Tired legs?! Not for Man City! Winners and losers as Pep Guardiola's side make it 17-straight home wins with victory over Newcastle just three days after UEFA Super Cup triumph

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Pep Guardiola Phil Foden
Phil Foden and newcomer Josko Gvardiol were outstanding as the treble winners overcame their tiredness to see off the Magpies

The most successful managers have spoken at length about the difficulty in maintaining the hunger of a team that has won it all. All sporting empires eventually fall and a common theme is that they suffer from complacency and their old fire burns out; but not this Manchester City team.

The Cityzens had every right to be jaded so soon after their penalty shootout win over Sevilla in the UEFA Super Cup, but Pep Guardiola's side overcame the adversity against Newcastle. Julian Alvarez's stunning strike secured a 1-0 win, setting a new club record of 17 consecutive home victories.

After returning to Manchester from Athens on Thursday, Guardiola claimed his side had no time to train and properly prepare for this fixture against a fellow top-four finisher in the 2022/23 campaign. The Catalan was only able to make two changes to his starting XI and was without key players John Stones and Kevin De Bruyne, but his side produced another exceptional performance and fully deserved the three points.

GOAL breaks down the winners and losers from the Etihad Stadium...

  1. WINNER: City's mentality

    WINNER: City's mentality

    City have won every single game at the Etihad Stadium in 2023. They have beaten Arsenal, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Liverpool and Chelsea, twice. That run looked to be at serious risk of coming to an end against Newcastle, especially as the champions had been severely tested by Sevilla in the UEFA Super Cup final in the scorching heat of Athens and had so little time to prepare for the match.

    City did not win the treble last season by making excuses for themselves, however, and they demonstrated that single-mindedness which has underpinned their many successes under Guardiola.

    "This is the second game of the season but it is proof, the reason why we won a lot, the mindset and mentality of this group of players," Guardiola told a press conference. "Amazing every time, it surprises me every time. [Look at] the conditions we arrived in, a lot of injuries and no rest and defend and how they run and the commitment of absolutely everyone was amazing."

  2. LOSER: City's rivals

    LOSER: City's rivals

    It is going to be a long season and it is always dangerous to make conclusions after two matches, but you have to feel for City's main rivals Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United.

    Watching how well they coped in the circumstances must be demoralizing for the likes of Mikel Arteta, Jurgen Klopp, Mauricio Pochettino and Erik ten Hag.

    No side in 134 years has ever won four top-flight titles in a row but, on this evidence, you would not want to bet against City from defying history and winning yet another crown.

  3. WINNER: Phil Foden

    WINNER: Phil Foden

    Filling in for Kevin De Bruyne is a daunting task for any player but Phil Foden is making a fine go of it. The England midfielder lost his place in the starting XI towards the end of last season but has put all his energy into winning it back and De Bruyne's injury, although a disaster for the team on many levels, has played into his hands.

    Foden was magnificent against Newcastle, and not just because he set up the only goal of the game for Alvarez. He set up seven chances in total and no player in Europe's top nine leagues has created as many opportunities as him so far this season.

    "Phil can play in all the positions up front, he has incredible ability between the lines the way he turn and attack the last lines, it is one of the best I have seen," said a delighted Guardiola.

  4. LOSER: Eddie Howe

    LOSER: Eddie Howe

    After making a stunning start to the new campaign by thrashing Villa, Newcastle headed to the Etihad hoping to record their first-ever away win against City since they upped sticks from Maine Road and moved to their current home in 2003.

    The conditions were in Newcastle's favor as they had a week to prepare for the match while City barely had two days. They also had a full squad, while City were missing Stones, De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva.

    The Magpies, however, put in a disappointing performance and Eddie Howe admitted that his side only started to play how he wanted them to late in the game.

    "When the moments came we weren’t clinical enough," said the Newcastle manager. "The second-half showing was much better. Fitness-wise we looked good, technically we were off, that’s probably where we lost it today, we turned the ball over quite a bit, we wanted to be ourselves but we didn’t execute it properly."

  5. WINNER: Josko Gvardiol
    Getty Images

    WINNER: Josko Gvardiol

    Ever since Josko Gvardiol announced himself to the wider football world at the 2022 World Cup, it has been said that the Croatian defender would be the perfect fit for City. He has only been at the club for two weeks but he already looks at home in Guardiola's system and gave an accomplished performance in his first Premier League start.

    The 21-year-old proved he has the strength to succeed in the famously physical English top flight and he put those attributes to good use to snuff out Newcastle's most promising passages of play. He also showed excellent anticipation and kept Alexander Isak, who had run Aston Villa ragged last week, at arm's length.

  6. LOSER: Erling Haaland

    LOSER: Erling Haaland

    Every player will have the occasional bad day at the office and Erling Haaland can be forgiven more than most players, given his frightening record. After returning with a bang in the first game back against Burnley, the Norwegian will be disappointed not to have added to his goal tally here.

    The 23-year-old was very much involved in the game and had four shots on goal, but he was lacking a tiny bit of sharpness, sending two of his efforts wide and being denied by Nick Pope on the two other occasions.