Manchester City move top of Premier League

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said it is “difficult to play” against ultra-defensive teams after his side moved 15 points clear at the top of the Premier League with a win at Newcastle.

Raheem Sterling scored the only goal in a dominant display by the visitors to St James’ Park in which they clocked up 78% of possession and 21 shots to Newcastle’s six.

“We did absolutely everything but it is difficult to play when the other team doesn’t want to play,” said Guardiola.

“In the last minutes we played in their rhythm and then it was not easy because it is not over at 1-0 – we created enough chances to win 2-0, 3-0, 4-0.

“As a manager I have to adapt. We have played teams who high press, low press, attack us. Any manager and team can play how they want. And you have to find a way to beat them.”

England winger Sterling poked home from Kevin de Bruyne’s lobbed pass after Sergio Aguero had twice hit the woodwork in the opening half hour.

Rolando Aarons saw a shot cleared off the line by Nicolas Otamendi in a rare Newcastle raid forward before the break, but City should have been well clear after De Bruyne thumped the post and then side-footed wide in the second half.

The hosts showed more ambition late on and Christian Atsu teed up fellow substitute Dwight Gayle to head wide in the final five minutes.

City were not to be denied an 18th successive league victory however as they extended an English top-flight record.

The Magpies’ fifth successive home defeat leaves them a point off the relegation zone. (Courtesy BBC)


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