Sterling On Song As City Claim 18th Successive Win
Runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City surged 15 points clear at the top of the table as Raheem Sterling fired the Citizens to a slim 1-0 win at Newcastle on Wednesday.
Pep Guardiola’s side look certain to lift the title after extending their Premier League record winning streak to 18 matches. Sterling’s 31st minute goal ensured City took advantage of second placed Manchester United’s costly draw with Burnley on Tuesday.
The only club in Europe’s five biggest leagues to have had a longer winning run is Bayern Munich, who earned 18 consecutive victories under Guardiola in 2013-14. City can equal Bayern’s mark in their next match at Crystal Palace on December 31.
Unbeaten City have also won a record-equalling 11 successive away matches in the English top-flight, a total matched only by Chelsea in 2008.
Only Everton have prevented City from collecting maximum points this season, and ultra-defensive Newcastle, who for long spells had 11 men behind the ball, rarely looked like adding their name to that select group once Sterling poked home.
That the winger’s fourth strike in three games was the visitors’ only goal was a major surprise as they underlined the gulf in class between the top flight elite and the rest of the division.
They wouldn’t have been flattered by a five-goal interval advantage as they posted a 20th consecutive unbeaten league game against their hosts. Sergio Aguero could easily have had a hat-trick, as the Argentina striker struck the post with a close-range volley from a Fernandinho pass.
Aguero also saw his goal-bound header from a Kevin De Bruyne free-kick brilliantly saved by Rob Elliot, although the busy Newcastle goalkeeper could do little to prevent City from almost inevitably claiming the deadlock-breaking goal.
Sterling swapped passes with De Bruyne, whose lofted pass perfectly met the England international’s run into the area to beat Elliot with a low shot which found the net off the foot of a post from a narrow angle.