Man City close in on top four with win over Newcastle, Sheffield United searching for first Premier League victory of season as Everton strike late December 27, 2020 – Posted in: Soccer
Manchester City moved to within a point of the Premier League top four as they breezed to a 2-0 win at home to Newcastle.
Goals from Ilkay Gundogan and Ferran Torres sealed the routine victory on a night where Pep Guardiola’s side missed a hatful of chances.
The breakthrough came after 14 minutes as Gundogan finished from close range, latching onto Raheem Sterling’s pass after Joao Cancelo picked him out with an incisive through ball.
Steve Bruce’s side offered little in the match but goalkeeper Karl Darlow acquitted himself very well, hooking Kevin De Bruyne’s menacing cross from the left away from goal, while also denying the Belgian on 37 minutes when clean through.
Torres scuffed a good chance to put City 2-0 up ten minutes before half time but made no mistake ten minutes after the break.
Cancelo played a key role again as he won the ball on the right before causing the Newcastle defence problems as he fizzed it across the box. Federico Fernandez intercepted but the ball fell straight to Torres, who slotted it home.
City searched for a third with Bernardo Silva hitting the post from a tight angle after Sterling failed to properly connect with another Cancelo cross.
Cancelo’s crosses on the right continued to threaten as he almost found Torres, while substitute Sergio Aguero was denied well by Darlow as the Portugal international picked out a teammate once again.
City are a point behind local rivals Manchester United, who could only manage a draw to Leicester earlier on Boxing Day.
It looked like City were going to finish the evening just behind Everton but a late goal from Gylfi Sigurdsson secured a 1-0 win at Sheffield United.
The Iceland international drove Abdoulaye Doucoure’s neat lay-off into the corner of the net to put the Toffees second in the Premier League.
Both sides exchanged a number of chances, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin almost scoring a spectacular goal against his former club, while Oliver Burke had a good opportunity in the first half.
The result leaves the Blades still searching for their first league win of the season and ten points off safety.