The goals of Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling handed Manchester City a comfortable 2-0 victory over Newcastle United to establish a semi-final clash with Arsenal in the FA Cup.
Pep Guardiola had announced earlier in the week that he had kept one eye on the quarter-final tie and the Catalan was true to his word, putting his best line-up possibly, while Claudio Bravo replaced Ederson in goal.
From there, it was one-way traffic and Man City was in the mood of playing their game, with Newcastle willing to sit back and let them down.
While Guardiola was supposed to have been satisfied with their build-up play, the consistency finish was extremely poor and only Raheem Sterling had hit the target with a powerful shot, as Riyad Mahrez came close to two occasions.
Having spent so much time battling for their lives, a moment of stupidity has destroyed Newcastle’s hard work after 37 minutes. De Bruyne’s cross aimed for Gabriel Jesus but the Brazilian found himself on the ground after a drive from Javi Manquillo.
Referee Lee Mason had not seen the incident but a message from VAR official Andre Marriner helped him make the call. De Bruyne took hold of the spot-kick and made no error, slotting into the corner and sending the wrong way to Karl Darlow.
When 1-0 leads went, City couldn’t have done more at the break to justify theirs and Newcastle knew they needed to change their shape or risk another attack in the second half. Steve Bruce’s side advanced up the pitch and began to cause some problems for City, while visitors missed golden chances through Mahrez and Gabriel Jesus to make their lives more fun.
Then came the game-turning moment. Allan Saint-Maximin, Newcastle ‘s brightest player, raced to the right, delivering a pinpoint cross to substitute Dwight Gayle. With the goal at his hands and just six yards back, the striker somehow lifted out from six yards, and Newcastle’s chance with it was gone.
Newcastle has been punished by City doubling their lead within 90 seconds of the chance. Aymeric Laporte fired at Phil Foden and found Sterling running inside and turning his attempt into the far corner from 20 yards out.
City settled in its groove and relied on De Bruyne and David Silva with further training ahead of them.
On July 18-19 they will face Arsenal as Guardiola’s men aim for a last-four spot in the bag to retain their title.