Manchester City picked up the pieces from a midweek meltdown in the Champions League to put its Premier League hopes right with a 5-0 win over Newcastle United at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
It was close to perfect as City looked no worse for the wear in search of an eighth top-flight title.
Raheem Sterling scored twice and Aymeric Laporte scored early in a game Newcastle just didn’t have the wherewithal to get back in the game. Rodri added a goal at the hour mark and Phil Foden in the 90th minute City as out-attempted Newcastle 21-7.
City improves to 86 points, three more than second-place Liverpool. The reigning Premier League champions now hold a goal differential lead of four with three matches left for both teams. City’s now scored the most goals (88) and allowed the fewest (21) in the Premier League this season.
Newcastle’s top-half hopes take a hit with the loss, and the Magpies’ 43 points have them 13th. Newcastle has played as many or more games than the other four teams within two points of each other between 10th and 14th.
Man City vs Newcastle final score, stats
Man City 5, Newcastle United 0
Scorers: Sterling (19′, 90’+2), Laporte (38′), Rodri (61′), Foden (90′)
Shot attempts: Man City 21, Newcastle 7
Shots on goal: Man City 9, Newcastle 3
Possession: Man City 72, Newcastle 28
Three things we learned from Man City vs Newcastle
1. Back to business: Before the game, Pep Guardiola said that City’s players’ moods had largely improved since their late capitulation to Real Madrid at the Bernabeu. That was pretty clear over 90 minutes at the Etihad, as few Newcastle players other than Allan Saint-Maximin seemed to put City off balance. Liverpool’s draw with Tottenham opens the door wider for City’s possible fourth Premier League title in five years, something that’s only been done by one team in the last 40 years (Manchester United, thrice).
2. “What if” for Newcastle? While City didn’t look wobbly, we didn’t get to chance to see how it would react to going down early but we might’ve had Chris Wood done what he’s generally expected to do with a cross right to his dome. It’s difficult to say Newcastle could’ve done much better with their 2022 than it has, but the club is now getting Callum Wilson and Kieran Trippier back — they came off the bench Sunday to end long injury spells — and still could finish top half on the table. A win or point against City would’ve sent another loud signal to the league post-takeover.
3. Kevin De Bruyne close to his best: Not one, not two, but six key passes later, Newcastle is going to be thrilled to see the back of Kevin De Bruyne for a few months. KDB got an assist off a corner kick and generally pulled the strings like few others have managed this season.
Man of the Match: Rodri — Got another goal and racked up another 100 or so touches while passing well and marshalling the midfield.