Foden’s return to kind helps masks De Bruyne’s troubles


MANCHESTER, England — Manchester City stored up the stress on Arsenal on the high of the Premier League desk with a 2-0 win over Newcastle United on the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

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

It is now 5 video games with out a win in all competitions for Newcastle, whereas Metropolis prolong their unbeaten run to seven.

Fast response

1. Foden continues good kind

Foden has been made to attend for normal video games for the reason that World Cup however, again within the group, he has discovered some kind. His purpose towards Newcastle was Foden at his finest; selecting up the ball within the area on the best, driving previous Joelinton and Gordon into the penalty space and scoring through deflection off Sven Botman. It was tempo, energy and shut management all crammed into 10 seconds.

– Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga & more (U.S.)

We’re on the level of the season when Guardiola begins to consider which gamers are going to start out Metropolis’s large UEFA Champions League knockout video games and Foden is making a superb case for himself. Having admitted he was battling a foot drawback since Christmas, it is now 4 targets in his final three video games — together with two in two within the Premier League.

Erling Haaland is certain to start out the massive video games and Jack Grealish has completed nicely sufficient not too long ago to warrant an everyday place, as nicely. That leaves one place in Guardiola’s conventional entrance three for both Foden or Riyad Mahrez. Foden obtained the nod towards Newcastle and made probably the most of his likelihood to impress.

2. De Bruyne is not undroppable anymore

There was a time when Guardiola would not dream of selecting a group with out Kevin De Bruyne nevertheless it appears to be like like these days are coming to an finish. The Belgian was left on the bench for the 1-0 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur in February and when he wasn’t in a position to journey to the Champions League tie at RB Leipzig due to sickness, it wasn’t the drama it’d as soon as have been.

De Bruyne did not have a superb recreation towards Newcastle and with Eddie Howe’s group beginning to get on high early within the second half, Guardiola’s first change was to switch the 31-year-old with Bernardo. The distinction was virtually instant. Bernardo’s first involvement was to chase down a misplaced ball and pressure Nick Pope right into a poor kick. A matter of seconds later, the ball was labored again to the Portuguese midfielder by means of Nathan Ake, Grealish and Haaland to provide Bernardo the possibility to attain Metropolis’s second purpose and kill the sport.

De Bruyne continues to be an excellent participant — he confirmed it with a purpose within the win at Arsenal — however he is not the primary title on the group sheet and Guardiola’s choices between now and the top of the season would possibly show it.

3. 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 within the Carabao Cup closing will not be the most important disappointment this season if their kind would not enhance.

Newcastle’s possibilities of qualifying for the Champions League had been by no means going to hinge on the end result on the Etihad nevertheless it’s now only one win within the league since Boxing Day — a 1-0 victory over Fulham because of a last-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 all the way down to fifth within the desk and have Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool respiratory down their necks because the Reds start to recuperate from a disastrous first half of the marketing campaign.

You may argue that, having flirted with relegation final season, Newcastle have already taken an enormous step ahead however there was a possibility to be grabbed with Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham all struggling for consistency. Securing European soccer would imply a superb season nonetheless ends on a excessive however Newcastle have to discover a win from someplace quickly to get momentum shifting in the best route.

Greatest and worst performers

BEST: Bernardo Silva, MF, Man Metropolis: Got here on within the sixty fifth minute and two minutes later made the end result protected with Metropolis’s second purpose.

BEST: Nathan Ake, DF, Man Metropolis: Concerned in Bernardo’s purpose and made a unbelievable block to disclaim Longstaff a sure purpose.

BEST: Ilkay Gundogan, MF, Man Metropolis: Stored the ball shifting seamlessly in midfield. Metropolis are going to overlook him if he goes in the summertime when his contract expires.

WORST: Joelinton, MF, Newcastle: Missed the ball utterly when introduced with a golden likelihood to equalise within the second half.

WORST: Kevin De Bruyne, MF, Man Metropolis: It was a nasty day for the Belgian and it was no shock when he was substituted early within 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 mentioned

Guardiola, talking to BT Sport: “Bernardo [Silva] had the power to assist us have lengthy possessions or make the possessions longer. He had the power to maintain the ball and make the additional move as a result of in that second the sport was damaged.

“It was higher for Newcastle. We did not need the sport in transitions in order that’s why Bernardo was the concept. It really works and we gained so it is excellent.

“The sport began and so they had been higher, we struggled to construct up, we made some modifications in the course of the first half and after the sensible motion from Phil [Foden], we had the sport in our fingers, we did not undergo.

“The primary minutes of the second half had been good however then we misplaced the sport and Bernardo helped us to return again. Their risk isn’t a shock, there’s a motive why they had been within the Carabao Cup closing and for lots of minutes they had been higher than United.

“This group and this membership within the subsequent few years will probably be a risk for the title.”

Howe: “I assumed we had been nicely within the recreation at this time. It was an identical efficiency to final week the place we had been good within the recreation, very dynamic in our play, aggressive, good with the ball, harm them at occasions however could not put that closing piece collectively.

“Our plan was to return right here and assault and to try to give our all bodily after which give a possibility to new gamers coming onto the pitch to do the identical. In all probability the one which sticks in my head is Joelinton’s likelihood at 1-0. They’re large moments and once you play video games like this it’s important to be medical.”

Key stats (offered by ESPN Stats & Data analysis)

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

– Bernardo’s purpose for Man Metropolis was their 1,000th Premier League residence purpose, the sixth group to achieve the milestone within the competitors (160 at Maine Highway, 840 on the Etihad).

– Newcastle have solely scored three Premier League targets in 2022 — the bottom complete within the division.

Up subsequent

Manchester Metropolis: Guardiola’s males may have every week to recuperate earlier than making the journey to London to face Crystal Palace subsequent Saturday. They then tackle RB Leipzig on the Etihad on Tuesday, March 14, within the second leg of their Champions League round-of-16 tie (first leg 1-1), earlier than internet hosting Burnley within the FA Cup quarterfinals on Saturday, March 18.

Newcastle United: The Magpies’ bid for Champions League soccer badly wants reenergizing, and they’re going to host Wolverhampton Wanderers on March 12. A house victory is a should if they’re to get their marketing campaign again on monitor. They end up earlier than the worldwide break with a visit to Nottingham Forest on Friday, March 17.