Man City overcome Newcastle to maintain pressure on Premier League leaders Arsenal
Goals from in-form Phil Foden and substitute Bernardo Silva helped Manchester City maintain pressure on title-rivals Arsenal with a 2-0 victory over Newcastle United in the Premier League on Saturday.
City moved on to 58 points, two behind league-leaders Arsenal, who host Bournemouth later in the day, while the result was another blow to Newcastle’s top-four hopes.
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Eddie Howe’s side, who lost 2-0 to Manchester United in last week’s Carabao Cup final, have recorded just one win in their last eight league games and are fifth in the table with 41 points.
Foden, who had been sidelined earlier this season with a nagging foot injury, put City ahead in the 15th minute with his fourth goal in three games in all competitions.
The midfielder showed remarkable control, weaving through four Newcastle defenders and into the box before his angled shot glanced off the outstretched foot of Sven Botman and past goalkeeper Nick Pope.
Silva came off the bench in the 65th minute and the Portugal international scored two minutes later with a sharp finish past Pope after a flick from Erling Haaland.
The goal was City’s 1,000th in the Premier League at home with Pep Guardiola’s side the sixth to reach that milestone.
Foden’s return to form has given City a timely boost as they look to haul in Arsenal in the title chase.
He scored against Bournemouth last weekend before recording a brace against Bristol City in a midweek FA Cup fixture, with his scoring streak coming after what he called the lowest part of his career.
“Phil Foden is so good, he is one of those players who can score goals and win games for you,” Silva told BT Sport. “I am happy for him, he went through a difficult period with his injury so I am very happy to have him with us because he showed he can solve some of our problems.”
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Playing at the Etihad Stadium after five in a row on the road, Guardiola called it a “tricky game.”
“Incredible result for us,” Guardiola said.
Top-scorer Haaland narrowly missed netting his 28th Premier League goal of the season when he got his head on a long cross from Kevin De Bruyne that he nodded just wide in the 34th minute.
While he failed to get on the scoresheet his performance impressed his manager.
“[Haaland] fought so hard, he’s a guy like after the game goes to the locker room, he didn’t score, it doesn’t matter, we won, it’s incredible, he’s happy, look how he celebrated that goal from Bernardo,” Guardiola said.
Newcastle had their chances including what would have been a brilliant equaliser in the 64th minute when Joe Willock fired a hard low cross into the box that Joelinton missed from six yards out.
Newcastle boss Howe said they had needed a lift after last week’s heartbreaking League Cup final loss, but that wasn’t to blame for Saturday’s result.
“I think when you lose such a huge game, I think naturally there’s some disappointment from the group, I’d be surprised if there wasn’t,” Howe said.
“Yeah, we had work to do in the week, but I don’t think you saw a team today wallowing in any kind of self-pity … I think you saw a team that was really committed, very brave, very aggressive and very much in that game.”