PREMIER LEAGUE: Álvarez stunner helps City ground Magpies
Manchester City extended their Premier League (PL) winning streak at the Etihad Stadium to 11 matches as they battled to a 1-0 victory over Newcastle United.
City had scored twice before HT in four of the last five PL H2Hs between these two sides, but the Magpies looked to have learned from those experiences as they restricted the hosts in a cagey first period. Indeed, the first shot on target of the contest didn’t arrive until beyond the half-hour mark, but when it did come, Nick Pope had no answer in the Newcastle goal. Sharp footwork from Phil Foden earned him the space to pick out Julián Álvarez, and the Argentinian didn’t disappoint as he lashed home from just inside the area.
The second half was proving every bit as tight as the first, with clear-cut opportunities at a premium in a meeting of the division’s best two defences from last season. The usually unstoppable Haaland was feeding off scraps, and on the two occasions he did break through the Newcastle rearguard, he fired wide before being denied by the feet of Pope.
Eddie Howe’s men offered a threat on the break thanks to the pace they possess across their forward line, but testing Ederson in the City goal was proving a tough task. The hosts’ ability to retain possession, and win it back quickly when they do lose it, meant they were able to see the contest out with minimal drama. Pep Guardiola’s men had the better chances in the closing stages, but Foden, who deserved a goal more than anyone, saw his effort trickle wide via the foot of Pope.
While it may have been a relatively drab affair, City’s second league win in a row at the start of this campaign is exactly what Guardiola will have wanted, while Newcastle can take plenty of heart from running the Treble winners so close.