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Full-time: Newcastle 0-1 Manchester City

  • Dominant Manchester City extend their lead at the Premier League summit to 15 points after deservedly sealing an 18th consecutive top-flight victory at St James' Park
  • Raheem Sterling's 17th goal of the season proves to be decisive as he cleverly steers home an exquisite pass from Kevin De Bruyne shortly past the half-hour mark
  • Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne both hit the woodwork, while the former has a goal disallowed for offside
  • Rolando Aarons sees an effort cleared off the line and substitute Dwight Gayle heads wide as Newcastle slump to a fifth successive home defeat
  • Rafael Benitez's side remain 15th and just one point above the relegation zone
  • Visitors lose captain Vincent Kompany to another injury blow after just 11 minutes
Raheem Sterling

That is it from me for now, thanks for following along. IBTimes UK will be back tomorrow night to bring you live coverage of a London derby between Crystal Palace and Arsenal at Selhurst Park.

Until then, farewell.

Newcastle's attacking flurries were all too brief and their second-half rally came too late. Benitez can have no complaints regarding a fifth successive home defeat that sees them remain 15th and only one point above the relegation zone.

The Magpies face City again on 20 January, but before then comes three potentially critical meetings with Brighton, Stoke and Swansea. The takeover and added investment cannot come soon enough.

City were not at their clinical best tonight, but fully merited the three points after a typically dominant display. An incredible 18th consecutive Premier League victory sees them extend their advantage at the top-flight summit to 15 points ahead of a final 2017 outing at Crystal Palace on Sunday.

Another win at Selhurst Park would see them equal the mark of 19 in a row secured by Guardiola's Bayern Munich team back in 2013-14. They are absolutely coasting towards the title, although Kompany's latest setback, if serious, will surely hasten the need for further defensive reinforcements.


Newcastle 0-1 Manchester City

Sane is under pressure with his back to goal but a push from Yedlin kills Newcastle's momentum.

Into three minutes of second-half stoppage time. Shelvey misses the target with a hopeful 20-yard strike.

Merino switches play out to Atsu, who beats Sterling all ends up before teeing up fellow substitute Gayle for a glancing header that drifts agonisingly wide of Ederson's right-hand post.

That was a great chance.

Dwight Gayle

Gundogan's shot sails high and wide after positive interplay with Jesus. Into the final five minutes at St James' Park and, despite City's dominance, there is still just one goal separating these two teams.

Gayle sees a shot blocked by Mangala before Atsu is caught offside. Guardiola introduces Sane in place of Bernardo Silva.

Atsu looks to lay on a late equaliser for Shelvey but Sterling hacks the ball away.

Will City be made to pay for their profligacy?

A change apiece now as Mangala - wearing a mask to a protect a broken nose - replaces Aguero, whose impressive scoring run against Newcastle comes to an end after two shots against the post and a goal ruled out for offside.

Benitez also withdraws Mbemba in favour of Merino.

Walker loses possession for City just outside his own penalty area and Gayle seizes on the loose ball before going down under minimal contact from Danilo, who was trying to avoid any collision.

He wants a penalty, but instead receives a yellow card for simulation. That looked like the correct decision.

Dwight Gayle

Benitez's second change after 71 minutes sees Aarons make way for Atsu.

Wily defending from Danilo, who stops Aarons in his tracks and buys a free-kick off the 22-year-old.

Ederson easily gathers Mbemba's header after Sterling fouls Murphy and City earn another corner when Jamaal Lascelles inexplicably heads a poor Aguero cross out for a corner.

Diame gives the ball away again and Danilo sets up De Bruyne for a long-range drive that is deflected against the post.

Aguero turns the rebound home but is quickly flagged offside. Still 1-0 with 25 minutes remaining.

"Jose's cracking up" and "park the car Man United" are the chants coming from the away fans in reference to Mourinho's recent claims that the £300m he has spent on new signings at Old Trafford is not enough to compete.


After warming up for several minutes, Gayle comes on in place of Joselu.

Can he provide lifeless Newcastle with any sort of a spark and liven up this subdued home crowd?

De Bruyne's passing has been unerringly accurate tonight but his shooting has unusually left a lot to be desired.

He wastes a glorious chance to put this one-sided affair firmly to bed, dragging a left-footed strike well wide after an incisive give-and-go with Jesus.

Gundogan dispossesses Diame and tries to guide a low right-footed shot into the bottom corner. Elliot dives and pushes the ball clear with both hands.

Sterling skips through the middle of Murphy and Yedlin before producing a cross-cum-shot that is prodded wide by Aguero on the stretch.

