Pep Guardiola’s men received a guard of honour from the Newcastle United players as they returned on to the pitch for the first time since being crowned champions of England earlier in the week. A superb hat-trick from Ferran Torres and a Joao Cancelo strike got City's goals in a back and forth tie in the North-East.
Here are five things we learned from yesterday’s pulsating victory…
Manchester City set an English league record of 12 consecutive away wins with a dramatic victory at St. James’ Park. The Blues have been majestic on opposition territory this season, recording their 23rd consecutive unbeaten away game – the longest ever undefeated away run by a side in the top four tiers of English football.
This marvellous form away from home has been a strong pillar in City’s resurgence this season after a torrid start to their campaign. Their last defeat away from home was the 2-0 loss to Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham back in November; which means the Blues have not lost a single away game for almost SIX months now.
Ferran Torres is the one to watch out for
Manchester City’s topsy-turvy win was powered by a mind-blowing Ferran Torres hat-trick on Friday night. The 21-year-old left the onlookers in awe of his inherent skills, executing some inconceivable finishes to become the 3rd youngest hat-trick scorer for City. The Spaniard opened his account with an unbelievable flick over Dubravka into Newcastle’s goal. He then scored twice within a matter of two minutes, displaying his inner goal scoring instincts with a couple of exceptional finishes.
Torres became the youngest player to score a treble under Pep Guardiola, breaking a long-standing record held by Lionel Messi. City’s newest addition in their attacking armoury has now scored 13 goals and provided three assists in all competitions in his first season with the Blues, an impressive tally for a 21-year-old who is just getting to grips with life in a completely new country.
Learning a heart breaking lesson
Last month Manchester City announced an expected yet unfathomable decision of amicably parting ways with City’s all-time top scorer, Sergio Agüero.
The Argentine has been nothing but impeccable in his ten years at the club but City’s decision to let him go at the end of this season is proving to be increasingly correct as each game passes by. Fans have been somewhat disappointed and heartbroken to see Agüero struggle with so many injuries since the start of 2020. He was once again absent from the match-day squad against Newcastle, vindicating the clubs decision to let him go.
Dias, Stones and Laporte have been massive
Manchester City looked a bit like their old defensive-selves as they struggled to cope with Newcastle’s quick counter attacks. The defence failed to deal with the opposition’s rapid transitions and let three goals past in a nervy game. They also conceded two penalties in a single game, a display similar to their 5-2 loss against Leicester City at the beginning of the season.
This performance highlighted the importance of Ruben Dias, John Stones and Aymeric Laporte’s performances this season. These three have been massive for City, redefining their side’s defence with robust performances throughout the season to guide their side through to a 4th consecutive Carabao Cup win, an unprecedented Premier League title and their first ever Champions League Final.
Scott Carson is a dressing room superstar
Pep Guardiola rewarded Scott Carson with his first ever start for Manchester City last night - much to everyone’s surprise. Carson, who is the clubs third choice goalkeeper, is currently on loan from Championship side Derby County. Before last night, the last time he made a Premier League appearance almost 9 years & 11 months ago.
The veteran conceded three goals on his debut but made a wonderful save for Joe Willock’s penalty, which unfortunately for him was tucked in on the rebound. A lot of players from the defensive department and especially fellow goalkeeper Ederson were happy for the 35-year-old and went on to the pitch to show their love for him at the full time whistle.
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