Newcastle United have created the biggest upset in English football circuit after Eddie Howe’s men have knocked out treble winners Manchester City in third round of Carabao Cup. Swedish striker Alexander Isak was on target as the Magpies have caused a stir in defeating the seasoned champions in St. James Park.
Newcastle stuns Manchester City
Newcastle United might just have caused the biggest upset in the history of English football, when they stunned Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, last night, in St. James Park. City, a team which is reckoned by every single outfit in the world as one of the strongest teams in the world, owing to their exploits in Europe last season, which saw them lifting the coveted Champions League trophy, and subsequently winning the treble. They eventually went on to secure UEFA Super Cup glory after defeating Sevilla on penalties, but have lost out to arch-rivals and last season’s title contenders Arsenal in Community Shield, thus starting their new season with a title defeat. But, last night, they took the beating when Magpies, who were also back in Champions League this season, owing to their heroics last year which saw them oust heavyweights like Liverpool and Manchester United and had a surprising third-place finish, stunned them in their home ground, thus letting Pep go off a quadruple dream.
With a mouth-watering clash on the cards, both tacticians have fielded a moderately strong eleven, resting several key players, with youngsters getting opportunities from both teams. Newcastle came on the back of a masterclass 8-0 victory against Sheffield United, inflicting their biggest defeat, as Magpies set a unique milestone of winning the game where eight different goal scorers were on the score sheet. Eddie Howe started with 4-3-3 formation, as his defensive set-up comprised debutant Livramento on the full-back position, accompanied by Targett, Dummett, Lascelles, who were shouldering the responsibilities of guarding their defensive wall against a potent City attack. The midfield comprised seasoned former AC Milan star Tonali in the central position, who was assisted by Miley and Joelinton, with the attacking position occupied by match hero Isak, Hall and Murphy.
As for Manchester City, Pep decided to rest some of his key players in the game after coming on the back of a 2-0 victory over Nottingham Forest, as he started with 3-2-4-1 formation, with the defensive wall comprising Croatian star Gvardiol, Ake and Akanji, who were closely followed by Lewis and Philips. Midfield consisted of Gomez, Bobb, Kovacic and the seasoned Grealish, with Argentine World Cup winner Julian Alvarez handling the responsibility of attack up front.
A strong first half
With several youngsters on the deck for both sides, it had promised to be a feisty and enthusiastic encounter, with both sides eager to make their own mark on the field. In the initial minutes, Oscar Bobb was being targeted as he was someone who could play the ball long and assist some creative balls to striker, bringing his effective playmaking skills on the field. Newcastle identified him as their main target as the Magpies were trying to dispossess him.
Rico Lewis was instrumental in guarding the wings, as he was spearheading that position in place of the seasoned Kyle Walker, who was arguably the best defender for City this season. Gvardiol, the sturdy Croatian defender had stopped a rising Isak counter, with the Swedish trying some acrobatics by cutting him inside out, but the defender tasted success in winning the ball and clearing it.
With several attacks being thwarted by both teams, Newcastle went on for City’s right side, which was relatively inexperienced, as Lewis was floating around the field, Gomez was playing as a right wing and Bobb was playing his first debut. The youngster was instrumental in laying the balls to Alvarez, in spite of going at it himself, and getting a chance for himself to shoot, but he would definitely set-up more experienced Alvarez, as Pep put his arms in disbelief.
Isak fires Magpies ahead, knocks out City
After a subtle first half, which ended 0-0, with both teams getting fare share of chances, it was poised for a sublime climactic second half, which will see any side going through, and the other getting crashed out. As the second half started, Kalvin Philips, the former Leeds playmaker got a chance to fire City one-up, instead he fired it over the bar, thus increasing his tally to three shots.
Newcastle fans at St. James Park were voicing their support for the home team, as the Magpies were slowly getting on the ball, thus increasing their chances of scoring a goal. But, on the 53rd minute, Newcastle stretched together a string of passes, to get into the City box, as it seems that Howe might have given a enthusiastic team talk at the break. The passes combo between players led Joelinton to drive in to the opponent box who hit the ball, only for Lewis to think that it will go past. But, the lanky Swede Isak had got other plans in his mind, as he came from behind at the back post to fire the goal at the back of the net, thus silencing City players and travelling supporters.
With this goal, Eddie Howe’s team managed to hold on to the slender lead, thus knocking City out of Carabao Cup, as their hopes of having a quadruple got crashed. City boss Guardiola congratulated Newcastle on tasting success against them, as he said, “First congratulations to Newcastle. We were there. We were brilliant first half and the way we played. They increased the aggression .We struggled a little. Be there in the bad moments and we were there. We could not win. Congratulations to Newcastle.”
Newcastle inflicted City their first loss of the season, as in Premier League, pep’s side has maintained a perfect start.