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Key Events

L. Sané
Bernardo Silva
Mikel Merino
C. Mbemba
E. Mangala
S. Agüero
D. Gayle
Yellow Card
R. Sterling
K. De Bruyne
0 - 1

Match Stats

22% 78%
Shots Off Target
Shots On Target 2 6
Total Passes 228 824
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Manchester City take a 15 point lead at the top of the Premier League table after Raheem Sterling's first-half goal proved to be the match winner in what was a one sided encounter. Newcastle defended well throughout and had chances through Rolando Aarons and Dwight Gayle to equalise, but Pep Guardiola's side proved to be too good for them, and spurned a number of chances to extend their lead over the course of the game. Newcastle will be able to take heart from what for long periods was a very solid defensive performance. Meanwhile, Man City march on.
90' + 3' Ederson launches the ball forward and it is cleared out for a throw in. That should be that...
90' + 1' Shelvey picks the ball up around 25 yards from goal and takes a shot, but it is well wide of the left post. Newcastle have roughly two minutes to find an equaliser.
90' The fourth official has indicated three minutes of additional time.
89' Newcastle come close to an equaliser! It is great work on the left wing to find space to cross, and Gayle's diving header swerves just narrowly wide of the right post with Ederson well beaten.
86' Jesus tries a long range effort for City but it is well, well wide of the left post. Newcastle have just under five minutes to force the issue here but they have showed nothing to suggest they have it in them.
84' Pep Guardiola looks set to have his City side sit back and see out a one goal lead. They are certainly not committing as many men forward.
L. Sané
Bernardo Silva
83' Bernardo Silva is replaced by Leroy Sané for Man City's third and final change.
80' Newcastle attempt to break forward after they clear Man City's free kick, but Manquillo is caught offside. 10 minutes for the Magpies to snatch a point.
Mikel Merino
C. Mbemba
77' Chancel Mbemba is replaced by Mikel Merino in Newcastle's final change of the evening. 
E. Mangala
S. Agüero
77' Sergio Agüero is replaced by Eliaquim Mangala.
D. Gayle
Yellow Card
75' Dwight Gayle goes into the referee's book for simulation, as he went to ground inside the City area when almost through on goal.
74' Newcastle are beginning to push a little higher up the pitch, as they have a little over 15 minutes to rescue at least a point from this game. They will be wary of leaving any space behind them though, with the pace City have at their disposal.
C. Atsu
R. Aarons
71' Rolando Aarons makes way for Christian Atsu.
71' A victory this evening will see Manchester City equal Manchester United's record of 13 consecutive wins against the same league opponent, a feat the Red Devils achieved against Wigan Athletic.
69' The game seems to have found new life as the introduction of Gayle has given Newcastle a bit more bite about their attack. It looks as though the Magpies will be going down fighting if they go down at all tonight.
68' Shelvey's free-kick in the City half is very poor and Ederson immediately launches the ball forward for Aguero on the break. The forward tries to chip the ball towards Sterling inside the box but it is intercepted by the head of the defener and bounces dangerously close to the near post and out for a goal kick.
66' Close! Newcastle lose the ball outside their own box and it is played to De Bruyne on the edge of the 18 yard box, who's curling effort bounces off the right post and into the feet of Aguero. The Argentine taps into the back of the net but the linesman had flagged for offside.
63' It is still all City here although they have yet to really threaten Newcastle in the last 10 minutes or so. Newcastle's balls forward are more often than not poor and they are showing no signs of being able to pull themselves back into this game.
D. Gayle
62' Joselu is replaced by Dwight Gayle up front.
58' City struggling to find any gaps behind this Newcastle backline and Aguero tries to go alone. He is tackled on his way into the box and the ball can only deflect off the striker for a goal kick. 
56' Poor from De Bruyne. Jesus shows great awareness to turn and roll the ball into space inside the box for De Bruyne, but his low effort is uncharacteristically poor and is sliced well wide of the near post.
54' Newcastle lose the ball in midfield and Silva rushes towards the Newcastle box. He opts to try and slot the ball into the bottom-right corner but it is too close to Elliot, who can dive low and parry the ball safely away.
