Match report: Newcastle United 3-4 Manchester City
Louise Taylor was lucky enough to have a seat on a chaotic white-knuckle ride at St James’ Park. Here’s how she saw the action unfold …
Pep Guardiola speaks …
“We play against 10 players in the box, they defend so deep,” he says to the BBC. “They are so, so fast on the counter. A tough opponent. Even with that we attacked good in the pockets but we conceded three goals in set pieces and we have to improve that.”
On Scott Carson’s debut: ““We are incredibly happy for him,” he says. “He is an important player for us. He is a real leader and today was an exceptional day to let him play.”
On his hat-trick hero Ferran Torres: ““Incredible numbers and goals in his first season in the Premier League,” says Pep. “He is so young and clinical. He is a guy brought as a winger but maybe we have to think as a striker. He is a good player.”
Steve Bruce speaks …
“We gave it a right good go but when you play against these, defensively you have to be better than what we were,” he tells Sky Sports. “The sloppiness of a couple of goals is the disappointment of the whole evening for me. I mean, how often do you score three against this mob? Not very often. So, the disappointing thing is we were a bit naive and our defending had to be a bit better at times. But for the way the went about their work I was delighted with them but we sweren’t quite good enough.
“Overall our attacking play was good on the counter attack and we just weren’t quite good enough on the night. The biggest compliment I can pay them is that it’s difficult to set up against them. There are large periods where you don’t get a kick because they’re so good in possession.”
Ferran Torres speaks: ““It has been an incredible week,” he says through a translator in an interview with Sky Sports. “We qualified for the Champions League, won the Premier League and I scored a hat-trick. I am very happy.
“I try to improve day by day and also try to learn from my team-mates and my manager. I try to keep improving and getting ready for the Champions League final.”
Manchester CIty: record-breakers. Pep’s side have become the first team in the top four tiers of English football to win 12 consecutive league games away from home.
A quick match recap: Where to start? At the beginnning, of course. Emile Krafth headed the hosts in front from a corner, their first assault on goal after being dominated for the opening 25 minutes.
Newcastle were unlucky not to double their lead when Jonjo Shelvey thumped a free-kick off the woodwork, but soon found themselves behind after Joao Cancelo and Ferran Torres scored in quick succession. Just before half-time, Joelinton restored parity for Newcastle after VAR interceded to give them a thoroughly deserved penalty for a Nathan Ake foul on the Brazailian.
Newcastle won another penalty in the second half for a Kyle Walker foul on Joe Willock, who pulled rank on Joelinton and took the spot-kick. It was saved by surprise debutant Scott Carson but Willock was quickest to the follow up and put his side ahead again. Newcastle’s hopes of victory were cruelly dashed by another two sublime strikes from Ferran Torres, who scored his first Premier League hat-trick and walked off with the match ball.
Full-time: Newcastle United 3-4 Manchester City
Peep! Peep! Peeeeeeeeeep! Kevin Friend brings a surprisingly excellent game of football to an end with three shrill blasts on his whistle. Manchester City, the champions, have taken all three points but were made to fight every inch of the way by a Newcastle side who were outstanding on the evening, regardless of whatever negative spin their fans might put on the performance. Yes, they lost … but ultimately it was City’s vastly superior quality that got them over the line.
90+4 min: Raheem Sterling tries to thread the ball in behind for Torres to chase. It’s blocked.
90+3 min: Joe Willock lofts the ball into the City penalty area, from where it’s cleared.
90+2 min: City corner. Ilkay Gundogan’s inswinger is plucked from the air by Martin Dubravka.
90+1 min: Nathan Ake rounds off a fairly dismal night at the office by cantering up the left with the ball , attempting a pass inside and giving the ball away directly in front of his manager. Pep throws his arms up in the air in exasperation.
89 min: Torres breaks clear of Almiron and smashes a shot against Jonjo Shelvey.
88 min: Sean Longstaff concedes a free-kick halfway inside his own half. Manchester City square the ball, rather than lofting it into the Newcastle penalty area. Boo!
87 min: Manchester City continue passing the ball around amongst themselves, not giving any Newcastle player a sniff. Benjamin Mendy, it is, who eventually loses possession. Newcastle substitution: Dwight Gayle on for Federico Fernandez.
85 min: Well, 3min 34sec, to be more precise. Newcastle substitutions: Sean Longstaff and Jamal Lewis on for Matt Ritchie and Joelinton.
82 min: Manchester City are playing keep-ball – no Newcastle player has touched it in more than three minutes.
78 min: There are plenty of Newcastle fans who are prepared to give Steve Bruce no credit whatsoever for anything that goes right for Newcastle, but he deserves plenty or his tactics tonight. He knew his side would have to do plenty of defending but they’ve clearly been instructed to try and win the ball deep inside their own half and counter-attack as quickly as possible.
