Manchester City have returned to winning ways in the Premier League thanks to a 2-1 triumph over Newcastle United in Saturday’s clash at the Etihad Stadium.
A second-half rocket from Kyle Walker earned the three points for City after DeAndre Yedlin cancelled out Raheem Sterling’s early opener completely against the run of play.
The Citizens, held by Wolverhampton Wanderers last time out, have now won eight in a row during the month of September under Pep Guardiola and are back within two points of Liverpool and Chelsea at the top of the table.
In the knowledge that Newcastle would sit back and soak up the pressure, a week on from ending their meeting against Chelsea with 19 per cent of the ball, Guardiola partnered returning striker Gabriel Jesus with Sergio Aguero in one of three changes.
City, as expected, completely dominated possession from the off and were in their stride inside the opening five minutes as Riyad Mahrez – another of those to return to the side – cut inside from the right and dragged a shot wide.
Sterling fared better from the opposite flank a few minutes later, bending the ball out of Martin Dubravka’s reach following some sloppy defending from the visitors.
Boasting 14 league goals in 11 outings against United before this match, Aguero fancied his chances of adding to that tally as he curled a long ranger narrowly wide of the same corner that Sterling had earlier found.
A couple of openings came and went for Jesus, shooting wide from a good position and then failing to head past Dubravka from six yards out, and City’s profligacy would come back to haunt them half an hour in.
From near enough United’s first serious attacking move of the match, pacy full-back Yedlin charged up the field to convert Salomon Rondon’s centre as City’s backline got caught out by the counter.
The visitors, now winless in 22 top-flight outings against City, were level until seven minutes into the second half, with Walker arrowing a 30-yard drive into the bottom corner for what proved to be the winner.
Newcastle’s second shot of the match arrived soon after, as Paul Dummett guided the ball wide of Ederson’s target, while up the other end Walker had a free kick from a narrow angle kept out by an alert Dubravka.
The Slovakia international then produced a triple save to keep his side in the game, first keeping out Fernandinho at the back post and then thwarting David Silva twice in quick succession.
Silva was involved again two minutes later, this time directing Mahrez’s cross into the side-netting, and Sterling was off-balance when striking wide.
Visiting boss Rafael Benitez brought on an attacking midfielder for a defender for the final 10 minutes, and Newcastle gave their opponents a late scare when substitute Jacob Murphy’s cross was cut out by John Stones before a player in black and white could convert.
Stones was also needed in the final minute of the game to take the sting out of Joselu’s on-target shot, but the Magpies did not offer enough to warrant a share of the spoils.