Manchester City continue to hold their own in the Premier League: On Saturday evening, a minimalist home victory against Newcastle United was enough for the champions. Erling Haaland threatened to despair in the process.
Fourth competitive game, third win, third in a row: Manchester City are slowly gathering momentum in the season after winning the treble. The reigning English champions beat Newcastle United, who had been furious in their opening 5-1 thrashing of Aston Villa, 1-0. To keep themselves unblemished in the league, Pep Guardiola had reshuffled his team in two positions compared to the Super Cup penalty shootout win over Sevilla FC: Ruben Dias started for Aké, Alvarez for goalscorer Palmer.
One of those changes was to pay dividends before the break. After a poor first half hour, in which Newcastle had started bravely, a moment of carelessness in the Magpies’ back line was enough for the home side, who did not really look lively: Foden fed Alvarez on the half-right in the penalty area, who chased the ball into the left corner (31st). Haaland almost added to his tally before the break, but the ball was just wide of the goal (41st).
Haaland lacks match luck
Newcastle had a single opportunity, which Gordon cancelled out himself with a technical foul (45.+2). After the second half, the home side wanted to make the decision – but Haaland did not have the necessary luck: The Norwegian first missed by inches, before Pope prevented the impact with a great foot reflex (63., 65.). The Norwegian was full of gestures.
In the final quarter of an hour, ManCity dropped deeper in order to possibly bring about the decision through a counterattack. Guardiola’s team nipped this plan in the bud with inaccuracies. Only Foden, who harmonised well with Haaland, came really close to a 2-0 lead and was then set up by the Norwegian – but Pope again put his foot out (89th). So it remained a close but deserved victory for the champions. It was the 17th in a row (!) at the Etihad.
ManCity face Sheffield United next Sunday at 3pm. Newcastle, meanwhile, are rushing from one top game to the next: two and a half hours after City’s performance, the Magpies host Liverpool FC.