Manchester City v Newcastle: Ilkay Gundogan and Ferran Torres scored at the start of each half to bring Manchester City’s easy 2-0 win over Newcastle United at Etihad Stadium on Saturday

Man City are five points behind leaders Liverpool, while Newcastle with minus 2 in the goal difference column and 12th place Place with 18 points a terrible game begins

Newcastle without most of its key pieces due to injuries and COVID-19, but City also missed Gabriel Jesus due to the latter

1 rinse, repeat, for a stable Man City: Pep Guardiola’s men just don’t allow many goals and the Newcastle boundaries weren’t much of a challenge (especially given point 2) they passed the ball with ease in attack and found spaces between the overcrowded magpies.Both goals were up close, albeit with slightly different degrees of difficulty, and City will feel that this game was in a perfectly acceptable way memorable

But City hasn’t shown a couple of times this season, and it would have been an easy task for sleepwalkers the day after a major holiday and days after a pivotal League Cup quarter-final win (with an upcoming trip to Everton) that happened at all not when Kevin De Bruyne pulled the strings as usual, Raheem Sterling Gundogan’s kick-off prepared and Joao Cancelo picked Miguel Almiron’s bag on the way to Torres’ goal

2 All as it seems to visitors: Newcastle hasn’t won Man City in almost 20 years and has been without three players who would be expected to play a key role in any angry offer: Jonjo Shelvey, Allan Saint-Maximin and Jamaal Lascelles So it was no surprise that Steve Bruce opted for a defensive unit and kept star striker Callum Wilson on the bench in the coming days with home games against – relatively speaking – less defensively strong Liverpool and Leicester City The effort was ok after a dying cup result in Brentford during the week and the result was as expected

3 Rodri is worth watching: City’s unannounced midfielder traded punches with Newcastle’s unit all day and had received a yellow card So it was no surprise that Guardiola took no chances with Rodri when he limped slightly (and Fernandinho of the Bank was available) Keep an eye out for injury updates though as Rodri is out of play he’s lost 90 minutes in every PL game this season, except in the 5-0 win over Burnley when he was 3-0 up at halftime An absence of Rodri would severely limit City’s style

The Portuguese right-back recorded three key passes, was persistent in 50:50 balls and kept the team in contact (mainly because Rodri left early but still)

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