MARTIN KEOWN: Newcastle looked like they were in a washing machine

MARTIN KEOWN: Newcastle looked like they were trying to play football inside a washing machine after being left dizzied by a passing and pressing masterclass from Manchester City

  • After 26 minutes Newcastle had completed just 15 passes in a torrid opening
  • Manchester City could easily have lead by four or five goals at half-time break
  • Pep Guardiola’s six second pressing rule saw them dispossess Newcastle at will 

 This was like trying to play football inside a washing machine for Newcastle, the way Manchester City players were spinning around them in the first half. In possession, City were riveting. Out of it, they were relentless.

Pep Guardiola implemented a six-second rule at Barcelona, where players had to try to recover the ball within that timeframe if they lost it. That applies at City under Guardiola, too.

On the odd occasion that Newcastle regained possession, they were soon pressured into having it taken away from them. One statistic from the first drinks break after 26 minutes said it all. Completed passes by City: 188. By Newcastle: 15.

Manchester City hounded Newcastle like a pack of Wolves with their relentless pressing style

City could’ve scored four or five before Kevin De Bruyne’s penalty gave them a first half lead

Sterling sealed victory in second half as Newcastle were left dizzied by Pep Guardiola’s side

Steve Bruce set his side up with five at the back rather than his usual four and we witnessed an onslaught from the visitors, who had one chance after another. Maybe after the way Liverpool took their title in midweek, City felt a need to respond, and Kevin De Bruyne was in the mood on his birthday. The only surprise was it took them so long to break the deadlock, from the spot through De Bruyne in the 37th minute.

Newcastle had to change something in their set-up for the second half.

If you’re going to go out of the FA Cup, you want to go down fighting. Bruce opted for a back four and Newcastle finally saw more of the ball and made it a match. Dwight Gayle missed a gaping opportunity to capitalise on a City mistake and equalise, then Raheem Sterling made it 2-0.

City swept into the semi-finals, where they face my old club Arsenal.




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