Even though they’re losing, that policy has been remarkably successful and yielded great dividends: a corner that led to a goal, two penalties that led to goals and a free-kick that led to Jonjo Shelvey hitting the post, among other dangerous attacks. Thomas Tuchel will be watching with interest.
76 min: Another brilliant counter-attack from Newcastle. Almiron sprints from inside his own half to the edge of the City penalty area with the ball at his feet and tries to thread it in behind for Joelinton who is up in support. Nathan Ake stands his ground and interrcepts.
73 min: Having fallen behind again, equalised again and gone ahead again, Manchester City seem to have finally taken control. Or have they? Newcastle attack again and Joe Willock shanks the ball badly high and wide from a tight angle when perhaps he should have squared it instead.
69 min: And breathe. There’s a break in play as Joao Cancelo gets treatment for an injury after a collision with Joelinton.
GOAL! Newcastle United 3-4 Manchester City (Torres 66)
Torres gets his hat-trick. He pivots on one foot and smashes home the kind of volley Mark Hughes in his pomp would have been proud of from ten yards. He was quickest to react after Joao Cancelo had smashed an effort from distance off the woodwork and his finish was sublime.
GOAL! Newcastle United 3-3 Manchester City (Torres 64)
City equalise! An unmarked Ferran Torres stabs home his second of the night on the half volley from the edge of the six-yard box, converting a cross from Gabriel Jesus.
63 min: Having won the penalty, Joe Willock decided he wanted to take it despite minor protests from Joelinton. Having won the argument, his effort was saved by Scott Carson. Willock was quickest to react and slotted home on the follow-up.
GOAL! Newcastle United 3-2 Manchester City (Willock 62 min)
Newcastle are ahead. Joe Willock puts his side aherad … but only just!
PENALTY FOR NEWCASTLE!
Another Newcastle counter-attack and they win another penalty. Willock was tripped by Kyle Walker as he cut into the left side of the penalty area.
59 min: Jonjo Shelvey is booked for a cynical shove in the back on Ferran Torres as the City winger tried to give him the slip. Free-kick for City, wide on the left in line with the edge of the penalty area. Bernardo Silva’s delivery is caught by Martin Dubravka, who immediately tries to send Willock on his way.
57 min: Joe WIllock wins another corner for Newcastle after having a shot blocked by Torres. Willock’s chance arose when he beat Ake to a delivery from the right and found himself with a clean sight of goal. Manchester City’s Dutch defender is having a very torrid evening.
56 min: Joao Cancelo is penalised for dragging on the arm of Jacob Murphy as the Newcastle winger tried to get away from him. Cancelo kicks the ball away in frustration and is promptly booked by referee Kevin Friend.
55 min: Carson gets down to save a low diagonal effort from Jacob Murphy. There wasn’t much power behind it but it was on target.
54 min: Ritchie’s delivery is sublime but there’s nobody on hand to turn the ball home. Manchester City clear their lines, eventually.
53 min: Newcastle win a corner, Ake putting the ball out and coming perilously close to conceding another penalty as he challenged Almiron for the ball.
51 min: Murphy concedes another free-kick, clipping Cancelo wide on the left a long way from goal. The ball’s squared to Walker, who plays a pass from deep towards the inside left area. Saint-Maximin ferrets away to win possession from Gundogan, who fouls him. Free-kick for Newcastle, deep inside their own half.
49 min: Gundogan whips the ball towards the far post and it fizzes out for a corner off Matt Ritchie. Nothing comes of the set piece.
48 min: After a period of City pressure, Gabriel Jesus is tripped by Jacob Murphy just outside the Newcastle penalty area, on the left edge.
47 min: Joe Willock does well to square the ball from the right under pressure but his delivery is too close to Scott Carson, who gathers and sends Manchester City on their way.
Second half: Newcastle United 2-2 Manchester City
46 min: Play resumes with Manchester City kicking off. There are no changes in personnel on either side but Manchester City have a heck of a lot more quality on their bench than Newcastle do on theirs.
Half-time: Newcastle United 2-2 Manchester City
Peep! Well, that was fun. It’s level at the break after a very entertaining opening 45 minutes. Newcastle broke the deadlock with their first effort of the game, Emile Krafth scoring from a corner won from an excellent counter-attack.
They almost doubled their lead when Jonjo Shelvey thumped a free-kick off the cross-bar, only for City to respond with a quick-fire double courtesy of a deflected Joao Cancelo shot followed by an audacious flick from Ferran Torres.
The last word of the half went to Newcastle, however, with Joelinton winning and scoring a penalty that was awarded on the back of yet another excellent attack on the break from the home side.
GOAL! Newcastle 2-2 Manchester City (Joelinton 45+5pen)
Joelinton scores! There’s no fairytale for Scott Carson as Joelinton spanks the ball into the corner with considerable vigour. It’s all square.