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Newcastle United 3-4 Manchester City: 5 talking points as Ferran Torres stars for the champions | Premier League 2020-21 

Ume Elvis
ANALYST

#3 Fringe Manchester City players fail to cover themselves in glory

Manchester City rested several key players
Manchester City rested several key players

Manchester City have one of the most complete squads in the world, and it stands to reason that competition for places is extremely tough.

With the club having played out one of the most grueling and jam-packed campaigns in modern history this term, Pep Guardiola was understandably keen to give some of his most-used players a rest.

At this point, all attention has turned to the final of the UEFA Champions League and who is likely to take to the field in Portugal.

Some names like Ruben Dias, Ilkay Gundogan and Kevin de Bruyne are sure to start the biggest game in the club's history provided that they are fit.

However, few positions could still be up for grabs, and this game against Newcastle United gave some fringe players an opportunity to sway the pendulum in their favor.

But that failed to happen as, with the exception of Ferran Torres, nobody else did enough to force Guardiola's hand against Chelsea in a fortnight.

Previous stalwarts like Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus have found themselves out of favor in recent months. They did nothing to boost their chances of forcing their way back into the reckoning for the Champions League final.

#2 Is the striker-less system the future for Manchester City?

Gabriel Jesus was upstaged by Ferran Torres for Manchester City
Gabriel Jesus was upstaged by Ferran Torres for Manchester City

Manchester City have largely thrived without a recognized center-forward for most of the season owing to a long-term injury to Sergio Aguero, and Pep Guardiola seemingly does not have full trust in Gabriel Jesus.

At different points in the campaign, traditional midfielders like De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva and Gundogan were all charged with leading the line, and they discharged their duties with minimal fuss despite the role change.

Guardiola deployed Gabriel Jesus to lead the line against Newcastle. However, the Brazil international did not take the chance and was instead upstaged by Ferran Torres, another unorthodox center-forward who has led the line on occasion.

It remains to be seen what the future holds for Manchester City post-Aguero, but the club have been linked with stellar names like those of Harry Kane and Erling Haaland.

Regardless, the striker-less system once again came to the fore against Newcastle, even in the presence of a traditional center-forward.

#1 Ferran Torres steps up to the plate for Manchester City

Ferran Torres scored his first career hat-trick
Ferran Torres scored his first career hat-trick

Big things were expected from Ferran Torres as he progressed through the Valencia academy to the first team. Fans of the club even dubbed him as the torch-bearer of the future.

However, Los Che were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Coupled with disastrous boardroom decisions, this meant that they had to embark on a selling spree last summer.

Manchester City pounced and bought Ferran Torres for the frankly ridiculous sum of £21 million.

The 21-year-old showed his ability when given a chance, particularly in the Champions League where he scored in his first three appearances for his new club.

Chances have been few and far between owing to the intense competition for places, but a raft of injuries have increased his playing time in recent weeks.

The Spain international gave a man-of-the-match display against Newcastle United, and his killer instincts in front of goal were on full display as he scored his first career hat-trick.

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Edited by Rachel Syiemlieh
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