Newcastle United 1, Manchester City 0 (Carabao Cup 3rd Round)
Alexander Isak scored the only goal of the game as Newcastle United dumped Manchester City out of the Carabao Cup.Embed from Getty Images
And victory meant last year’s finalists earned a trip to Old Trafford to play holders Manchester United in a rematch of last season’s final in the Round of 16.
Both Newcastle and City made extensive changes to their sides – effectively admitting that they had bigger fish to fry this season with both sides in the Champions League.
And in a dominant first half City perhaps should have taken the lead but couldn’t manage it against the Newcastle.
Julian Alvarez had the best of City’s chances during the game, forcing a save from Nick Pope while youngster Oscar Bobb declined to shoot and instead tried to find Alvarez who was in a better position.
The Magpies brought on Bruno Guimares and Anthony Gordon and upped their aggression level, going after the much more inexperienced City team.
And they were backed all the way by a vociferous St James’ Park crowd who were ecstatic when Joelinton found Alexander Isak and, with Rico Lewis out of position, the Swedish striker had an easy tap-in to break the deadlock.
City made numerous changes to try and draw level but Erling Haaland crucially didn’t come on as the Blues finished the game without a striker and also crucially without the equaliser.
Guardiola was animated during the game and collected a booking for his antics as City finished the game frustrated and defeated.
But the fact that the City boss declined to bring on the big guns – the fact that there were seven changes from the side that beat Nottingham Forest and Erling Haaland never came off the bench suggests that Guardiola privately won’t be too disappointed with falling at the first hurdle in a competition they have won several times recently.
He said: “Congratulations to Newcastle. Big compliments for the way they played.
“We were there and made a brilliant first half but Newcastle increased their rhythm and aggression and kicking.
“Newcastle are a top side, defensively they are so strong, they work really well.
“Bruno Guimares and Joelinton’s impact was important but we take many positive things from our players.
“We already have the European Super Cup and have three more [domestic] competitions to play, good luck to the rest of the teams in the Carabao Cup.”
He lauded the performance levels of some of the players who started the game, reserving high praise for teenage Norwegian winger Oscar Bobb who was making his full debut, adding: “Oscar Bobb was more than brilliant in all departments.
“Oscar was a little bit shy in the first half, he should have finished a chance but passed to Julian [Alvarez].”
And with midfield general Rodri suspended for two more games, Guardiola also had positive words for his likely replacement for the Premier League games against Wolves and Arsenal.
“Kalvin [Phillips] played really well, it’s not easy when you have a lack of rhythm. Everyone has a chance for the next game.
“We decided with this line-up because some players have played so many minutes. I don’t wish to waste energy at this stage of the competition.”