Match Report

Gundogan and Torres on target as City see off Newcastle

STERLING SERVICE: Ilkay appreciates the assist from Raheem!
Premier League
Premier League
Sat 26 Dec
2
0
Ilkay Gündogan 
(14’), 
Ferran Torres 
(55’)
View highlights
Ilkay Gundogan and Ferran Torres scored as Manchester City maintained our fine Premier League home record against Newcastle United with a comfortable 2-0 win on Boxing Day.

Gundogan fired home from six-yards early in the first half and Torres wrapped up the points after the break with a close range finish to seal our 12th consecutive league victory over the Magpies at the Etihad Stadium.

It was a deserved three-points for Pep Guardiola’s side, whose unbeaten run stretches to 10-games in all competitions and it might have been more but for the heroics of Newcastle goalkeeper Karl Darlow, who made a string of fine saves as City dominated in the relentless Manchester rain.


                        Gundogan and Torres on target as City see off Newcastle

What happened

After a lowkey opening 10-minutes, a well worked move in which City switched the ball from left to right allowed Gundogan to fire us in front with the first shot of the game.

Sterling was the architect, eliminating Matt Ritchie and Fabian Schar with his cutback and showing a cool head inside a crowded penalty to delay the pass from which the German steered the ball inside the post from six-yards.

The goal did little to alter Newcastle’s cautious approach and, with the visitors often putting 11-men behind the ball, the best of the goalmouth action fell to City.

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                        Gundogan and Torres on target as City see off Newcastle

Darlow clawed out an overhit Kevin De Bruyne cross that dropped dangerously under his cross bar and made a comfortable save from a tame 18-yard effort from Torres before the Belgian spurned a golden opportunity.

Sent clear by Torres’ ball over the top De Bruyne delayed taking his shot and it allowed the visiting goalkeeper to race off his line and make a block.

Newcastle’s attacking threat centred around long balls into Joelinton, who was well marshalled by John Stones and Ruben Dias, though the Brazilian fired a warning when he rose highest to head Miguel Almiron’s cross wide of Ederson’s goal.


                        Gundogan and Torres on target as City see off Newcastle

City may have felt frustrated to have only gone in one goal ahead at the break and again when the unmarked Stones headed wide from a De Bruyne free-kick.

However, as space opened up in the second half, we began to cause the stubborn Newcastle defence countless problems.

The impressive Joao Cancelo was at the heart of much of our best play and when he picked Almiron’s pocket on the edge of the area, his low ball across goal was diverted into Torres’ path by Federico Fernandez and the Spaniard made no mistake from close range.

Both Sterling and Bernardo should have made it three moments later after another good ball from Cancelo, but, with the goal gaping, the former was put off by Fernandez’s efforts to recover and though Bernardo reacted quickest, he cracked a loose ball against the post.


                        Gundogan and Torres on target as City see off Newcastle

A couple of routine saves from Jacob Murphy was as difficult as it got for Ederson, as Newcastle offered little in attack and with City looking increasingly comfortable, Guardiola sent on Sergio Aguero for the final 13 minutes.

The Argentine has a superb scoring record against the Magpies and he would have continued it only for Darlow to make his best save of the game.

Cancelo was again the creator, fizzing a teasing low ball into the area which Aguero met at the far post, but the Magpies’ ‘keeper flung himself across his line to prevent a certain goal.

Newcastle introduced Andy Carroll and Dwight Gayle from the bench as they fought to get back into the game, but City were untroubled and held firm to close out a deserved win.


                        Gundogan and Torres on target as City see off Newcastle

Man of the Match - Joao Cancelo

A constant threat down the right and responsible for our best play. But for Darlow's excellent saves, he would have ended the game with a hat-trick of assists. 

Pep: That's the tempo we need

"A tough game, the weather conditions and the opponent who we have struggled to score against.

"That is the tempo we need to play. Today our positional game was perfect, unfortunately we could not score more goals but it is a good result and three more points."

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Statzone

Sterling’s assist for Gundogan was his 150th goal involvement in all competitions under Guardiola. With 96 goals and 54 assists, he is the first City player to reach that tally since the Spaniard arrived.

As it stands

English Premier League
1 Manchester City Man City 19 12 5 2 36 13 23 41 WWWWW
2 Manchester United Man United 19 12 4 3 36 25 11 40 WWWDW
3 Leicester City Leicester 19 12 2 5 35 21 14 38 DDWWW

What it means

Victory moves City up to fifth in the Premier League, with 26 points from 14 games and five points behind leaders Liverpool ahead of their game against West Bromwich Albion.

What’s next

It’s a quick turnaround for City, who are back in action on Monday, when we face Everton at Goodison Park in our final game of 2020. Kick-off is at 20:00 (UK).

Teams

CITY: Ederson, Cancelo, Stones, Dias, Ake, Rodrigo (Fernandinho 57’), Gundogan (Foden 90+1’), De Bruyne (C), Bernardo, Sterling, Torres (Aguero 77’).

SUBS: Steffen, Zinchenko, Laporte, Mendy, Mahrez, Palmer.

NEWCASTLE: Darlow, Yedlin, Schar, Fernandez, Clark, Ritchie (Lewis 66'), Murphy, Hayden, M. Longstaff, Almiron (Gayle 82'), Joelinton (Carroll 71’).

SUBS: Anderson, Manquillo, Wilson, Krafth, S. Longstaff, Gillespie.

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