Premier League 2018-19, Manchester City 2-1 Newcastle United: 5 talking points
It wasn’t quite as easy as some fans were expecting, but in the end, Manchester City were able to get the job done against a dogged Newcastle United side.
The champions took the lead early on through a Raheem Sterling goal, only for the Magpies to peg them back with what was their only shot on goal in the first half – a first Premier League strike from DeAndre Yedlin.
City bossed the game but it looked like they could end the afternoon frustrated, only for Kyle Walker to save the day with his first goal for Manchester City – a rasping right-footed drive from 30 yards. Here are five talking points from the game.
#1 Suicidal defending costs Newcastle dearly
After Newcastle’s ultra-defensive tactics last week almost allowed them to snatch a point away from Chelsea, it came as no surprise that Rafael Benitez came into this game with a similar gameplan – setting up in a 4-5-1 formation to attempt to stifle City.
The only problem with an ultra-defensive gameplan though is that you have to be absolutely watertight – especially early on – for it to work. And here that simply wasn’t the case as Jamaal Lascelles’ weak pass was intercepted by Benjamin Mendy, who then played Raheem Sterling through to open the scoring after just eight minutes.
Sure, the Magpies then defended doggedly for the rest of the game and managed to stifle City to the point where it took a real moment of magic to pull off the win, but had it not been for Lascelles’ piece of suicidal defending, they could well have stolen away the point that they missed against Chelsea through largely bad luck.
Essentially, it’s no good being ultra-defensive if you then allow a side as good as Manchester City to have such an easy chance early on. The goal put Newcastle on the back foot massively and yet it could easily have been avoided.