Man City player ratings v NewcastleMan City player ratings v Newcastle
Man City player ratings v Newcastle

Man City player ratings v Newcastle: One 9/10 as Kevin De Bruyne ensures dramatic comeback win - gallery

Manchester City came from a goal down to earn a 3-2 win at St James' Park.

A Kevin De Bruyne-inspired Manchester City overturned a half-time deficit to beat Newcastle United on Saturday.

In his first Premier League appearance since August it took the 32-year-old a little over 20 minutes to transform a losing City’s fortunes, as he scored and set up Oscar Bobb’s injury-time goal at St James’ Park.

It was a peculiar beginning to the game, with Sean Longstaff’s goal correctly disallowed for offside. But as he poked the ball into the net, the Newcastle midfielder collided painfully with Ederson. It was an incident that ultimately resulted in a premature end to the Brazilian’s afternoon, but not before a clearly impaired Ederson saw his clearance blocked by Isak, with an ensuing melee of City players managing to clear the ball.

When the action got into full swing after the interrupted start, it was City who were in full stride, with Phil Foden repeatedly weaving his way through the Newcastle midfield. City’s no.47 and Silva have swapped roles in recent weeks, with the latter operating from the right wing, and it was the Portugal international who created the first chance of note for City when he struck over after 17 minutes.

Soon after, Silva had opened the scoring in sublime fashion. Kyle Walker’s cross was flicked home by the 29-year-old in audacious fashion, as he allowed the ball to run through his legs, before he side-footed the ball from behind him and into the goal.

City had dominated in the opening half an hour, with Newcastle offering glimpses of a threat on the break. Yet within two first-half minutes everything changed as the hosts reversed their deficit.

The goals came on the counter, with Kyle Walker at least partly to blame for both. Isak’s first came from a sublime Bruno Guimaraes through ball that managed to cut through the entire midfield and defence. Suddenly, Walker was racing to keep up with Newcastle striker, who found it too easy to cut inside on his right foot and then unleash a terrific shot that arced beyond Stefan Ortega.

The second goal came from a similar move as Anthony Gordon advanced down the left and a flat-footed Walker failed to see the danger unfolding before him. Again, from an improbable angle and distance, the ex-Everton man opened up his body and curled a sublime shot into the far corner.

Abruptly, this game had a different feel to it, and Newcastle fans, frustrated by the team’s indifferent form and alarming financial reports this week, found their voices. The barnstorming, end-to-end feel of the game helped, as did several ferocious tackles from both sides. It was Newcastle who finished the half stronger and Ortega had to be on hand to keep out Isak as he bore down on goal and poked the ball towards goal.

Yet, that changed after the break with City reestablishing a firm grip on proceedings. Julian Alvarez failed to convert three promising openings in the second period, with a bouncing ball in the box that was thrashed over the closest City came at the start of the half.

Foden and Mateo Kovacic also tested Martin Dubravka, while Guimaraes’ panicked clearance denied City a scoring opportunity and maintained Newcastle’s lead. But there was an inevitability when De Bruyne entered the fray.

The Belgian has missed nearly five months of league action, but it took just five minutes for him to grab an equaliser. De Bruyne latched onto a spectacular flick from Rodri and kept advancing at a Newcastle defence who seemed terrified of overcommitting. Instead they stood off, allowing the league’s best passer to pick his spot and stroke the ball into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.

The goal seemed like the perfect return, but the insatiable De Bruyne had another trick up his sleeve in injury-time. Out of nothing, the midfielder ensured City came away with all three points when he picked the ball up around 30 yards from goal and curled an inch-perfect cross in the Bobb, who controlled the ball and bypassed Dubravka with three rapid flicks of his feet, and knocked the ball into the goal for his first Premier League strike.

Pep Guardiola celebrated widely on the touchline and hugged and kissed his players after the full-time whistle. This was a big moment, and he knows it. The win sees City move above Aston Villa, who are in action on Sunday, and close the gap to leaders Liverpool to two points.

Here’s how we rated the City players on a hugely dramatic night at St James’ Park…