The five key quotes from Steve Bruce's post-Manchester City press conference
(Photo by Peter Powell - Pool/Getty Images)

Steve Bruce admitted that his Newcastle United side needed to "defend better" in their eventual 4-3 defeat to Manchester City – a game in which his side were leading twice.

In an opening 45 minutes that brought four goals of its own, The Magpies took a shock lead on 25 minutes when Emil Krafth headed home his first Premier League goal.

The champions responded with two quick fire goals; the first being a deflected strike by Joao Cancelo that was shortly followed three minutes later by an audacious volley from Ferran Torres.

Newcastle levelled the game up deep into first half stoppage time when Joelinton beat Scott Carson – a man making his first top flight appearance in ten years – from the penalty spot after the Brazilian himself was fouled by Nathan Ake.

The hosts found themselves back in front on 62 minutes when Joe Willock tucked in the rebound from Newcastle's second penalty of the game that was originally saved by Carson.

But Pep Guardiola's side – and Torres in particular – refused to lie down as the Spaniard completed his hat-trick with two goals in the space of two minutes to ensure The Citizens broke the record for the most consecutive away wins in English football, with 12 straight victories now to their name.

Here are the most important responses Newcastle boss made to the media in his pre-match press conference this evening:

Defensive improvement needed

Despite Bruce being over the moon with his team scoring three goals against the newly crowned champions, his side's inability to keep them out at the other end disappointed him.

"We're delighted to score three times against them, it doesn't happen for any team very often. But the one thing we needed to do was defend better," claimed Bruce.

"We've taken the lead a couple of times and needed to defend better. They're such a good side, it's remarkable how good they are. It was disappointing we took nothing from the game."

Two penalties and two different spot-kick takers

In a game that was bizarre from start to finish, Newcastle were awarded two penalties – where Joelinton and Arsenal loanee Willock split the duties, taking one each.

When asked why Joelinton did not take the second spot-kick, Bruce said: "I'm always a bit flexible with [penalties]. It's a bit of a South American thing, once they've scored one they don't want to take another one so I'm led to believe. It was his choice not to take. It's one of those things.

"Matt Ritchie has been the penalty taker before, he missed one the last time he took it but hey, we've scored twice so it didn't make any difference," added Bruce.

On Emil Krafth's first Toon goal

The Swedish defender – playing out of position from his usual spot at right-back – was an unlikely scored when he stooped home a towering header to give Newcastle the lead midway through the first half.

Bruce – the 'Manager of the Month' for April – was thrilled for Krafth, who netted his first top-flight goal this evening.

"I'm delighted for Emil, he said.

"It's [the corner] something off the training ground. When the delivery is like that it gives everyone a chance and Emil's got on the end of it."

Getting the 'balance right defensively' is key

Newcastle were a nuisance on the break this evening, utilising the pace of Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin effectively – and were good value for the three goals they scored.

Bruce admitted that his team still need to strike the perfect balance in their game, when he said: "We're a threat on the counter-attack for any team but we have to get that balance right defensively.

"We can't keep conceding the way we have because it's not very often you can score threes or fours - although we went to Leicester and scored four and three tonight.

"We've now got to try and get a couple of wins if we can and finish off the season with the form we're in."

On Manchester City

Although his team scored three goals, Newcastle had just 17% possession tonight – highlighting difficult it is to play against this Manchester City team.

Bruce said about tonight's opponents: "The biggest compliment I can pay them is that it's difficult to set up against them. There are large periods where you don't get a kick because they're so good in possession."

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