Kyle Walker’s stunning 25-yard strike preserved Manchester City’s perfect home record this season as they overcame a defiant Newcastle side.
After Liverpool beat Leicester in the early kick off, City knew they had to win to keep pace with their main title rivals at the top of the table.
Wing-back Walker was the match-winner with his first goal for the Cityzens; picking the ball up 30 yards out before stepping forward and firing a low shot across the goal and into the far corner of the net.
Pep Guardiola’s men forced the issue from the word go as Newcastle rather predictably set up to defend as one at the home of the champions.
And it didn’t take long for the hosts to make the breakthrough. Raheem Sterling received the ball from the impressive Benjamin Mendy and curled his effort brilliantly passed a despairing Martin Dubravka in the Newcastle goal.
City coasted to the title last season and smashed records left, right and centre in doing so, but early indications suggest that their quest to claim back-to-back triumphs will be much more testing. And it showed.
Despite having a host of chances, City were unusually wasteful and were made to pay when loanee Salomon Rondon teed up DeAndre Yedlin who to stroked the ball home for the equaliser before the break.
Such was Newcastle’s defending, though, it proved to be their only shot on target in the match and Rafael Benitez’s side, who have just one point from their first four games, find themselves sitting in the relegation zone.
It was a strangely quiet afternoon for Sergio Agüero who saw numerous chances pass him by. The Argentine, who had scored 14 goals in 11 appearances against the Toon Army before the match, did however contribute to the win when he laid the ball off for Walker’s winner.
After the international break, City welcome Fulham to the Etihad Stadium in what should be a routine win for the Champions. However, Newcastle were supposed to roll over at their feet and proved otherwise, and after showing spirit coupled with some brilliant attacking football since returning to the top flight, the London-based club will be another tough challenge. I’d back City to do it, though.
Man of the Match – David Silva
With a pass completion rate of 88%, the Spaniard ran the show at The Etihad yet again. It wasn’t quite the masterclass that saw Huddersfield dismantled a fortnight ago, but the diminutive magician was at the heart of everything positive about City’s play.
With time to rest before the visit of newly-promoted Fulham after retiring from Spain duty, Silva will be fresh to go again and with Kevin De Bruyne ruled out with injury, Guardiola will look to him to spearhead his side’s lethal attack once more.