Manchester City maintained their perfect start to the new Premier League season as they secured a 1-0 win over Newcastle United at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday evening.

Pep Guardiola’s team was clearly the better side, as the Magpies hardly got into their usual rhythm. However, it was always going be a tough home game for City, especially following their 1-0 win over Sevilla in the UEFA Super Cup in midweek.

Foden steps up

With Kevin De Bruyne absent following his surgery on his injured hamstring, Phil Foden stepped up to play in the number ten role.

The English International was outstanding throughout the game dictating possession with his nimble footwork and a wide array of passing range.

City dominated possession as usual but had no clear-cut openings before Julian Alvarez broke the deadlock in the 31st minute.

The Argentine received the ball in the penalty box from Foden and unleashed a fierce strike that flew past Nick Pope to hit the top left corner.

Erling Haaland was inches away from doubling City’s advantage right on the stroke of halftime, but the Norwegian dragged his shot just inches wide as Newcastle survived.

Quiet second half

The visitors hardly tested City keeper Ederson in the second half with Alexander Isak being kept quiet by the back four.

Haaland then dragged wide his effort just past the hour mark with an identical chance like in the first half, having been set up by Foden.

Newcastle did put pressure on the hosts with a series of crosses in the City penalty box but Guardiola’s side held firm to secure a vital win.

Foden’s performance will give the Spanish manager a lot of confidence with the 23-year-old playing in the De Bruyne role, behind Haaland and Alvarez.

City will look to build on this victory and aim to set the pace in the new Premier League campaign with winnable games against Sheffield Wednesday and Fulham in the next two weeks.

Newcastle, meanwhile, will look to regroup as they host Liverpool next weekend before traveling away to Brighton.

Photo credit: IMAGO / Sportsphoto