2021-22 English Premier League
  • Rúben Dias (5')
  • João Cancelo (27')
  • Riyad Mahrez (64')
  • Raheem Sterling (86')

Man City dominate struggling Newcastle to retain Premier League top spot

Michallik: 'City favourites to retain the title' (0:50)

Janusz Michallik and Mark Donaldson analyse Manchester City's eighth Premier League victory in a row. (0:50)

Manchester City will be top of the Premier League on Christmas Day after easing to a 4-0 victory over Newcastle United at St. James' Park on Sunday.

An early goal from defender Ruben Dias, as well as strikes from defender Joao Cancelo, winger Riyad Mahrez and forward Raheem Sterling ensured Pep Guardiola's side a comfortable win over Eddie Howe's Newcastle, who failed to make ground in their bid for survival.

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Sunday's result was City's seventh-consecutive league win, a run that dates back to October.

Dias broke the deadlock inside five minutes, taking advantage of a mistake from Newcastle defender Ciaran Clark, who failed to deal with a looped cross on the edge of the six-yard box, allowing Dias to head home from close range.

Cancelo doubled City's lead on 27 minutes, ending a meandering run through Newcastle's half with a fierce shot from the edge of the 18-yard box.

Striker Gabriel Jesus almost added another early in the second half as he headed from point-blank range but was denied by Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka.

Mahrez scored City's third with a volley on 64 minutes, finishing an inviting cross from defender Oleksandr Zinchenko. The goal was originally ruled out for offside by the linesman but was later awarded by the Video Assistant Referee.

Sterling capped his side's commanding performance on 86 minutes by slotting home unmarked at the back post following a cross from Jesus.

Newcastle were denied what looked to be a clear penalty on the half-hour mark when City keeper Ederson clattered into Ryan Fraser, but neither referee Martin Atkinson nor the VAR decided to intervene.

"I am not too sure what happened with VAR and the referee, the goalkeeper wipes out Ryan and it is a stonewaller, a clear penalty," Newcastle manager Eddie Howe said.

Things got worse for Newcastle as Mahrez turned home Kevin De Bruyne's cross from the left with a deft volley in the 63rd minute to notch his 50th Premier League goal after a lengthy VAR review.

"I was quite sure I was onside as I saw the defender running with me so I didn't think I was offside," Mahrez said.

Newcastle stayed second-bottom on 10 points and City manager Pep Guardiola thought they contributed to their own downfall.

"A good result, not a good performance. We were lucky but Newcastle did not defend well for the first goal and a brilliant action from Joao Cancelo for the second goal," he told the BBC.

English Premier League Standings