Manchester City 1-0 Newcastle: Alvarez nets fine strike

Manchester City 1-0 Newcastle: Julian Alvarez’s superb first-half strike proves to be the winner as Pep Guardiola’s champions make it two wins from two, despite a spirited display from the Magpies

  • Foden showed his worth as he pulled off a fine assist for Alvarez’s opener
  • The Citizens’ striker Haaland proved to be a frustrated figure in attack
  • WATCH: ‘It’s All Kicking Off’ – Episode 1 – Mail Sport’s brand new football show

Phil Foden produced a midfield masterclass as Manchester City made light of their injury problems and any fatigue from facing Sevilla in Greece on Wednesday night.

Foden set up the winning goal for Julian Alvarez as the champions maintained their 100 per cent start to the season against a Newcastle side with title ambitions of their own.

The England star was unplayable at times with the kind of performance that will give Pep Guardiola hope City can cope without Kevin de Bruyne following hamstring surgery that will keep him out until December.

In total, he created seven chances and was the difference against tough opponents who collected five bookings.

Even with de Bruyne, Bernardo Silva and John Stones sidelined, Pep Guardiola was able to pick a formidable XI with £77million defender Josep Gvardiol making his first Premier League start.

Phil Foden produced a midfield masterclass as Manchester City made light of their injury problems

Foden picked out Julian Alvarez, who netted the only goal of the game for Man City

Erling Haaland was snatching at his chances as he failed to score against the Magpies

The bench looked more threadbare with six of the nine substitutes aged 22 or under.

Newcastle were unchanged from their fast start last weekend beating Aston Villa 5-1. But history was against manager Eddie Howe whose side had lost their last 14 league visits to The Etihad.

For City’s first home game since winning The Treble, the club brought out their three trophies for supporters to show their appreciation.

It definitely helped the atmosphere which Guardiola had wanted after his side’s midweek exertions winning the European Super Cup in the heat of Athens.

To compensate for de Bruyne, Guardiola mixed his tactics up. Jack Grealish played behind Julian Alvarez on the left, often resembling a wing-back when Newcastle were in possession, to counter the threat of Kieran Trippier.

Phil Foden was selected as the right-sided attacker to try and run at Dan Burn having enjoyed success against him before.

Even so, City were frustrated for the opening half-hour against a well-organised black-and-white defensive wall.

Haaland took an uncharacteristic poor first touch after Foden’s pass had invited him to shoot. Manuel Akanji shot high from 25 yards while Mateo Kovacic and Foden had shots blocked.

Newcastle were feisty with bookings for Anthony Gordon, who was high on Ruben Dias, and Bruno Tonali.

Their ventures into the City half were only sporadic but still carried threat.


Man City (3-4-3): Ederson 6: Dias 8, Akanji 7, Gvardiol 7; Walker 6.5, Kovacic 7, Rodri 6, Grealish 7; Foden 8.5, Haaland 6, Alvarez 7 

Subs unused: Ortega (Gk), Ake, Gomez, Lewis, Phillips, McAtee, Palmer, Perrone, Bobb 

Goal: Alvarez 31 

Booked: Alvarez 

Newcastle (4-3-3): Pope 5.5; Trippier 7, Schar 7, Botman 6.5, Burn 5.5; Tonali 6 (Anderson 66 6), Guimaraes 6, Joelinton 6 (Longstaff 56 6); Almiron 5.5 (Livramento 86), Isak 6 (Wilson 66 6), Gordon 6.5 (Barnes 56 6) 

Subs unused: Dubravka (Gk), Lascelles, Targett, Livramento, Ritchie, Wilson 

Booked: Gordon, Tonali, Joelinton, Barnes, Guimaraes 

Referee: Robert Jones 6.5


A neat turn by Alexander Isak on the halfway line allowed Gordon to break down the left and fire in a cross that Gvardiol did well to clear while facing his own goal.

City’s quality allowed them to take the lead with their first effort on target after 31 minutes.

It owed much to Alvarez’s quick feet and quick thinking. Receiving a pass from Foden just inside the area, he took a first touch to control and a second to fire past Fabian Schar and over Nick Pope.

The Newcastle goalkeeper did get a touch to the ball with his outstretched left glove but it only succeeded in helping the shot further into the top corner.

Some might have called for a stronger hand but that would have been harsh on the England ‘keeper given the quality of the finish.

Alvarez is already being used more by Guardiola this season than last and last night was his 13th goal at home in 13 starts.

Haaland was inches away from making it 2-0 before the interval but his low shot crept just the wrong side of the post.

Haaland was inches away from making it 2-0 but did not get on the scoresheet

Newcastle were able to attack the end in the second half where their three thousand supporters were gathered.

It seemed to stir them up with the already-booked Gordon lucky to escape when he caught Dias on the top of the foot as he tried to pressurise the City defender.

To save him seeing him red, Eddie Howe quickly arranged for the winger to be replaced by Harvey Barnes with Sean Longstaff also introduced in place of Joelinton who injured himself with a fierce challenge on Alvarez, the England players given freedom to wander across the front line and cause problems for the visitors.

Guardiola desperately wanted a second goal. He thought it was coming when Haaland surged through the middle after an hour but a perfectly-timed tackle by Schar deflected the ball back onto the Norwegian striker and off for a goal kick.

The manager scratched his head in disbelief acknowledging the fragility of City’s lead. Haaland tried to give him a peace of mind by somehow getting a shot away surrounded by three defenders but it bobbled wide of the far post.

Foden was voted for as Man of the Match after an impressive performance

Foden then surged through the middle to give his centre-forward another opportunity. Haaland made a better connection this time but Pope blocked with his feet to stop City’s No9 adding to his brace at Burnley on the opening day.

Newcastle sent on Callum Wilson for the ineffective Isak for the final 25 minutes with midfielder Elliot Anderson also entering the fray.

After 70 minutes, the visitors finally mustered their first shot on target. Wilson’s run towards the heart of City’s defence was held up by a good interception from Gvardiol and from the loose ball Barnes took aim from 20 yards, forcing Ederson to dive to his left to smother.

The visitors showed more urgency in the final quarter as they chased an equaliser.

Grealish worked hard to get back and block a shot by Miguel Almiron that was on target. City now face Sheffield United and Fulham and will be confident of going into the first international break with maximum points.

For Newcastle, the fixture list doesn’t start to look any kinder. Next up is Liverpool followed by Brighton away. But they finished with some positive news with defender Tino Livramento sent on late for his Toon debut following his £45million move from Southampton.

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