53' A loose pass forces Walker to clear the ball for a throw in. It is tossed straight back to a City player though. Newcastle will need to make more of their rare forward moves if they are to rescue anything from this tie. City are in total control at the moment.
50' Excellent work from Sterling! He worms his way between two defenders off the left wing and clips in a cross towards the far post, which Aguero is inches away from making contact with. Brilliant from the winger, who has had an impressive night so far.
48' City starting this half much in the same fashion they finished the last one, patiently probing the Newcastle defence in search of an opening.
46' We're back underway!
The teams are coming back out onto the pitch, ahead of the start of the second half.
Manchester City lead at the break but Newcastle are certainly still in this tie. The home side frustrated their opponents for half an hour before Kevin De Bruyne's brilliant pass allowed Raheem Sterling to poke the ball home at the near post. Benitez's side suddenly came out flying and could have equalised shortly after, but Rolando Aarons' chipped effort was headed off the line by Nicolas Otamendi. Newcastle pressured the Citizens but City eventually regained control of the game, but could not find a second. 
45' The fourth official has indicated one minute of additional time.
42' City are finding more space now as Newcastle push out more. De Bruyne rolls the ball to Sterling near the penalty spot but his effort is saved by Elliot, with Aguero being unable to get his foot to the rebound.
40' Newcastle get a double header of corners but both are dealt with by City. Suddenly the sky blues are flying forward on the counter attack. It falls to Aguero at the back post but his side footed effort towards the near post is blocked.
38' Newcastle are pressing higher now and Fernandinho brings down Aarons before he can start the counter attack.
36' The game has become a little frantic as Newcastle up the pressure in search of an equaliser. It is all a bit messy in midfield but City eventually come away with a free kick.
34' Close! So so close for Newcastle. Kyle Walker slips as he tries to clear a cross and it falls to Aarons on the left of the box. The midfielder's chip looks to be dipping under the bar at the far post but Nicolas Otamendi is on the line to head away the danger.
K. De Bruyne
31' Kevin De Bruyne makes up for his misplaced shots with a delightful ball over the top for Sterling to prod home.
R. Sterling
31' GOAL! City find their breakthrough and it is well taken by Raheem Sterling. De Bruyne's chipped pass found the winger inside the left of the six yard box and Sterling did well to keep it low with his left foot and poke it inside the near post. 
30' Close! Aguero causing the problems again as he finds a yard of space between two defenders to get a shot away, which narrowly skims the far post. You can sense City are getting closer.
28' If anyone is going to make the difference it looks like it could be Aguero. He anticipates the misplaced clearance from a Newcastle defender and welcomes the ball dropping to his feet on the edge of the box. He worms his way between three players but his final pass isn't met by a teammate and Newcastle get a goal kick.
26' De Bruyne hasn't had the best game this evening and another rushed effort is fired harmlessly over the crossbar. City are showing signs of frustration here as they struggle to find their way through this packed defence.
24' It's attack versus defence at the moment. City are swarming these Newcastle players as soon as they lose the ball and winning it back, with the home side being forced to camp with all 11 players on the edge of their own box.
22' City probe once again but this time Danilo opts to try an effort from 30 yards out, which is high and wide.
20' Great defending. The ball is worked to Sterling on the wing, who tries to run beyond Yedlin. The defender blocks the run and earns his side a goal kick in the process. Newcastle are defending really well here and denying City any real space to work with.
17' Close! The corner is dealt with but City earn themselves a free kick on the right wing. De Bruyne finds Aguero at the near post and it takes an excellent reaction save from Robert Elliot to palm the header over the bar.
16' Another City corner. Newcastle are being made to work hard but they are holding out well so far.
13' Better from City! De Bruyne's free-kick into the box is poor but the danger isn't clear. City work the ball to the left wing, where Sterling links up with substitute Jesus. The forward fires towards goal but it is blocked out for a corner, which comes to nothing. City still in possession.
Gabriel Jesus
V. Kompany
11' So it is Vincent Kompany who makes way for Gabriel Jesus with what looks to be an injury. 
