Man City beat Newcastle 2-0 to stay in touch with Arsenal.

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Manchester City provided a serious test for the Premier League title with a 2-0 win over Newcastle…

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Manchester City passed a big test for the Premier League title with a 2-0 win over Newcastle on Saturday as several high-profile calls from Pep Guardiola paid off in a match between English football’s richest teams .

Phil Foden got the start over Riyad Mahrez on the right and gave City the lead in the 15th minute when his drive into the box ended with a shot that deflected past goalkeeper Nick Pope.

City never looked comfortable against a powerful Newcastle side who were dangerous on the counter-attack, but grabbed a decisive second goal three minutes later after Guardiola brought down Kevin De Bruyne who had suffered a rare setback.

Bernardo Silva, who came on as a substitute for De Bruyne, scored with one of his first touches, slotting the ball past Pope from 15 meters in the 67th after receiving a tackle from Erling Haaland.

After becoming only the second team – after Liverpool – to beat Newcastle in the league this season, second-placed City kept the pressure on leaders Arsenal, who play Bournemouth at home later on Saturday. The teams entered the weekend with a five-point difference.

“Before the game it was ‘goodbye’ and now it’s ‘hello,'” Guardiola said of the title fight. “A lot of things are going to happen.”

It was another blow to Newcastle, who lost last weekend’s FA Cup final to Manchester United and whose league form has dipped in recent weeks.

The north-east side fell out of the top four in their bid for Champions League qualification and remain four points behind fourth-placed Tottenham, who have played a game in hand.

There was a political element to the match, with the Abu Dhabi (City) and Saudi Arabia (Newcastle)-owned teams respectively hitting the off-field headlines for all the wrong reasons in recent times.

City are currently fighting more than 100 Premier League allegations alleged violations of financial regulationsan explosive development that took place last month and leaves the champions at risk of severe punishment.

Newcastle, meanwhile, have come under scrutiny in the week since new questions arose about Saudi Arabia’s investment in the club. The Premier League has been urged to review a legally binding pledge made by the club’s majority owner, Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, in 2021 that it is separate from the country’s government.

Given their wealth, the two clubs are expected to be among the dominant forces in English football for years to come, but City are currently a level above.

The win extended their unbeaten run against Newcastle to nine games and was City’s fourth win in their last five league games as Guardiola’s side look to stay within striking distance of Arsenal.

“Newcastle” misses three great chances at 1-0. Sean Longstaff hesitated as he charged through on goal and had his shot blocked by Nathan Ake, Callum Wilson missed from close range and Joelinton saw the ball go through his legs as he attempted a cross from the right.

“Their threat is not a surprise – there is a reason why they were in the (League) Cup final and for many minutes they were better than United,” Guardiola said of Newcastle.

“This team and this club will be challenging for the title in the next few years.”

Newcastle have never won a league game at the Etihad Stadium.


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