By Andy Hampson, PA
Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva struck as Manchester City maintained their pursuit of Premier League leaders Arsenal with a hard-fought 2-0 win over Newcastle.
Foden opened the scoring at the Etihad Stadium after a superb run before Silva came off the bench to secure the points from a feisty encounter in the second half.
Foden’s brilliant 15th-minute effort, albeit coming with the aid of a deflection, gave the champions a deserved interval lead but Newcastle, looking to get back to winning ways after a poor run, fought back.
🔵 2-0 ⚫️ #ManCity pic.twitter.com/D0MnjbydiK
— Manchester City (@ManCity) March 4, 2023
The Magpies were the dominant side in the early period of the second half and it took the arrival of Silva, who scored within moments of coming on, to settle City’s nerves in the 67th minute.
His strike took the sting out of Newcastle’s game and what has been a fine campaign continues to look like it is running out of steam.
As well as losing last week’s Carabao Cup final, Eddie Howe’s side have now gone five Premier League games without a win.
Yet as Newcastle tire, Foden appears to be getting going.
The England midfielder has endured a frustrating few months since the World Cup due to injury and illness but he has now scored four goals in the past three outings.
He stamped his authority on this game after City had already gone close with Ilkay Gundogan heading over from a Jack Grealish cross.
Newcastle had also begun positively with Anthony Gordon, making his first start for the club, getting an early look at goal but Kyle Walker prevented him getting a shot away.
Foden made his mark when he took a Rodri pass in his stride and cut inside from the right before jinking his way through the area. He enjoyed a slice of luck as his shot took a nick off Sven Botman and beat Nick Pope but the goal was nevertheless the work of a man back in form.
⏱ Defeat at the Etihad Stadium.#MCINEW // #NUFC pic.twitter.com/xdqMMsx7s6
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) March 4, 2023
Newcastle threatened an immediate equaliser but Nathan Ake produced a fine challenge on Sean Longstaff.
Further pressure from City saw Kevin De Bruyne and Foden have shots blocked before Erling Haaland, who was well marked by Newcastle, headed wide.
The visitors pieced together a good move before the interval and Kieran Trippier headed down a cross into the path of Callum Wilson but the striker miskicked in front of goal.
Newcastle upped the tempo after the break and enjoyed a good spell of pressure but were unable to make it count.
Joelinton fluffed a good chance and Ederson saved at the feet of Alexander Isak, who had joined the fray along with Allan Saint-Maximin and Joe Willock in a triple attacking substitution.
At this point City boss Pep Guardiola decided to make a change himself and it paid immediate dividends with Silva pouncing barely two minutes after replacing De Bruyne.
Grealish made a cutting run towards the Newcastle area and Haaland laid off for Silva to rifle home first time from the edge of the area.
Newcastle’s frustration after what had been a period in the ascendancy soon became evident as a melee broke out after Dan Burn hauled down Grealish.
Burn and Haaland were both booked for their involvement but City had weathered the storm and comfortably held on for victory.