The second half is upon us. No further changes from Guardiola at the interval, while Benitez is evidently happy to stand pat for now.


Aside from a brief flurry after the opener, Manchester City have completely controlled this game - securing a staggering 83% possession and unleashing 15 shots - but lead by just the one goal after Sterling's 17th of the season that followed a couple of close efforts from Aguero that struck the woodwork.

Aaarons' well-executed chip was the only chance of note for Newcastle, who are being lambasted across social media for their overwhelmingly negative set-up. You can hardly blame Benitez for being defensive against such an array of attacking a talent, but his team are rather giving off the impression of one that are sitting back and just waiting to concede.

All signs are pointing towards another comfortable victory for the visitors, who will surely extend their advantage after the break. Yet another setback for Kompany the only bad news for Guardiola and co.


Newcastle 0-1 Manchester City

One minute of added time will be played at the end of this first half.

Aguero scuffs another shot wide after Elliot gets down well to parry a low drive from Sterling. The offside flag means it would not have counted anyway.

Yedlin allows the ball to bounce in his own half, which leads to another dangerous City attack.

The move culminates with Diame deflecting Aguero's weak far-post strike behind for a corner.

Newcastle have been far more ambitious since going behind. Aarons forces Ederson into conceding a corner before City pour forward on the counter-attack.

After an incredibly negative opening half an hour, Newcastle suddenly spring into life.

Walker slips while trying to clear Yedlin's right-wing cross and Otamendi clears off the line under severe pressure from Joselu following a chipped effort from Aarons.

After 31 minutes, City's overwhelming dominance finally tells. Sterling finds De Bruyne before bursting into the box and cleverly steering the Belgian's inch-perfect pass between Elliot and the near post with his left foot.

That was an impressive finish from the England international, who was falling back but never took his eye off the ball.

Raheem Sterling

Goal: Newcastle 0-1 Manchester City (Raheem Sterling)

Aguero receives possession from De Bruyne and shifts inside both Murphy and Mbemba before clipping a shot off the outside of the post and wide.

Still goalless after half an hour, although City are absolutely dominating the game as you might expect.

De Bruyne drifts beyond Dummett before launching another disappointing shot into the stands.

Aguero then commits a foul on DeAndre Yedlin while trying to collect a return pass from Jesus inside the Newcastle box.

The Argentine striker is frustrated as he is denied a corner.

Exceedingly cautious Newcastle show a rare bit of attacking promise before City press and quickly recover possession once more.

Aguero plays a reverse pass into the path of Jesus, who is denied a clear shooting opportunity from a tricky angle thanks to some brave goalkeeping from Elliot.

Elliot makes a terrific one handed-save after De Bruyne's delicious whipped free-kick is met by the head of Aguero.

Newcastle survive a succession of corners after De Bruyne's initial free-kick is cleared.

The Belgian gets another chance to test the home defence after Murphy commits a very poor challenge on Gundogan. No yellow card, surprisingly.

Fernandinho shifts back into defence as Jesus replaces Kompany. Hardly a vote of confidence for Eliaquim Mangala, who remains on the bench.

Guardiola definitely wants a new centre-back.

Vincent Kompany

An uncharacteristic lack of composure from De Bruyne as he blazes over following a few ricochets in the Newcastle defence.

Kompany's calf looks to have gone again as Jesus prepares to enter the fray.


Aguero peels off the back of Dummett and guides Fernandinho's excellent delivery against the post.

He should have scored.

Some early concern here as City skipper Kompany appears to be moving very gingerly indeed.

An all too familiar sight, unfortunately.

Rob Elliot deals claims a City cross and collects a meek effort from De Bruyne. Nicolas Otamendi's strike from distance then sails well wide.

Never one to lack confidence in his own abilities, the returning Shelvey tries his luck straight from kick-off. His ambitious effort is comfortably dealt with by City 'keeper Ederson.

Referee Andre Marriner gets proceedings underway. Both sides are decked out in their familiar black and white/light blue home strips.

Kick-off in the north east is almost upon us.

Per Opta, victory tonight would see City set a new club record of 20 unbeaten league games against a specific opponent.

However, it is worth noting that Benitez has yet to taste defeat in eight home league matches against the Citizens as a manager...


Guardiola makes a trio of alterations to the team that vanquished lowly Bournemouth without really getting out of first gear.

Danilo starts at left-back with Fabian Delph a surprise absentee, while Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gundogan come in for David Silva and Leroy Sane.

The latter is named on the bench alongside promoted youngsters Brahim Diaz and Tosin Adarabioyo.

