- Newcastle beat Manchester City 1-0 to knock them out of the Carabao Cup
- Alexander Isak’s second half goal was enough to see off Pep Guardiola’s side
- Mail Sport’s new WhatsApp Channel: Get the breaking news and exclusives here
At least Pep Guardiola had a three-hour bus journey to ponder just how far short his understudies are of Manchester City’s leading men.
The Spaniard moaned about having to travel by road back to Manchester. The road to nowhere is an apt description of their second-half performance here.
City, with no Erling Haaland and seven changes from the weekend win over Nottingham Forest, bossed the first half without ever looking like scoring. After half-time, they just never looked like scoring. The bossing, meanwhile, was done by Eddie Howe’s Newcastle.
He had made 11 changes and, if the plan was to slip quietly from the competition amid the added load of Champions League football, it was all ticking along nicely after 45 minutes. City were suffocating them and looked set for victory.
But a double change breathed life into the Magpies and, come the end, a win secured thanks to Alexander Isak’s 53rd-minute strike was fully deserved. They were magnificent in the second period.
Alexander Isak celebrates scoring the winner that dumped Manchester City out of the cup
Newcastle book their place in the next round of the Carabao Cup with an impressive victory
Pep Guardiola was frustrated with the officials and was booked in the 1-0 defeat to Newcastle
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Rewind to kick-off and there were storm warnings on Tyneside. That did not apply to the game, so sedate were the early exchanges. ‘Is this the Etihad?’ sang 4,000 visiting fans in self-deprecating recognition of the calm.
A mix-up on the team-sheet listed Zack Steffen in goal for City. It was, in fact, Stefan Ortega. But Guardiola could have named himself between the sticks and it would not have made a difference in the opening half hour. City had 70 per cent of the ball, and that was a surprise – it felt like a lot more.
All they had to show for it, however, was a Julian Alvarez shot blocked by the foot of Nick Pope. It did not reflect favourably on the current sharpness of Jack Grealish when, attempting to run clear on goal, he was caught and robbed by Paul Dummett, who last played 13 months ago.
It was that sort of contest – half-fit players and managers perhaps less than half interested in going through. They should really have played the first half at Whitley Park, the home of Newcastle’s reserves.
There was at least the intrigue of a midfield battle between England’s Kalvin Phillips and Brazil’s Joelinton. And when the latter crunched through the former to win possession on halfway, the ball was worked to Jacob Murphy and Newcastle belatedly recorded an attempt on goal, his shot diverted over with relative ease by Ortega.
Erling Haaland was an unused sub despite Newcastle’s 1-0 win seeing them exit the cup
Kalvin Phillips made only his fifth start for City in the Carabao Cup defeat at St James’ Park
It had taken 41 minutes for the hosts to scramble clear of their own half and Howe responded with a double change at the break. Off went teenagers Lewis Hall and Lewis Miley – both making their full debut – and on came Anthony Gordon and Bruno Guimaraes. Newcastle immediately looked more like a team who had won 8-0 on Sunday.
Gordon ignited the home crowd within seconds, taking man and ball with a sliding challenge in front of the away dugout. Guardiola did not look happy and his frown stiffened moments later when Isak fired Newcastle in front.
The Swede’s far-post finish was the easy part, for the hard yards had been run by Joelinton, bursting through three City jerseys before squaring from the by-line. St James’ did not sound like the muted Etihad now.
And the home tackles, some of them escalating into fouls, kept on coming. Guardiola was furious and he and Howe swapped words on the touchline. This was all a far cry from the funereal first half.
The City boss was eventually booked as he contested one decision too many. He had shown more fight than his players in the second half.
Newcastle (4-3-3): Pope, Livramento, Lascelles, Dummett (Schar 90), Targett, Miley (Guimaraes 45), Tonali (Anderson 90), Joelinton, Murphy, Isak (Almiron 62), Hall (Gordan 45)
Subs not usd: Trippier, Ritchie, Karius, Manquillo,
Goal-scorer: Isak 53
Booked: Guimaraes, Tonali
Manchester City (3-2-4-1): Ortega, Akanji, Gvardiol, Ake (Nunes 68), Phillips, Lewis, Kovacic (Doku 68), Bobb, Gomez, Alvarez (Foden 73), Grealish
Subs not used: Walker, Dias, Haaland, Ederson, Carson, Hamilton
Booked: Akanji, Phillips
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