultimately, however, Newcastle had two shots on target and one of them was Shelvey’s early sighter. A special team took another step on their journey towards greatness and it is impossible to see anyone stopping them."

Newcastle 0-1 City: Raheem reaction

Newcastle 0-1 City: Guardiola verdict

SURROUNDED: Kevin De Bruyne negotiates his way past Newcastle's Jacob Murphy and Joselu.

Highlights

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Newcastle 0-1 City: Brief highlights

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Over at the Daily Telegraph Jason Burt felt that City might have won by more.

He wrote of City: "They utterly dominated Newcastle, who were set up to defend but then, in rope-a-dope fashion, held on and tried to claim an improbable point in the final 10 minutes. But resistance was ultimately futile.

"Do not be fooled by the narrow margin of victory. City, despite not being at their scintillating best, struck the goal-frame three times and were vastly superior...

"Kevin De Bruyne has been beyond brilliant for the Blues this campaign and in a single deft touch delivered for the winner yet again."

The Daily Mirror's match reflections focused on goal architect-in-chief De Bruyne.

Their analysis read: "If a single pass epitomised a player’s season, it is perhaps the ball that he provided for Sterling’s goal.

"Kevin De Bruyne has been beyond brilliant for the Blues this campaign and in a single deft touch he delivered for the winner yet again.

"There was barely room for Sterling to make a run to the left of the Newcastle goal let alone for De Bruyne to spot the pass that found him.

"Yet, with a delicate dink he bamboozled all but the young Englishman who got enough of his left foot on the ball to beat Elliot at his near post."

Finally a touch of transfer talk, with the Metro reporting this morning: "Manchester City are preparing moves for Ryan Bertrand and Jonny Evans as Pep Guardiola looks to bolster his defensive options during the January transfer window. Despite leading City to the top of the Premier League – 15 points clear of rivals Manchester United – Guardiola is hoping to add a centre back and left back to his squad next month. Bertrand, a Champions League winner with Chelsea who joined Southampton in 2015, is attracting interest from City having been linked with a move to the Etihad last summer.”

That's all for today, we'll be back for more at the same time, same place tomorrow!

Men's Team

Raheem: City focused on points not records

​ON THE MONEY: Raheem Sterling breaks the deadlock with his 13th Premier League strike of the season.

Raheem Sterling said Manchester City were thinking only about points rather than records after the winger's goal secured a vital 1-0 win at Newcastle United.

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Men's Team

Guardiola: Adaptability key to winning run

​JOB DONE: City come out on top in the North East to extending the winning run to 18 games, leading second-placed Manchester United by 15 points.

City boss Pep Guardiola believes adaptability is a key driving force behind City's record-breaking 18 successive Premier League wins.

Manager's verdict on 1-0 win away at Newcastle United

Picture Special

City roll on thanks to Raheem Sterling