Newcastle United 0-1 Manchester City: Sterling strike sends City 15 points clear at the Premier League summit

Manchester City continued their dominant stride towards the Premier League title as Raheem Sterling's first-half goal increased their lead at the top to 15 points with an 18th consecutive league victory, beating Newcastle United. 

It was a dominant performance throughout from Pep Guardiola's men as Sergio Agüero had three excellent chances inside the opening half-an-hour to no avail.

But they didn't have to wait long as Sterling gave them the lead in the 31st minute. Newcastle could have easily been level again with Christian Atsu's effort cleared off-the-line from Nicolás Otamendi. 

The second period did lack the same amount of opportunities of the first but City's dominance never weakened with excellent chances for Agüero and Kevin De Bruyne to double their lead.

The Magpies had a rare opportunity to grab what would have been an undeserved point through Dwight Gayle but the three points once again belonged to The Citizens. 


Luck not on his side 

Guardiola's side came to the North East as the team to stop - which nobody but Everton had managed thus far this season - and were only encouraged to increase their stranglehold on the top spot after Manchester United's draw with Burnley. That showed in the early minutes as they could have quite easily been three ahead. 

Their first great opportunity came in the eighth minute as the away side were patient in possession before Fernandinho hit a pin-perfect cross towards goal. There, Agüero was waiting as he looked to add to his brace from the 4-0 win over Bournemouth. He peeled away from his marker but his volley clattered the outside of the post. 

The Argentine was at it again 10 minutes later as a free-kick was whipped with pace into the near post and he managed to get his head onto it but Rob Elliot went one better as he reacted excellently to turn the attempt over from close-range. 

Agüero will have been hopeful that it would be third time lucky on the half-hour mark as he did well to spin away from two defenders and he lashed one goalwards from 25 yards out only to once again be denied by the woodwork. 


Finally taking a deserved lead 

City had been peppering the Newcastle goal throughout the first half but Rafael Benítez will have been impressed to see them hold out. Yet the inevitable arrived following Agüero's close effort. 

It was well-worked as De Bruyne clipped an excellent ball over the top to Sterling. The winger still had a lot to do as he was off balance but the club's top-scorer made no mistake as he used the base of his boot to squeeze it past Elliot in goal.


Not home and dry just yet 

The Magpies had nothing to show for their presence on the pitch in the early minutes, but showed that they could prove dangerous to their dominant visitors as they came within inches of a equaliser.

Kyle Walker's decision to dive in for cross backfired as he missed the header and it bounced through to Rolando Aarons, who decided to chip it towards the back post, but Otamendi was there to provide a goal-line clearance.

​City continued to turn the screw as the half was coming to its close, De Bruyne placing another ball over the top for Gabriel Jesus who turned back into the box to find Sterling but his effort was pushed away by Elliot. 


Still trying to go for the jugular 

City's dominance didn't relent as the second half got underway and again they had some excellent chances to add to the score-line. The first came five minutes after the restart as Sterling did well on the left-hand side to jink through two defenders before curling a cross into the back post which Agüero reached on the stretch but could not turn home.

It was then the turn of De Bruyne to have a go in the 66th minute as the Belgian's effort from distance had Elliot had well beaten but again struck the woodwork, Agüero managing to turn into the net though the flag was duly raised for offside. 

​Newcastle had one final whimper towards the end as Atsu did well to trick his way into the area and get a cross in. Gayle was on the end of it as he stooped to get his header away around the penalty box but was just wide of the mark, with City's winning run deservedly continuing.