Newcastle United 0 Manchester City 4
- Martin Atkinson
Newcastle United were beaten 4-0 by reigning Premier League champions Manchester City on Sunday afternoon.
Ruben Dias nodded in an early opener for City after Newcastle switched off at the back, with Joao Cancelo adding a spectacular second before the half-hour mark.
United saw a strong appeal for a penalty turned down when Ryan Fraser was felled by Ederson, but Pep Guardiola’s men never really looked in danger of relinquishing their advantage, with further goals from Riyad Mahrez and Raheem Sterling making sure of the points after the break.
Dias’ opener came after just five minutes, and it was dreadful goal for Eddie Howe’s side to concede. Oleksandr Zinchenko clipped a ball over the United backline and Cancelo hooked the ball back across goal. Neither goalkeeper Martin Dúbravka or defender Ciaran Clark made a move to claim or clear the ball, though, leaving Portuguese centre back Dias with the simple task of heading home from close range.
Dúbravka was equal to Cancelo’s well-struck drive soon after and it took the hosts some time to feel their way into the contest. Joelinton started a quick counter-attack which brought some good work from Jacob Murphy and Miguel Almirón down the right, with the energetic Brazilian – in another hard-working display in midfield – catching up with play to drive a low shot just wide of the target.
But with 26 minutes gone, Newcastle’s task became even bigger. It was a terrific individual effort from Cancelo, whose marauding run forward took him past Joe Willock and to the edge of the United box. Isaac Hayden’s untimely slip presented him with an opening and he took it, planting a fine strike past Dúbravka and into the top left-hand corner of the net.
Howe and his side were aggrieved moments later as they were denied what looked to be a good shout for a penalty. Fraser looked to scamper onto a long ball into the box with goalkeeper Ederson also in pursuit. But when Cancelo swiped the ball away from his goalkeeper at the last minute, he ended up clattering into Scottish winger Fraser, bringing him down with the ball long gone. Referee Martin Atkinson was unmoved, though, with no penalty awarded despite a VAR check.
Gabriel Jesus fired wide at the other end and, after the restart, had an even better opportunity. Bernardo Silva nodded Cancelo’s cross back across goal and into his path and the Brazilian frontman headed goalwards, only for Dúbravka to produce a sensational save to divert it over the crossbar.
Newcastle had introduced Allan Saint-Maximin from the bench at half time, but still it was Guardiola’s men who posed the biggest threat in attack. Sterling tested Dúbravka with a swerving shot but it took VAR’s help to move City further ahead. Zinchenko’s whipped cross was dispatched on the volley by the otherwise quiet Mahrez, with the offside flag raised. After a relatively quick check, the assistant referee’s decision was overturned, handing City a three-goal lead.
The Algerian’s goal seemed to dampen United’s hopes of a comeback, although Callum Wilson did force a fine save from Ederson with a powerful header after Fraser’s cross picked him out in the middle. Saint-Maximin fired over soon after but that was as promising as it got for Howe’s side, who went further behind when Sterling tapped in Jesus’ cross to complete the scoring inside the final ten minutes.