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Manchester City v Newcastle – story of the match

Aguero took home the match ball as the leaders returned to winning ways.

Sergio Aguero scored a hat-trick as Manchester City restored their 12-point lead at the top of the Premier League with a 3-1 win over Newcastle at the Etihad Stadium.

Aguero glanced home a Kevin De Bruyne cross to break the deadlock in the 34th minute then added his second from the penalty spot midway through the second half.

Jacob Murphy gave Newcastle hope with a composed finish to reduce the deficit but Aguero wrapped up victory by firing home after a dazzling piece of work by Leroy Sane.

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PA Graphics

What they said

Tweet of the match

Star man – Sergio Aguero

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Aguero maintained his stunning scoring record against Newcastle

It was hardly Aguero’s most vintage display in a light-blue shirt but the Argentine still managed to single-handedly steer City back to winning ways. With the faintest of touches to break the deadlock, a coolly-taken penalty and a fine finish after Leroy Sane did the hard work, Aguero simply underlined that when when his side needs him most, he will always be where it counts.

Moment of the match

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Leroy Sane’s role in City’s victory was hardly high-profile until his stunning piece of skill confirmed victory late on. With his side looking set to hold out for a nervous 2-1 triumph, Sane dribbled into the left side of the Newcastle box and turned a series of Magpies defenders inside-out before crossing for Aguero to complete his hat-trick.

View from the bench

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Pep Guardiola will be the first to acknowledge that it was far from a perfect performance, but after the trauma of last week’s defeat to Liverpool, an ultimately comfortable victory over a defensive-minded Newcastle was exactly what he required. Guardiola will be particularly pleased with the performance of stand-in left-back Oleksandr Zinchenko on his first league start. For Magpies boss Rafael Benitez, one can only predict a bleak short-term future with his side still teetering close to the relegation zone and the apparent collapse of a takeover leaving major questions over his ability to buy his way out of trouble.

Ratings

Manchester City: Ederson 6, Kyle Walker 7, John Stones 6, Nicolas Otamendi 6, Oleksandr Zinchenko 7, Fernandinho 6, Kevin De Bruyne 8, David Silva 6, Raheem Sterling 7, Leroy Sane 7, Sergio Aguero 8. Subs: Bernardo Silva (for Sterling, 86) 5, Brahim Diaz (for Sane, 87) 5.

Newcastle: Karl Darlow 6, Javier Manquillo 6, Jamaal Lascelles 6, Ciaran Clark 7, Paul Dummett 7, Jacob Murphy 8, Jonjo Shelvey 7, Mohamed Diame 7, Isaac Hayden 6, Christian Atsu 6, Joselu 6. Subs: Ayoze Perez (for Atsu, 64) 5, DeAndre Yedlin (for Manquillo, 66) 5, Dwight Gayle (for Joselu, 77) 5.

Who’s up next?

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Bristol City v Manchester City (Carabao Cup, January 23)

Chelsea v Newcastle (FA Cup, January 28)

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