- Aguero nets thrice
- Bags second half PK
- City table lead at 12 points
- Newcastle two points clear of 18th
Sergio Aguero scored three times to continue his mastery of Newcastle United as Manchester City bounced back to post a 3-1 win at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
Jacob Murphy scored a second half goal to pull Newcastle to within one before Aguero finished his second hat trick of the season. The Argentine scored three and posted an assist against Watford on Sept. 16.
The win gives Man City 65 points, 12 more than second place Manchester United, and improves their goal differential to 51.
Newcastle sits 15th with 23 points.
[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]
Newcastle high-pressed to start, and troubled Ederson was happy to see Oleksandar Zinchenko defy a Christian Atsu cross in the first 90 seconds.
The Magpies had a 3-5-2 which was five at the back when City had the ball (which was often). Leroy Sane seemed most poised to trigger a City goal, but it remained scoreless after a quarter hour.
Raheem Sterling scored an offside goal to complete a lightning counter attack, with David Silva‘s splendid pass denied an assist by the linesman’s rightly raised flag.
Silva was fouled on the edge of the 18, and Kevin De Bruyne presided over a dangerous free kick from the right only to rifled the ball over the goal.
Newcastle backstop Karl Darlow made a save a moment before City went ahead, as Aguero just deflected — we’re talking hair not head — a De Bruyne cross home.
Darlow made a fine save on De Bruyne in the 40th minute, and another just before the break as Newcastle limited the damage to 1-0.
[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]
[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]
City again had trouble coming through Newcastle’s tight defense, and Isaac Hayden stopped a promising pass from Sane in the 61st minute.
Paul Tierney awarded a penalty to City in the 62nd minute when Raheem Sterling dove under a Javier Manquillo challenge, and Aguero placed a perfect penalty past a correctly guessing Darlow.
Murphy then got his first goal for his club on the counter, chipping Ederson after a seeing-eye pass from Ciaran Clark put the ex-Norwich man 1v1 with the goalkeeper.
Darlow denied Sterling with an outstanding diving save after Sane’s terrific cross was turned toward the Magpies’ goal.
Newcastle could’ve had it at 2-2 when Ederson stopped Mo Diame’s hard shot but spilled the ball back to the Magpies, only to save Ayoze Perez’s rebound work.
De Bruyne and Aguero both missed curling far post efforts in bids to restore the two-goal cushion. Aguero completed his hat trick thanks to a terrific Sane assist in the 83rd minute.