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Season 2019-20
Manchester City (a) Premier League


Wednesday 8th July 2020, 6.00pm.
Live on BT Sports

 Etihad Stadium.

Conditions: Pathetic.
Programme: Free downloadable digital version.


Manchester City


5 - 0




10 mins Joao Cancelo found Phil Foden down the left and he played in Silva inside the box. Valentino Lazaro failed to go with Silva and the Spaniard had plenty of time to pull the ball back for Gabriel Jesus to side-foot past Martin Dubravka. In the absence of any fans, Newcastle's defence played the role of spectators....0-1

21 mins Lazaro tried to keep the ball in but simply presented it to the home side who took no time in replicating the opening goal. This time it was Kevin De Bruyne who pulled the ball back for Riyad Mahrez to sweep home. 0-2

Half time: Citizens 2 Magpies 0

58 mins Jesus jinked into the box and just when he seemed certain to score, Matt Ritchie nipped the ball off his toe only for it to deflect of Fernandez into the net. Ritchie's clearance was going out for a corner so the own goal belongs to the Argentinean. 0-3

65 mins Joelinton fouled Raheem Sterling on the edge of the area and David Silva slotted in a textbook free kick, although the visirting and goalkeeper had seemingly lost their textbook, giving Silva almost an open goal. No wonder he was in a hurry to take it. 0-4

90+1 mins Bentaleb passed the ball straight to Silva in central midfield and he sauntered into the United box before laying the ball to Raheem Sterling, who stroked it past Dubravka into the far corner. 0-5

Full time: Citizens 5 Magpies 0

We Said

Steve Bruce:

"We've not got our flip flops on. We were down to the bare bones, but despite that I expect us to be better and I demand we are better for the remaining games.

"It was painful, I'm afraid, especially after where we have been, but I think the whole thing has obviously caught up with us and we haven't done enough.

"They're very, very good, we know that.

"Since the lockdown, they've turned the champions over and to play them twice in a week has been difficult.

"They were, on the day, just too good for us. Unfortunately today, we were nowhere near the level which we had to get to if you are going to take anything from here.

"We are disappointed but I have to say they were far too good for us. We have got to be brutally honest and say we did not do enough to lay a glove on them.

"We knew we were up against it. We can’t be without six or seven of our better players, especially when you come to a place like this, but I don’t want to use that as the excuse.

"We have to be better than that. It was too easy for them from the first whistle to the last. If we play like that here we are going to get beaten and we were.

"They were far too good for us in all departments but the manner of it upsets me greatly. I wanted us to put on more of a show than we did.”

They Said

Pep Guardiola said:

We played really good all the games but unfortunately dropped points. In general the way we are playing and the performances are really good.

"It was another good performance and today, we scored the goals that we missed in the last game. We created more chances in the game against Southampton, but we could not convert.

But the team is always there. At Southampton I had no doubts about the way we played but this game is about winning.

“Now we have four weeks to finish second, score a lot of goals. We want to score goals, respect the football and prepare well for Arsenal and Madrid.

”We miss the fans a lot. It is not the same. When the virus is weaker and it is safer to come back, we will see together.”

About David Silva:

“It is not the game today – which was incredible – but what he has done over 10 years.

“When the people come back to the Etihad Stadium we will do a farewell game for one of the legends of this club.

“He is maybe the best in the small spaces. Moving between the lines I have never seen anyone like him.

“He has come back from lockdown in incredible form and rhythm. If he decides to play on he can play anywhere – there is no doubt about this.”


Magpies @ Etihad:

2019/20 Lost 0-5
Lost 1-2 Yedlin
2017/18 Lost 1-3 Murphy
2015/16 Lost 1-6 Mitrovic
2014/15 Lost 0-5
2014/15 Won 2-0 Aarons, Sissoko (LC)
2013/14 Lost 0-4
2012/13 Lost 0-4
2011/12 Lost 1-3 Gosling
2010/11 Lost 1-2 Gutierrez
2008/09 Lost 1-2 Carroll
2007/08 Lost 1-3 Martins
2006/07 Drew 0-0
2005/06 Lost 0-3
2004/05 Drew 1-1 Shearer
2003/04 Lost 0-1

Despite the gulf in quality between the two sides, this was City's first PL victory over the Magpies in three attempts, following a 2-2 draw at SJP in November and a 2-1 home win to the black and whites in January 2019.

Newcastle suffered their second 0-5 loss of the season following similar punishment at Leicester City in September. United were 0-1 behind at the interval that day, but reduced to ten men from the 43rd minute.

There was a first senior selection for 19 year-old midfielder Jack Young, who wore the number 60 shirt but remained unused on the bench alongside fellow U23 regular Tom Allan.

The latter made his senior bow in the FA Cup against Rochdale in January and was among the unused subs at Everton in the PL later that month.

