Manchester City made it 18 wins in a row in the Premier League with a 1-0 procession against Newcastle United on Wednesday.
Raheem Sterling’s 13th league goal of the season secured the result for Pep Guardiola’s side and sent them 15 points clear of Manchester United at the top.
The only negative for the visitors was the loss of captain Vincent Kompany to injury early in the first half, the centre-back going off with a suspected calf problem.
The slender scoreline belied what was one of City’s most comfortable victories of an astounding campaign, with Newcastle offering almost no resistance despite having lost their previous four league matches at home.
Another day, another goal that wins Manchester City points in the league.
That’s now 13 league goals from Raheem Sterling that have been worth 11 points for City. pic.twitter.com/CMBHPJBAXZ
— rob (@Razza_7) December 27, 2017
Rafa Benitez made five changes to the side that beat West Ham last time out, with his line-up including Rolando Aarons – who had not started in the league all season – and Paul Dummett, making his first appearance in the top flight since the opening day loss to Tottenham.
Sergio Aguero twice hit the post before Sterling at last made City’s dominance count in the 31st minute, but despite their total control of the game from then on they could not add to the scoreline.
Newcastle barely threatened in the closing stages, meaning they remain just a point outside the relegation zone in 15th, while City tightened their grip on the title and are one victory short of matching Bayern Munich’s record for Europe’s top divisions of 19 wins in succession.