Sat 13 Jan 2024, 22:23 by Ash Harrison

Manchester City (H) player ratings: A fantastic game for neutrals but we still handed out a 3

Manchester City (H) player ratings: A fantastic game for neutrals but we still handed out a 3
Owen Humphreys/PA Wire
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Newcastle fell to a fourth successive Premier League defeat, with Manchester City taking all three points thanks to a stoppage-time winner from Oscar Bobb at St James' Park on Saturday evening.

In truth, it was no less than Pep Guardiola's side deserved after running the Magpies ragged in the second period, with Eddie Howe's fatigued starting eleven barely laying a glove on their masterful opponents.

The first half was a different proposition, though. The Cityzens might have controlled the ball for long portions of it, but Alexander Isak and Anthony Gordon were a huge threat on the break, each scoring wonderful goals.

Ultimately, Newcastle ran out of legs in a big game once again, with Howe having even less than usual on the bench to turn to thanks to Joelinton's injury at Sunderland and Tino Livramento's absence through illness.

The players who were fielded put in a monumental shift. However, despite a few magic moments, nobody shone too brightly and one player in particular put in another really poor performance in midfield.

Here's the full breakdown of ratings, with a certain Slovakian again taking the POTM award.

No lack of effort, but both belief and quality were in short supply

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Owen Humphreys/PA Wire
Gordon scored a wonderful goal and was again our most threatening attacker

Martin Dúbravka – 7 ⭐️

Dubs is making us eat our words at the moment, as we were highly critical of him when he first came into the side following Nick Pope's injury. There was little he could do about City's three goals and he made eight saves to keep us in with a shout of a point until stoppage time.

Kieran Trippier (c) – 6

We've lost count of the number of goals conceded Tripps has been at fault for this season, but aside from losing Bobb for the winner he had a very solid game up against an incredibly difficult opponent in Doku. Still, it was an awful moment for someone of his vast experience.

Fabian Schär – 5

He did great for the first goal and pinged some lovely passes otherwise. There's no getting away from him being beaten to the ball by Silva for City's first, failing to block De Bruyne's daisy cutter for their second, and not being close enough to Trippier for their third, though.

Sven Botman – 7

He had a little bit of a shaky start but soon felt his way into the contest and was easily our best defender. He made one particularly important saving tackle, passed the ball bravely and accurately, and ultimately didn't deserve to be part of a back four that conceded three.

Dan Burn – 6

While we enjoyed seeing Burn's impression of Andy Carroll from our goal kicks and his perfectly weighted pass to Gordon for our second, there were too many poor moments from the big man again here. It's no coincidence that most of City's threat came down our left.

Lewis Miley – 5

There haven't been many games in which he's looked out of his depth, but this was one of them. He ran out of legs again by the hour mark, which made him even more of a passenger in the closing stages. We're going to miss Joelinton so much these next six weeks.

Bruno Guimarães – 6

We have to start with the pass for Isak's goal, which was right out of the top drawer, but this was a mixed evening for Bruno otherwise. He picked up yet another needless yellow card, gave De Bruyne the freedom of the pitch in the closing stages, but battled throughout.

Sean Longstaff – 3

Longy has been atrocious since his return from injury, having seemingly become an integral part of the side before his absence. He has next to no impact on games, managing a meagre 22 touches here, completing just 8 passes, and failing to make even a solitary tackle.

Miguel Almirón – 6

This was a typically busy display from Miggy but the end product was once again lacking and he was uncharacteristically sloppy with his passing. Still, he used his right foot more than once, led the press with aggression, and supported Trippier well throughout.

Alexander Isak – 7

What a wonderful finish it was for the equaliser. He also played a big part in the second goal, too, but another huge chance went begging and he looked typically shattered around the hour mark. He's so classy, but like so many others he's been run into the ground recently.

Anthony Gordon – 7

Unless our memory is failing us, this was Gordon's best goal yet in black and white. Considering he only had 23 touches he had a big impact on the contest and did a lot of tracking back to keep up with the dangerous Walker. He looked exhausted when he came off.

This may just have been our most uninspiring bench yet

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Getty Images
We'd give anything to have anyone remotely near De Bruyne's level to bring on

Lewis Hall – 5

He didn't do much other than give a glimpse of why Howe refuses to use him much with his failure to track one threatening run in behind, despite only having been on the pitch for a couple of minutes.

Next up for the Magpies is Fulham away in the FA Cup

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Ben Queenborough/BPI/Shutterstock
There've been some big games this season and this is another massive one

We've never been so thankful for a two-week break and, based on Gordon's post-City interview with NUFC TV, it seems the players feel the same way!

We're next in action at Craven Cottage on Saturday 27th January, with the fourth round FA Cup tie being shown on ITV at the rather awkward time of 7 p.m. GMT.

The FA Cup has taken on huge importance thanks to our exits from the Champions League and Carabao Cup, plus our faltering league form, so we'd call this a must-win.

Howay the lads!

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