Sergio Aguero again gets the nod over Gabriel Jesus following his brilliant display against the Cherries that featured two goals and a superb assist for Raheem Sterling.

Benitez makes five changes to the side that sealed that morale-boosting win at West Ham, with young winger Rolando Aarons handed his first league start of the season as Matt Ritchie drops to the bench along with Christian Atsu, Ciaran Clark and Dwight Gayle.

Shelvey also returns to the first XI along with Chancel Mbemba, Jacob Murphy and Paul Dummett, the latter of whom was an unused substitute for each of the last two matches after being sidelined since opening weekend with a persistent hamstring issue.

Henri Saivet is omitted from the matchday squad altogether despite atoning for his early error by scoring on Saturday, although Merino features among the substitutes.

Mohamed Diame retains his starting place in support of lone striker Joselu.


Official lineups are imminent...

Tonight's contest is likely to come too soon for John Stones, who is now back in training after a hamstring injury.

David Silva played the full 90 minutes in Saturday's 4-0 demolition of Bournemouth after missing the win over Tottenham due to personal reasons, but reports today suggest he has since returned to Spain.

Kevin De Bruyne is expected to be fit after featuring for most of the weekend's win despite losing nearly half a stone in weight due to illness, although summer signing Benjamin Mendy (knee) and highly-rated teenager Phil Foden (ankle) are still out.

David Silva
Getty Images

Back to Tyneside now, where Jonjo Shelvey is available again for Newcastle after missing matches against Arsenal and West Ham after picking up his second red card of the season in the final stages of the 1-0 defeat to Everton on 13 December.

Midfielders Mikel Merino and Isaac Hayden and centre-back Florian Lejeune all faced late fitness tests, although Jesus Gamez (ankle) and Aleksandar Mitrovic (back) remain sidelined.

Mitrovic recently confirmed that he is looking for a new challenge in January after making just six substitute appearances in the league so far this season, but insists there is currently no concrete offer on the table.

Aleksandar Mitrovic

"I persistently waited for the chance of the past months," the hot-headed striker told Serbian website Zurnal. "I'm sorry after all, I loved Newcastle, but it's time for me to look more at myself, to find the best solution for my career.

"I tried to be honest with myself and my team-mates at every training and match. The fact that I did not get a chance is simply not up to me. Everyone knows that I was left in the background.

"I never felt better, I'm physically in flawless form, I cannot wait to play. The most important thing is to find a club and finally get a chance in the field."

Away from this match for a moment, Liverpool have tonight confirmed an agreement with Southampton for Virgil van Dijk - a player also coveted by City as Guardiola seeks to strengthen his centre-back options - that will see the Dutch international become the most expensive defender in world football.

The deal is said to be worth a cool £75m - the joint-second priciest transfer in Premier League history. A Reds statement reads as follows:

Liverpool Football Club can confirm they have reached an agreement with Southampton for the transfer of Virgil van Dijk.

The Reds have agreed a deal with the south coast club, and the player himself, that will see the 26-year-old defender move to Anfield when the transfer window re-opens on January 1, 2018.

The Netherlands international will be assigned squad number four, upon his arrival at Liverpool.

More on this story at IBTimes UK soon.

Virgil van Dijk
Getty Images

Good evening and a warm welcome to IBTimes UK's latest festive offering of Premier League football.

After all the fun of the traditionally hectic Boxing Day schedule, tonight we have just one game on the agenda as dominant leaders Manchester City pay a visit to a chilly St James' Park.

Following Manchester United's last-gasp home draw with Burnley, Pep Guardiola's formidable side, who have dropped points on just one solitary occasion in 2017-18 and notched four goals in three successive league games, can move 15 points clear of their rivals with an 18th successive victory that would equal the top-flight record of 11 consecutive away wins.

Manchester City

The latest team charged with attempting to slow the seemingly unstoppable City juggernaut is a Newcastle United team that have lost four home games in a row and are winless in their last league 19 matches against tonight's opponents - a sequence of three points from a possible 57 that stretches all the way back to 2005.

Rafael Benitez's men are still being distracted by ongoing takeover talks between Mike Ashley, Amanda Staveley and PCP Capital Partners, although did crucially end a damaging nine-game winless league run last weekend by beating West Ham 3-2. They currently sit 15th and just one point above the relegation zone.

Grab one of those leftover mince pies and stay tuned for all the latest team news ahead of the first of two meetings in five matches between these two sides. We will also have minute-by-minute updates after kick-off at 19.45 GMT.