Foden’s return to form helps mask De Bruyne’s troubles


MANCHESTER, England — Manchester City stored up the stress on Arsenal on the prime of the Premier League desk with a 2-0 win over Newcastle United on the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

Phil Foden and substitute Bernardo Silva scored in every half to give the scoreline a snug look however Newcastle had their possibilities, notably although Anthony Gordon, who made his full debut following his January transfer from Everton, in addition to Sean Longstaff and Joelinton.

It’s now 5 video games with no win in all competitions for Newcastle, whereas City lengthen their unbeaten run to seven.

Rapid response

1. Foden continues good form

Foden has been made to wait for normal video games for the reason that World Cup however, again within the crew, he has discovered some form. His purpose towards Newcastle was Foden at his finest; choosing up the ball within the house on the precise, driving previous Joelinton and Gordon into the penalty space and scoring by way of deflection off Sven Botman. It was tempo, energy and shut management all crammed into 10 seconds.

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We’re on the level of the season when Guardiola begins to take into consideration which gamers are going to begin City’s huge UEFA Champions League knockout video games and Foden is making an excellent case for himself. Having admitted he was scuffling with a foot downside since Christmas, it is now 4 objectives in his final three video games — together with two in two within the Premier League.

Erling Haaland is certain to begin the massive video games and Jack Grealish has executed effectively sufficient lately to warrant an everyday place, as effectively. That leaves one place in Guardiola’s conventional entrance three for both Foden or Riyad Mahrez. Foden bought the nod towards Newcastle and made probably the most of his probability to impress.

2. De Bruyne is not undroppable anymore

There was a time when Guardiola would not dream of choosing a crew with out Kevin De Bruyne nevertheless it seems to be like these days are coming to an finish. The Belgian was left on the bench for the 1-0 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur in February and when he wasn’t in a position to journey to the Champions League tie at RB Leipzig due to sickness, it wasn’t the drama it’d as soon as have been.

De Bruyne did not have an excellent recreation towards Newcastle and with Eddie Howe’s crew beginning to get on prime early within the second half, Guardiola’s first change was to substitute the 31-year-old with Bernardo. The distinction was nearly instant. Bernardo’s first involvement was to chase down a misplaced ball and pressure Nick Pope right into a poor kick. A matter of seconds later, the ball was labored again to the Portuguese midfielder by way of Nathan Ake, Grealish and Haaland to give Bernardo the possibility to rating City’s second purpose and kill the sport.

De Bruyne continues to be an excellent participant — he confirmed it with a purpose within the win at Arsenal — however he isn’t the primary title on the crew sheet and Guardiola’s choices between now and the tip of the season may show it.

3. Newcastle’s season at risk of falling flat

“Went to Wembley, and f—ed it up,” sang the City followers on the travelling supporters from Newcastle however defeat to Manchester United within the Carabao Cup last will not be the largest disappointment this season if their form would not enhance.

Newcastle’s possibilities of qualifying for the Champions League had been by no means going to hinge on the outcome on the Etihad nevertheless it’s now only one win within the league since Boxing Day — a 1-0 victory over Fulham thanks to a last-minute winner after Aleksandar Mitrovic had failed to convert a penalty for the Cottagers.

Having spent the majority of the season in third, Newcastle have slipped down to fifth within the desk and have Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool respiratory down their necks because the Reds start to get well from a disastrous first half of the marketing campaign.

You may argue that, having flirted with relegation final season, Newcastle have already taken a giant step ahead however there was a chance to be grabbed with Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham all struggling for consistency. Securing European soccer would imply an excellent season nonetheless ends on a excessive however Newcastle want to discover a win from someplace quickly to get momentum shifting in the precise path.

Best and worst performers

BEST: Bernardo Silva, MF, Man City: Came on within the sixty fifth minute and two minutes later made the outcome secure with City’s second purpose.

BEST: Nathan Ake, DF, Man City: Involved in Bernardo’s purpose and made a implausible block to deny Longstaff a sure purpose.

BEST: Ilkay Gundogan, MF, Man City: Kept the ball shifting seamlessly in midfield. City are going to miss him if he goes in the summertime when his contract expires.

WORST: Joelinton, MF, Newcastle: Missed the ball utterly when offered with a golden probability to equalise within the second half.

WORST: Kevin De Bruyne, MF, Man City: It was a nasty day for the Belgian and it was no shock when he was substituted early within the second half.

WORST: Callum Wilson, ST, Newcastle: Newcastle have scored a league-low three objectives in 2023 and Wilson by no means regarded like altering that.

Highlights and notable moments

After the match: What the managers and gamers mentioned

Guardiola, talking to BT Sport: “Bernardo [Silva] had the ability to help us have long possessions or make the possessions longer. He had the ability to keep the ball and make the extra pass because in that moment the game was broken.

“It was higher for Newcastle. We did not need the sport in transitions in order that’s why Bernardo was the thought. It works and we received so it is excellent.

“The game started and they were better, we struggled to build up, we made some changes during the first half and after the brilliant action from Phil [Foden], we had the game in our hands, we didn’t suffer.

“The first minutes of the second half had been good however then we misplaced the sport and Bernardo helped us to come again. Their menace isn’t a shock, there’s a motive why they had been within the Carabao Cup last and for lots of minutes they had been higher than United.

“This team and this club in the next few years will be a threat for the title.”

Howe: “I thought we were well in the game today. It was a similar performance to last week where we were good in the game, very dynamic in our play, aggressive, good with the ball, hurt them at times but couldn’t put that final piece together.

“Our plan was to come right here and assault and to attempt to give our all bodily after which give a chance to new gamers coming onto the pitch to do the identical. Probably the one which sticks in my head is Joelinton’s probability at 1-0. They’re huge moments and once you play video games like this you might have to be medical.”

Key stats (supplied by ESPN Stats & Information analysis)

– At 22 years and 280 days, Foden (33 objectives, 17 assists) turns into the youngest participant to attain 50 Premier League purpose involvements for Manchester City.

– Bernardo’s purpose for Man City was their 1,000th Premier League house purpose, the sixth crew to attain the milestone within the competitors (160 at Maine Road, 840 on the Etihad).

– Newcastle have solely scored three Premier League objectives in 2022 — the bottom whole within the division.

Up subsequent

Manchester City: Guardiola’s males could have per week to get well earlier than making the journey to London to face Crystal Palace subsequent Saturday. They then tackle RB Leipzig on the Etihad on Tuesday, March 14, within the second leg of their Champions League round-of-16 tie (first leg 1-1), earlier than internet hosting Burnley within the FA Cup quarterfinals on Saturday, March 18.

Newcastle United: The Magpies’ bid for Champions League soccer badly wants reenergizing, and they’ll host Wolverhampton Wanderers on March 12. A house victory is a should if they’re to get their marketing campaign again on monitor. They end up earlier than the worldwide break with a visit to Nottingham Forest on Friday, March 17.


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