Phil Foden on target again as Manchester City beat Newcastle United in Premier League

England international scores fourth goal in three games as reigning champions win 2-0 at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday

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Phil Foden was on target again for Manchester City as the reigning Premier League champions defeated Newcastle United 2-0 at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

The England international made it four goals in three games after a mazy run into the Newcastle box ended with his strike hitting the back of the net – albeit via a big deflection off Magpies defender Sven Botman.

Newcastle had began to put City under some serious pressure in the second half only for Pep Guardiola's to break away on a counter-attack and make it two through substitute Bernardo Silva's fine finish.

The victory took City back to within two points of table-toppers Arsenal, although will increase back to five if the Gunners defeat struggling Bournemouth at the Emirates later on Saturday.

Sean Longstaff, Callum Wilson and Joelinton were all guilty of not even forcing Ederson into a save as Newcastle suffered another blow to their hopes of a top-four finish.

It was Newcastle's third defeat on the spin, coming after a home loss to Liverpool and last week's League Cup final defeat against Manchester United.

The Tyneside club remain fifth in fourth in the table – four points fourth-place behind Spurs who are away to Wolves later in the day – but are now without a league win since beating Fulham on January 15, their only victory since December 26.

“I am very happy because it was a tough game. It was a tough moment in the game for us,” said Silva.

“They take more risks and they went for it so to score that [second] goal was very good. You know when you play Newcastle how good they are this season. They went for it because they need points. We knew they would press more and create more chances so the second goal was important for us.

“Phil Foden is so good, he is one of those players who can score goals and win games for you. I am happy for him, he went through a difficult period with his injury so I am very happy to have him with us because he showed he can solve some of our problems.”

City have shown flickers of their best form in recent weeks but relied on two moments of inspiration to claim a vital three points from a disjointed performance.

Foden struggled for form and fitness following the World Cup, but the 22-year-old has looked more like his old self over the past week after scoring once against Bournemouth and two in the FA Cup win over Bristol City.

The 22-year-old ghosted past four Newcastle challenges to score his fourth goal in three games thanks to the aid of a deflection off Dutch defender Botman to beat goalkeeper Nick Pope on 15 minutes.

The Magpies, meanwhile, were made to pay for a familiar lack of potency up front.

Longstaff should have struck back almost immediately, but the midfielder delayed a second too long to allow Nathan Ake to produce a brilliant last-ditch block.

Wilson's barren run explains Newcastle's return of just one goal in their last eight league games and he then failed to connect with Kieran Trippier's cross.

At the other end, Erling Haaland also failed to score for the sixth time in eight games.

The Norwegian's best chance to extend his lead in the fight for the Premier League's Golden Boot came just before the break when he headed wide from Kevin De Bruyne's cross.

A triple change by Howe early in the second half nearly had the desired effect as Newcastle pinned City inside their own half.

One of the substitutes Joe Willock broke down the right and his low cross was just begging for the finishing touch by Joelinton, who instead completely missed his kick.

Moments later, another of the changes, Alexander Isak had a penalty appeal turned down as he was wiped out by Ederson after Ruben Dias blocked the Swede's first effort.

Guardiola introduced Silva for De Bruyne in a bid to stem Newcastle's flow through the City midfield and the Portuguese had an immediate impact with the goal that settled City's nerves.

Haaland laid the ball into Silva's path on the edge of the box and with virtually his first touch he fired low past Pope.

“I thought it was a very good performance from us in many aspects,” said Newcastle manager Howe. “I thought we pressed really well and were brave. I thought the players were committed to that. I thought we unsettled them.

“But they have a habit of scoring with minimal chances which is what they did today. And we had chances but it weren't as clinical as them.

Updated: March 04, 2023, 3:01 PM