Federico Fernandez registered United's second OG of the season in the Premier League, following on from Paul Dummett away at Leicester City.


Wednesday saw Newcastle beaten for the first time in the league since football returned; although annihilated would probably be more accurate.

United arrived unbeaten in six league outings, while City had scored 14 times without reply in winning their previous quartet of home games.

By the time of the first drinks break though, that goal tally had reached 16 and another victory for the hosts was already secured as our run lay in ruins.

The Magpies held out for less than ten minutes before Gabriel Jesus fired home after Phil Foden pulled the ball back from the left side of the area.

And when Riyad Mahrez supplied an identical finish 11 minutes later from Kevin De Bruyne's threaded pass, a mauling started to look on the cards.

Clad in their green change kit, the visitors survived until the 58th minute before conceding a third; Matt Ritchie whipping the ball off the toe of Jesus in the box - only for it to deflect off Federico Fernandez and into the net. 

Joelinton fouled Raheem Sterling on the edge of the area and David Silva slotted in a textbook free kick on 65 minutes, before the rout was completed in added time; Sterling tapping home to make it 0-5 and equal the heaviest loss of Steve Bruce's St. James' Park managerial career.

The Magpies boss must have been relieved though to have escaped the margin of defeat that his side's pathetic display deserved.

In the shadow of the National Velodrome, United back-pedalled their way through the entire game - changing personnel and formation managing to be even less of a threat than in the last meeting of the sides ten days ago.

Bidding to avoid their eleventh successive league reverse on this ground, United were without Isaac Hayden, Sean Longstaff, Florian Lejeune, Ciaran Clark, Andy Carroll, Jamaal Lascelles and Allan Saint-Maximin.

Other players were rotated, leaving just three of the starting XI beaten by City in the FA Cup: Federico Fernandez, Fabian Schar and Danny Rose.

An apparent 4-4-2 formation saw Emil Krafth partner Fernandez in central defence flanked by Rose and DeAndre Yedlin. Matt Ritchie and Valentino Lazaro occupied the wide midfield areas meanwhile, with Schar and Nabil Bentaleb inside - and Joelinton and Jonjo Shelvey apparently in front.

To say it didn't work is hardly a shock given the outcome, but our perpetual sloppiness and discomfort in possession meant we were were barely chasing shadows.

On a night when nobody emerged with credit (although Danny Rose at least tried to put his foot in), Bentaleb's contribution was particularly skittish as his audition for Hayden's role went disastrously wrong. Unable or unwilling to tackle, his distribution was shocking, repeatedly initiated City attacks.

It's tempting to say that preventing Toon fans from attending was a blessing, but the alternative sadly was enduring the sycophantic garbage and rewriting of history from BT pundits - echoing their Sky and BBC counterparts. 

Slackjaws may routinely spout twaddle in the away end, but that's preferable to the pro-Bruce rhetoric now being peddled to the nation via the airwaves.

He's doing a "fantastic" and "amazing" job apparently - despite the complete mess the unfolded here. The ineptitude that has characterised our season was apparently a mirage; it's all great, Geordie boys etc.

In reality, for much of the season we've been looking over our collective shoulders; the threat of relegation real, ahead of what turned out to be our final pre-lockdown game at Southampton. Hardly worthy of the sort of superlatives that are routinely chucked around.

We speculated afterwards whether Saint-Maximin's winner at St. Mary's would be celebrated in the manner of David Kelly against Pompey in 1992: the significance of the strike vastly outweighing the actual quality of it.

From there to here we have improved: Bruce has done better than anticipated with this side and it wasn't as bad as we'd feared when we went week after week without ever looking like scoring a goal. 

We fulfilled this fixture, but achieved absolutely nothing else. Under-strength and under-par; we were a passive side tonight, not a passing one.

Different players, different formation, but the same outcome - an inaction replay of the Cup defeat, during which we somehow did even less in front of goal (one soft Fernandez header from a free kick at 0-1).

Better Newcastle sides have been torn apart here in previous seasons, but the quality of City is such that we didn't need to contribute to our own downfall by the startling lack of care shown on this occasion.

Injuries? Undoubtedly. Hectic schedule? Definitely. The seeds of this defeat were sown before the first whistle though. Quite simply anyone would have beaten us. Our best guess is that having mathematically secured our status last weekend, we're now collectively dreaming of air bridges and sunbeds.

That's surely illogical though given the uncertain futures that many of those on show tonight face, regardless of who manages or owns us next season.

This wasn't a match, it was a mismatch. There's nothing fantastic or amazing about that. Avoiding relegation is acceptable, no more.

At any other club it would be seen as a stepping stone to something more tangible, but here we're expected to be grateful and hope for more of the same next time round.


Page last updated 14 July, 2020