First in line on the 26th day of the Premier League, Manchester City temporarily returned to two lengths behind leaders Arsenal by beating Newcastle (2-0), who see their European dreams threatened.
On the strength of his 58 points, the defending champion will now hope for a misstep from Arsenal which has 60 and receives the 19th Bournemouth at 4:00 p.m.
For the Magpies, beaten by Manchester United in the League Cup final last Sunday (2-0), the trend is becoming very worrying since they have only picked up three points in the last five days.
Fifth with 41 points, they could be overtaken on Sunday by Liverpool, which has 39 and receives Manchester United (3rd) on Sunday at 5:30 p.m.
This match confirmed their great offensive difficulties, with only four shots, including one on target, despite several favorable situations.
City, for its part, without being very spectacular, scored on its first two shots on target.
From the end of the first quarter of an hour, Phil Foden, who is currently coming back very strongly, launched into a slalom in the opposing defense before seeing his shot deflected by Sven Botman – already author of a goal against his camp in Wembley on Sunday – beyond the reach of Nick Pope (1-0, 15th).
Manchester City doubled the lead shortly after the hour mark.
If he did not score, Erling Haaland was involved by cleverly deflecting the ball towards Bernardo Silva, who concluded (2-0, 67th).
A nice collective action, led by Jack Grealish who offset Foden well (86th) would also have deserved a better fate without the intervention of Pope’s firm right hand, but Pep Guardiola will certainly be satisfied with this performance where his team combined realism and control of the game as in its finest hours.