An exhibition of managed, possession soccer from Manchester Metropolis sealed an emphatic Three-1 win over Newcastle on the Etihad Stadium.
The Residents totally outclassed the guests from begin to end, having fun with an unbelievable 80% possession as they dominated their relegation threatened opponents.
The 2 groups poised in reflection earlier than kick-off because the Etihad celebrated the lifetime of pioneer Cyrille Regis – who handed away through the week on the age of 59.
Metropolis made two adjustments from the aspect crushed within the Premier League for the primary time in 281 days at Anfield. David Silva changed Ilkay Gundogan in midfield, with Oleksandr Zinchenko coming in for his first Premier League begin at left-back, rather than the injured Fabian Delph.
Rafa Benitez made 4 adjustments to the aspect that began final weekend’s 1-1 residence draw with Swansea.
Newcastle began brightly, Jonjo Shelvey’s fast considering from a free-kick permitting Christian Atsu to place within the first harmful cross of the sport. Ciaran Clark scuffed his effort into the palms of Ederson nevertheless after an excellent clearing header from Zinchenko.
The hosts started to say their authority on proceedings, stroking the ball round menacingly as they started probing for an opener. Zinchenko was trying constructive in assault, with Kyle Walker additionally offering wonderful assist on the right-hand aspect.
Metropolis had the ball within the internet simply after quarter an hour, however a lot to their frustration, noticed their effort disallowed for offside. Joselu’s misplaced move within the Metropolis half allowed the house aspect to counter at devastating tempo. Kevin De Bruyne’s incisive move discovered a central Leroy Sane, the German shortly flicking the ball not far away to David Silva.
Sterling has the ball within the internet for Metropolis but it surely’s dominated out for a decent offside resolution! An indication of issues to come back?#MCINEW
— 90min (@90min_Football) January 20, 2018
The Spaniard’s low piercing cross was completely weighted for an on-rushing Raheem Sterling to faucet residence, however the Residents high scorer had simply strayed past Toon defender Jamaal Lascelles.
A interval of dominance adopted for the hosts, as they started to vogue possibilities. Although unable to bombard Newcastle’s objective like they’ve completed in earlier matches, Metropolis have been creating area and threading harmful balls into the Toon field. Silva got here shut, the attacking midfielders low effort saved out effectively by Karl Darlow following good work from Sane.
From the ensuing throw-in, Metropolis made the breakthrough simply after the half an hour mark.
The hosts continued to press for a second earlier than the interval, Darlow once more rescuing his aspect as he palmed De Bruyne’s low left footed drive across the submit, earlier than Aguero was once more denied. The half-time whistle was a reduction to Rafa Benitez, who had been furiously scribbling on his notepad throughout a gap interval that noticed the hosts have an astonishing 82% possession.
The second interval started a lot as the primary had ended, with Metropolis firmly camped in Newcastle’s half. Such was their territorial domination, Ederson spent nearly all of his time through the opening 15 minutes nearer to the midway line, then he did to his objective.
For all of their possession, the hosts weren’t fashioning many possibilities, as an alternative content material to wear down a Newcastle aspect merely chasing shadows. Inevitably although, their affected person strategy would ultimately repay. A delightfully slick, fast passing transfer noticed Sterling reduce inside from the byline, the England winger proving too fast for Manquillo, who introduced door him all the way down to concede a transparent reduce penalty.
Aguero stepped up and duly transformed his 15th objective of the season, although Darlow would have been pissed off to not preserve it out after guessing the correct manner. The sport appeared all however over, with Metropolis having elevated their possession to a staggering 85% by this level.
Nonetheless, time and time once more the Premier League throws up twists and turns once you least anticipate them. Performed off of the park for over an hour, and totally outclassed, Newcastle instantly hit again. Poor management from Joselu in his personal half turned out to be a stroke of genius, as Isaac Hayden threaded a wonderful by move by the center of Metropolis’s defence. Jacob Murphy rushed away from Zinchenko, conserving his composure to attain with an impudent dink over the on speeding Ederson.
The objective spurred the sport again into life, with each side creating nice alternatives. First, Darlow beautifully denied Sterling, deflecting his fierce drive onto the submit after good work from Sane, earlier than Ederson had a uncommon second of butter fingers, carelessly spilling the ball after parrying Mo Diame’s preliminary effort. The Residents keeper obtained fortunate nevertheless, conserving out Perez’s rebound earlier than Metropolis cleared their traces.
Simply because the considered stealing a degree had maybe crossed Toon supporters thoughts, Metropolis extinguished any hopes of a comeback with a positive third. Excellent particular person work from a marauding Sane ultimately noticed the winger create himself sufficient area to fizz in one other testing cross. The German executed with aplomb, discovering Aguero, who beautifully managed earlier than firing a low strike previous the helpless Darlow.
Three factors and one other commanding efficiency from Pep Guardiola’s males, who will now change their consideration to Tuesday’s Carabao Cup semi-final second leg tie in opposition to Bristol Metropolis.
Newcastle in the meantime will put together for a tough FA Cup Fourth Spherical tie in opposition to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, earlier than switching their focus to a should win Premier League residence recreation in opposition to Burnley.