By Jack Wilkinson
Football journalist - @jacktwilkinson
Manchester City 2-1 Newcastle United: Kyle Walker stunner seals win
Highlights and report as champions close gap on Liverpool and Chelsea to two points
Last Updated: 02/09/18 7:29am
Kyle Walker's stunning maiden goal for Manchester City helped the champions overcome an improved Newcastle United 2-1 on Saturday.
The England international's sumptuous long-range drive seven minutes into the second half proved decisive as City moved to within two points of leaders Liverpool and Chelsea with their third win of the season.
Raheem Sterling fired City ahead inside eight minutes with a fine strike of his own before the Etihad Stadium was stunned on the half-hour mark by DeAndre Yedlin's equaliser - Newcastle's first league goal away from home this season.
However, despite the visible improvement, Rafa Benitez's men were left to reflect on a third defeat of the season which leaves them in the relegation zone with one point ahead of the international break.
Man City: Ederson (6), Walker (8), Stones (6), Laporte (6), Mendy (5), Fernandinho (6), D. Silva (6), Mahrez (5), Sterling (7), Jesus (5), Aguero (6).
Subs: Kompany (n/a), Gundogan (5), B. Silva (6).
Newcastle: Dubravka (8), Yedlin (7), Clark (6), Fernandez (6), Lascelles (5), Dummett (6), Diame (5), Ki (6), Kenedy (5), Perez (5), Rondon (6).
Subs: Atsu (5), Murphy (5), Joselu (5).
Man of the Match: Kyle Walker
Another arduous league outing looked on the cards for Newcastle when City started brightly. Riyad Mahrez dragged a shot wide with just four minutes on the clock and, four minutes later, the champions were ahead.
Newcastle were the architects of their own downfall as returning skipper Jamaal Lascelles surrendered possession on the edge of his area, handing Benjamin Mendy the chance to release Sterling, who marked his 100th Premier League appearance for City with a sumptuous strike into the far corner.
Sterling's second goal of the season ushered in a period of City dominance but they failed to double their lead, Gabriel Jesus firing a free header straight at Martin Dubravka on 27 minutes.
City were made to pay for their wastefulness as Yedlin embarked on a lung-busting 70-yard run, got on the end of Salomon's Rondon's cross and rifled Newcastle's equaliser beyond Ederson.
Buoyed by Yedlin's first Premier League goal, Newcastle made it to the break level, but they were undone within seven minutes of the restart thanks to a moment of magic from Walker.
John Stones, Riyad Mahrez and Gabriel Jesus, and Jamaal Lascelles, Kenedy and Ayoze Perez, returned as both managers made three changes from their last Premier League outing. Leroy Sane was left out of the Man City squad amid reports of concerns over his focus.
Sergio Aguero laid the ball into the path of the England international, who took a touch before flashing an unstoppable effort past Dubravka in the blink of an eye.
City were on course to return to winning ways but their hopes of adding gloss to the victory were hampered by the inspired Dubravka, who denied Fernandinho and David Silva on 67 minutes with a sublime triple save before thwarting Aguero in a one-on-one in stoppage time.
- Manchester City have won each of their last 10 Premier League home games against Newcastle, their joint-longest run of home wins against a single opponent in the top-flight (also 10 v Wolves between 1900 and 1937).
- Newcastle have registered just one win in their last 10 away Premier League games (D3 L6).
- Manchester City hit the 750 mark for home Premier League goals in this game (160 at Maine Road and 590 at the Etihad).
- Since the start of last season, only Mohamed Salah (45) and Harry Kane (35) have had a hand in more Premier League goals than Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling (31 - 20 goals, 11 assists)
- Benjamin Mendy is the third Man City player to assist as many as four goals in their first four games to a Premier League season, after Samir Nasri in 2011-12 and David Silva in 2015-16.
- Excluding own goals, Newcastle full-back DeAndre Yedlin is the first American player to score in the Premier League since Geoff Cameron for Stoke vs Aston Villa in March 2014.
- Kyle Walker scored his first goal for Man City in all competitions in his 52nd appearance for the club.
Pep Guardiola: "Our performance was quite good, especially in the second half where we didn't let them run and we created enough chances. The game was quite good. We have one title before the international break and 10 points from 12 so it's a good result, I'm so delighted and satisfied for the guys."
Rafa Benitez: "I'm disappointed because in the end you want to get that result. The team effort was there, the mentality was there - you could see the players fighting for each other. I'm really pleased with that but really disappointed because we have to manage better to get results here."
Man of the Match - Kyle Walker
Kyle Walker has got a Premier League and League Cup winners' medal to show from his first 52 games for City - now he has a first goal to go with them. The England international has taken his time to settle into the new season, with Benjamin Mendy catching the eye on the opposing flank. But any suggestion Walker would be overshadowed by his defensive partner was emphatically dismissed with a goal fit to win any game.
After the first international break of the season, City host Fulham and Newcastle welcome Arsenal to St. James' Park on September 15.