Manchester City have returned back to winning ways after Sergio Aguero's hat-trick led City to a 3-1 victory on Saturday evening against Newcastle United.
Park That Bus
Newcastle United came to the Etihad and parked the biggest of busses in the first 45 minutes. Despite showing flashes of possible attacking prowess in the first three minutes of the match, the visitors spent the rest of the first half with all men behind the ball in their own half.
Manchester City dominated possession, as predicted, but the Citizens failed to create much in the final third in the beginning of the first half.
John Stones missed a close chance from inside the Newcastle box when his shot, from a David Silva cutback pass, went wide right of Karl Darlow's goal in the 6th minute.
Raheem Sterling seemed to open the scoring in the 18th minute, but his tap-in on a rapid counterattack that included a passing sequence involving Kevin De Bruyne, Leroy Sane and David Silva, was ruled correctly offside.
Manchester City got their first goal in the 34th minute. Kevin De Bruyne's in-swinging cross from the left flank was faintly grazed by a leaping Sergio Aguero to give the hosts the 1-0 lead.
The Argentine striker almost scored his second of the match in the 41st minute, only to be denied by a deflection. Aguero played a one-two with Raheem Sterling on the left edge of Newcastle's penalty area, and then glided across the face of the box before having his shot deflected for a corner.
Frantic Forty Five Minutes
Sergio Aguero got his brace early in the second half, converting a penalty kick past Darlow into the left side of the goal. City were awarded a penalty after Raheem Sterling was tripped on the left flank of the penalty box, and Aguero slotted home the spot kick to give City a 2-0 advantage in the 63rd minute.
Newcastle pulled a goal back almost out of thin air and completely against the run of play in the 67th minute. Jacob Murphy was sent into a quick one on one with City goalkeeper Ederson Morales on a surprise counterattack, lobbing the ball past the keeper and into the back of the net to diminish City's lead to 2-1.
Sterling was unlucky to not have City's third goal in the 71st minute. Leroy Sane placed a perfect cross-box pass to the English winger, but Sterling's shot was well saved by a diving Karl Darlow.
The visitors almost had an equalizer a minute later. Mohamed Diame and the Newcastle attack had three great chance off the left flank towards City's goal, but the Ederson was able to save the chances despite the slight chaos in the box.
Sergio Aguero completed his hat trick in the 83rd minute, securing all three points for Manchester City. Leroy Sane dazzled past DeAndre Yedlin and the Newcastle defense before finding Aguero in the middle of the box, where the Argentine striker slotted home his third goal of the evening.
Manchester City are back in action on Tuesday night. The Citizens, holding a slender 2-1 advantage on aggregate, travel to Bristol City for the second leg of the Carabao Cup semifinal.