Foden's return to type helps masks De Bruyne's troubles

MANCHESTER, England — Manchester metropolis saved up the stress on Arsenal on the greater of the Premier League desk with a 2-zero win over Newcastle United on the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

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

it is now 5 video games with out a win in all competitions for Newcastle, whereas metropolis lengthen their unbeaten run to seven.

speedy response

1. Foden continues good type

Foden has been made to attend for regular video games as a outcome of the World Cup however, again inside the staff, he has found some type. His purpose in opposition to Newcastle was Foden at his best; choosing up the ball inside the house on the proper, driving previous Joelinton and Gordon into the penalty space and scoring through deflection off Sven Botman. It was tempo, energy and shut administration all crammed into 10 seconds.

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We’re on the purpose of the season when Guardiola begins to suppose about which gamers are going to start metropolis’s massive UEFA Champions League knockout video games and Foden is making a very good case for himself. Having admitted he was fighting a foot draw again since Christmas, it is now 4 targets in his final three video games — collectively with two in two inside the Premier League.

Erling Haaland is sure to start the massive video games and Jack Grealish has performed properly ample these days to warrant an everyday place, as properly. That leaves one place in Guardiola’s conventional entrance three for both Foden or Riyad Mahrez. Foden acquired the nod in opposition to Newcastle and made in all probability the most of his probability to impress.

2. De Bruyne is simply not undroppable anymore

There was a time when Guardiola wouldn’t dream of choosing a staff with out Kevin De Bruyne however it appears like these days are coming to an finish. The Belgian was left on the bench for the 1-zero defeat at Tottenham Hotspur in February and when he wasn’t in a place to journey to the Champions League tie at RB Leipzig as a outcomes of sickness, it wasn’t the drama it would as quickly as have been.

De Bruyne did not have a very good recreation in opposition to Newcastle and with Eddie Howe’s staff starting to get on extreme early inside the second half, Guardiola’s first change was to alternate the 31-12 months-previous with Bernardo. The distinction was virtually quick. Bernardo’s first involvement was to chase down a misplaced ball and stress Nick Pope proper into a poor kick. A matter of seconds later, the ball was labored again to the Portuguese midfielder through Nathan Ake, Grealish and Haaland to current Bernardo the probability to understand metropolis’s second purpose and kill the sport.

De Bruyne continues to be a stunning participant — he confirmed it with a purpose inside the win at Arsenal — however he is not the major identify on the staff sheet and Guardiola’s decisions between now and the extreme of the season might show it.

three. Newcastle’s season in peril of falling flat

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

Newcastle’s prospects of qualifying for the Champions League had been by no means going to hinge on the outcome on the Etihad however it is now simply one win inside the league since Boxing Day — a 1-zero victory over Fulham due to a ultimate-minute winner after Aleksandar Mitrovic had did not convert a penalty for the Cottagers.

Having spent the majority of the season in third, Newcastle have slipped proper down to fifth inside the desk and have Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool respiratory down their necks as a outcome of the Reds start to recuperate from a disastrous first half of the advertising campaign.

you’d possibly argue that, having flirted with relegation final season, Newcastle have already taken an monumental step forward however there was an alternative to be grabbed with Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham all struggling for consistency. Securing European soccer would imply a very good season nonetheless ends on a extreme however Newcastle ought to discover a win from someplace quickly to get momentum shifting inside the proper path.

best and worst performers

best: Bernardo Silva, MF, Man metropolis: acquired here on inside the sixty fifth minute and two minutes later made the outcome safe with metropolis’s second purpose.

best: Nathan Ake, DF, Man metropolis: involved in Bernardo’s purpose and made a inconceivable block to disclaim Longstaff a sure purpose.

best: Ilkay Gundogan, MF, Man metropolis: saved the ball shifting seamlessly in midfield. metropolis are going to overlook him if he goes inside the summertime when his contract expires.

WORST: Joelinton, MF, Newcastle: Missed the ball fully when supplied with a golden probability to equalise inside the second half.

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

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

Highlights and notable moments

After the match: What the managers and gamers acknowledged

Guardiola, chatting with BT Sport: “Bernardo [Silva] had the vitality to assist us have prolonged possessions or make the possessions longer. He had the vitality to maintain the ball and make the further cross as a outcome of in that second the sport was damaged.

“It was greater for Newcastle. We did not want the sport in transitions so as that is why Bernardo was the idea. it actually works and we acquired so it is great.

“the sport started they usually had been greater, we struggled to assemble up, we made some adjustments through the major half and after the good movement from Phil [Foden], we had the sport in our palms, we did not undergo.

“the major minutes of the second half had been good however then we misplaced the sport and Bernardo helped us to return again. Their risk is simply not a shock, there is a purpose why they had been inside the Carabao Cup ultimate and for heaps of minutes they had been greater than United.

“This staff and this membership inside the subsequent few years shall be a risk for the title.”

Howe: “i assumed we had been properly inside the sport as we converse. It was an identical efficiency to final week the place we had been good inside the sport, very dynamic in our play, aggressive, good with the ball, damage them at instances however might not put that ultimate piece collectively.

“Our plan was to return right here and assault and to try to give our all bodily after which give an alternative to new gamers coming onto the pitch to do the identical. in all probability the one which sticks in my head is Joelinton’s probability at 1-zero. They’re massive moments and everytime you play video games like this it is important to be scientific.”

Key stats (supplied by ESPN Stats & knowledge evaluation)

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

– Bernardo’s purpose for Man metropolis was their 1,000th Premier League house purpose, the sixth staff to understand the milestone inside the rivals (one hundred sixty at Maine highway, 840 on the Etihad).

– Newcastle have solely scored three Premier League targets in 2022 — the backside whole inside the division.

Up subsequent

Manchester metropolis: Guardiola’s males might have every week to recuperate earlier than making the journey to London to face Crystal Palace subsequent Saturday. They then deal with RB Leipzig on the Etihad on Tuesday, March 14, inside the second leg of their Champions League spherical-of-sixteen tie (first leg 1-1), earlier than internet hosting Burnley inside the FA Cup quarterfinals on Saturday, March 18.

Newcastle United: The Magpies’ bid for Champions League soccer badly wants reenergizing, they usually’ll host Wolverhampton Wanderers on March 12. a house victory is a should in the event that they’re to get their advertising campaign again on observe. They finally end up earlier than the worldwide break with a go to to Nottingham Forest on Friday, March 17.


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