Manchester City 5 Newcastle United 0
Manchester City cantered to a win that ended Newcastle United’s unbeaten four-game run since the restart of the Premier League. As is so often the case, Pep Guardiola’s side were far classier, far more accomplished than opponents who barely – if ever – threatened Ederson’s goal.
Guardiola's response to City's loss at Southampton – a ninth of the campaign – was to make five changes, as in came Kevin De Bruyne and John Stones, who made a first league start in seven months and who was to impress throughout. Steve Bruce's XI showed six different players from a draw with West Ham that had made Newcastle safe last time out.
De Bruyne – who conducted proceedings all match – swung in a first corner that had Stones interested but Martin Dubravka, the visiting goalkeeper, was able to rise and collect the ball cleanly.
The next time City attacked they scored. João Cancelo came infield before the ball was moved on to Rodrigo, Phil Foden and David Silva who, from a left-wing position, stroked a cross over. Gabriel Jesus allowed this to come past his body and he finished neatly.
Newcastle nearly conceded a second when Ederson hit a 70-yard goal-kick straight to Riyad Mahrez. The Algerian swivelled smoothly and hit the bouncing ball in an instant but it went right into Dubravka's hands to the keeper's relief.
City were already in control. Next Foden collected possession and glided past two opponents and saw a shot go just wide. When Silva overhit a pass Cancelo could not keep in play this pointed to a rare sloppiness that still visibly displeased Guardiola.
Better was about to occur for the Catalan. City squeezed Newcastle on the left, Silva fed Foden and his ball released De Bruyne. A pull-back found Mahrez and he doubled the margin with aplomb.
The drinks break allowed Bruce to inform his players to wake up – fast – if they hoped to stop what appeared the makings of a rout. But, not surprisingly, it was City – via Mahrez – who threatened next, though the forward allowed a through ball to slip under his feet.
If Matt Ritchie was able to float a free-kick on to the head of an unchallenged Federico Fernández in a rare attack for Newcastle, City soon reasserted their grip. They ended the half with Rodrigo, Silva, De Bruyne, Foden and Mahrez moving the ball in and around their opponents. Foden may have held head in hands after missing from close range but as the second half commenced it was Newcastle who required inspiration from somewhere.
Guardiola had swapped Ilkay Gündogan for Rodrigo and Kyle Walker for Cancelo but City were again in keep-ball mode. It was Walker who fashioned a sand-wedge of a chip into De Bruyne, who played a pass from which Foden surely should have scored from close range, but he again missed badly.
City cruised in no more than third gear, toying with Newcastle. Blue shirts continually recycled the ball, and when the visitors finally managed to move into City’s half this was akin to a collector’s item.
What occurred next was akin to Keystone Kops defending. Jesus swapped passes with Foden but now Ritchie intervened, stabbed at the ball, this hit Fernández’s hand and it spiralled past Dubravka, clipped the right post, and it was 3-0.
In what was hardly better news for Newcastle, Guardiola replaced Jesus and Foden with Bernardo Silva and Raheem Sterling. The latter drew a foul from Joelinton and David Silva took the dead ball, arrowing this into the top corner for a 59th league goal of a glittering City career.
Bruce brought on Dwight Gayle, Javier Manquillo and Matty Longstaff for Joelinton, Valentino Lazaro and Jonjo Shelvey but, as with so many against Guardiola's side, his team were in a damage-limitation exercise now.
In a nice moment Guardiola gave Tommy Doyle the final 15 minutes, the 18-year-old midfielder's league bow.
City ended with a Sterling strike in added time confirming a fine night for them, a miserable one for Newcastle. - Guardian