While Manchester City might have faced a real potential banana skin on Saturday lunchtime, the Sky Blues claimed a deserved 2-0 victory against Newcastle.
Briefly closing Arsenal’s buffer at the top of the Premier League table to just two points, it was Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva who guided City to their third consecutive domestic win as Guardiola’s midfield duo found the net on either side of the half-time break.
Although Guardiola’s side might have been left heartbroken as they had to watch on as the Gunners snatched a remarkable last-gasp winner against Bournemouth later in the day, the former Barcelona boss should be excited by a rugged display here.
Simply trying to keep the pressure on a high-flying Arsenal, Saturday’s 2-0 victory also could also prove to be a costly blow in Newcastle’s bid to claim a top-four finish this season.
Suffering a 2-0 loss against Manchester United last weekend as they traveled to Wembley for this year’s EFL Cup final, the Magpies have now lost each of their last three showdowns against Premier League opposition.
In what was an enjoyable meeting from the Etihad on Saturday lunchtime, we have taken a look at the key talking points.
City extend on their Etihad romp
Opening their Champions League knockout stage adventure on February 22nd with a 1-1 draw away at RB Leipzig, Guardiola has had a headache over his side’s worrying inconsistencies away from the Etihad.
However, although the defending Premier League champions might still close the weekend chasing a five-point deficit, the former Barcelona boss has only seen his side extend on quite the purple patch on home soil.
Overcoming a Newcastle squad that are still dreaming of the chance to claim a famous top-four ticket, the Sky Blues have now won each of their six domestic showdowns at the Etihad since opening the New Year.
With that run highlighted by their remarkable second-half comeback against Tottenham on January 19th as they eventually claimed a 4-2 victory, Guardiola’s superstars have also suffered just a single defeat in front of their supporters so far this season.
Racking up 17 strikes on that six-match winning run at the Etihad and underlining their dominance on Saturday lunchtime, City will now be desperate to find a similar level when away from the Etihad.
Foden back to his best
Although Foden might have been one of the main talking points as England reached the World Cup quarter-finals during the winter, Manchester City’s homegrown superstar had largely found himself on the outside looking in over recent weeks.
However, although Foden might have stated publically following City’s 3-0 FA Cup victory away at Bristol City earlier in the week, it appears that the 22-year-old is getting back to his tantalizing best.
With Guardiola making it clear that the English ace has a key role in City’s bid to defend their Premier League crown this season, Foden certainly put in a standout display here as he opened the scoring after just 15 minutes.
Now starting in each of City’s last four appearances across all formats, the 22-cap international has also found quite the clinical edge.
Along with bagging an FA Cup brace away at Ashton Gate earlier a few days ago, Foden has now notched four strikes in just his last three outings over the past week.
Newcastle’s post-World Cup issues continue
While Newcastle might have gained a string of plaudits under Eddie Howe before heading off for the World Cup’s winter break, the Magpies have come somewhat crashing back down to earth over the past couple of months.
Suffering EFL Cup heartbreak against Manchester United last weekend as they made their first trip to Wembley in 24 years, Howe’s side have now lost each of their last three meetings against Premier League opposition – their worst run of the season so far.
Although Newcastle might have marked their return from the Winter break with their sights set on snatching a famous Champions League ticket, the former Bournemouth boss has remarkably seen his squad record a single victory from their previous eight top-flight appearances.
With that run stemming all the way back to a 3-0 win against Leicester on Boxing Day, the Magpies have also shown some extended issues in the final third.
Now facing what appears to be a real uphill struggle in their bid to claim a top-four finish, Newcastle have now drawn a blank in each of their previous three consecutive defeats.
Manchester City: Ederson, Walker, Akanji, Dias, Ake, Rodri, Gundogan, Foden, De Bruyne, Grealish, Haaland
Newcastle: Pope, Trippierl Lascelles, Botman, Burn, Joelinton, Guimaraes, Longstaff, Almiron, Wilson, Gordon
Subs: Isak, Targett, Willock, Saint-Maximin, Murphy
Goals: Foden (15′), Silva (67′)
Yellow Cards: Manchester City: Haaland, Ake – Newcastle: Joelinton, Burn, Lascelles
Red Cards: N/A
Referee: Simon Hooper