Five-star Man City take control of Premier League title race

Where chaos ensued in Madrid, it was the control Pep Guardiola craves that won them this game, and potentially a fourth title in five years.

Guardiola stressed that Liverpool’s draw with Tottenham on Saturday would have little impact on City’s mood and, whether that is true or not, the entire game provided little out of the ordinary.

Despite the context around following events at both the Santiago Bernabeu and Anfield, Sunday’s victory was as routine as it comes.

Things may have been different had Chris Wood finished what looked a glorious chance in the opening ten minutes after good work from Allan Saint-Maximin but, from there, the game became little more than the kind of win Guardiola has built his dominance upon.

Newcastle were suffocated, both from being starved of possession and pressed into dead-ends. Where they lacked space, Kevin De Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan stretched out, with the latter teeing up Joao Cancelo to head across to Raheem Sterling, who nodded home from close range for the opener.

Eddie Howe’s side chased shadows for another fifteen minutes or so, rarely threatening, before City flexed their muscle from a set-piece yet again. Gundogan’s volley after a De Bruyne corner was played to him was fumbled by Martin Dubravka, allowing an alert Aymeric Laporte to tap in.

Little changed after the break and, on the hour mark, Rodri’s emphatic header from another De Bruyne corner brought chants of ‘Championes’ from the crowd.

Phil Foden and Sterling would a fourth in fifth in quick-succession, rounding off a brilliant weekend for Guardiola’s side.

City, unlike in Madrid, are on the right side of touching distance.

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