11' A blocked pass by Aguero falls to De Bruyne on the edge of the Newcaste box, but the Belgian's driven effort is high over the bar.
9' It looks like Gabriel Jesus is being readied to come on already. None of these City players look to be struggling with an injury though.
7' Fernandinho swings in an inviting cross towards the back post for Aguero to chase, but the Argentine is unable to make clean contact and can only fire it wide of the near post. 
5' All City so far. Newcastle are happy to camp outside their own box and allow City possession around the halfway line. 
3' All City possession so far but Newcastle are defending well. Rafa Benitez has his side set up in a 5-4-1 instead of the earlier thought 3-4-3, looking to catch City on the break.
1' Newcastle get us underway here at St. James' Park, kicking right to left. Shelvey takes the kick off and tries an ambitious effort from the halfway line, which Ederson claims comfortably.
The two sides are making their way out onto the pitch, with just a few minutes to go until kick-off.
For Manchester City, there are three changes to the side that beat Bournemouth 4-0 last weekend. Danilo came off the bench to add City’s fourth in that game and replaces Fabian Delph at left-back. Ilkay Gundogan replaces David Silva in midfield while Leroy Sane is dropped in favour of Bernardo Silva. In-form duo Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero retain their places after both were on the scoresheet last weekend.
There are six changes to the Newcastle side that beat West Ham last weekend, with Jonjo Shelvey returning to midfield after missing the Arsenal and West Ham games through suspension. He partners Mohamed Diame in the centre of the pitch while Javier Manquillo and DeAndre Yedlin take their place on the wings. Chancel Mbemba and Paul Dummett join captain Jamaal Lascelles in a back-three while Rolando Aarons and Jacob Murphy form a front-three alongside Joselu.
Manchester City Substitutes: Bravo, Mangala, Sane, Adarabioyo, Jesus, Toure, Diaz.
Manchester City XI (4-3-3): Ederson; Walker, Kompany, Otamendi, Danilo; De Bruyne, Fernandinho, Gundogan; Bernardo Silva, Aguero, Sterling.
Newcastle United Substitutes: Clark, Gayle, Ritchie, Perez, Merino, Darlow, Atsu.
Newcastle United XI (3-4-3): Elliot; Mbemba, Lascelles, Dummett; Yedlin, Shelvey, Diame, Manquillo; Murphy, Joselu, Aarons.
There’s just over 15 minutes left to go until kick-off, so let’s have a look at how the two teams will be lining up this afternoon…
The title race is threatening to become a formality for Pep Guardiola’s side but they still have some ways to go and the Spaniard and his side will be fully aware how costly complacency can be in the Premier League. City remain without midfielder Phil Foden and defender Benjamin Mendy with an ankle and knee injury respectively, while centre-back John Stones has returned to training after recovering from a hamstring problem, but is unlikely to feature against Newcastle.
Manchester City could climb 15 points clear of closest challengers Manchester United with what would be their 18th consecutive league win, after Jose Mourinho’s side conceded another last gasp goal to share the spoils with Leicester City in their Boxing Day fixture. Victory over Newcastle United would also see City set a new club record of 20 unbeaten league games against a specific opponent, topping their previous record of 19 against Barnsley, between 1898 and 1987. 
Manager Benitez will welcome the return of midfielder Jonjo Shelvey, who missed Newcastle’s previous two games through suspension. Defender Jesus Gamez and forward Aleksandar Mitrovic remain out with an ankle and back injury respectively but midfielders Mikel Merino and Isaac Hayden will be assessed ahead of the game and could make the squad.
Newcastle United’s 3-2 away victory at the expense of West Ham United ended a run of nine games without victory in the Premier League. The win saw the Magpies climb out of the relegation places, although they are only a point ahead of Bournemouth in 18th. It will be a huge boost to the confidence of Rafa Benitez’s men but they face a mountainous task of continuing that run against their unbeaten opponents tonight.
Good evening and welcome to our live text commentary of today’s Premier League game between Newcastle United and Manchester City at St. James’ Park.