Manchester City 2-0 Newcastle United: 5 Talking Points as Cityzens cruise to victory | Premier League 2020-21 

Manchester City defeated Newcastle United 2-0
Manchester City defeated Newcastle United 2-0
Ume Elvis

Goals in each half from Ilkay Gundogan and Ferran Torres helped Manchester City to a comfortable 2-0 victory over Newcastle United at the Etihad Stadium in the Premier League on Boxing Day.

The hosts came into this clash on the back of a convincing 4-1 victory away to Arsenal in the League Cup quarterfinal. They kept their momentum going with another win here.

On what was a very wet and windy night, Manchester City needed just 14 minutes to go ahead. Some excellent work in the box by Raheem Sterling allowed him to cut back for Gundogan to tap into an empty net.

The hosts ramped up the pressure for the rest of the first half but Newcastle hung on for dear life to ensure that they went into break just one goal behind.

The second half began the way the first ended and it was only a matter of time before City got their second and it came through Torres, with the former Valencia man scoring from close range after a defensive mix-up in the Newcastle box.

Sergio Aguero replaced the Spaniard with 15 minutes to go and the Manchester City record goalscorer was bright in his cameo and had a penalty shout waved off.

The win sees Pep Guardiola's side climb up to 5th on the Premier League table. We shall be having a rundown of five talking points from the fixture.

#5 Manchester City cruise to victory without entering second gear

Manchester City were comfortable throughout the night
Manchester City were comfortable throughout the night

Steve Bruce set Newcastle up to be ultra-defensive with a five-man defense protected by a conservative midfield.

Their game plan was clear from the onset, with the Magpies set up to frustrate the hosts, while offering next to nothing in attack.

It took just 14 minutes for the plan to be defeated but despite going behind, Newcastle maintained their defensive shape and very rarely progressed beyond the middle of the field.

This made the job much easier for Manchester City and their defensive highline ensured that their opponents were kept pressed in their own half of the field.

The hosts' total possession of 76% tells its own story but the fact that Newcastle were content to sit back and absorb the pressure meant that the Cityzens did not have to exert themselves order to get the victory.

By the time Steve Bruce made some offensive changes, with Dwight Gayle and Andy Carroll coming on, it was already too late for the Magpies.

#4 Goals still come at a premium for Manchester City

Olympique de Marseille v Manchester City: Group C - UEFA Champions League
Olympique de Marseille v Manchester City: Group C - UEFA Champions League

Manchester City, under Pep Guardiola, have been transformed into a goalscoring machine, with their zenith coming in the centurion season when they scored a record-breaking 106 goals.

Even in the 2019-20 season, which was considered a relative failure, the Mancunians still managed to score 102 goals, which was 17 more than what champions Liverpool managed.

This season has, however, seen the club depart from the norm and they currently struggle to score goals, which is worrying, considering the vast attacking talent on display in the side.

So far, Manchester City have scored just 21 goals from their 14 Premier League games, while they have scored more than two goals in a single game on just two occasions.

By contrast, at this same stage last season, they had scored 37 goals and had failed to score two or more goals on just two occasions.

More worrying for Guardiola is the fact that his side are creating chances but have not been clinical enough to convert them.

The absence of Aguero through injury has undoubtedly played a part, while the departures of Leroy Sane and David Silva also robbed the club of some creativity in the final third but that does not excuse the fact that 10 teams have currently outscored the 2019 champions.

As long as Manchester City keep winning games, this might not be an issue but their current position of 5th can somewhat be correlated to their struggles in front of goal and Guardiola has to find a way to ensure that the goals start flowing again.

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Edited by S Chowdhury
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