Kevin De Bruyne’s immediate impact off the bench was crucial in Manchester City’s 3-2 win over Newcastle United on Saturday.
Despite losing goalkeeper Ederson to injury early on, City took the lead through Bernardo Silva. However, Newcastle surged ahead with two quick goals from Alexander Isak and Anthony Gordon towards the end of the first half. Struggling for an equalizer, City turned to De Bruyne, who scored with just five touches.
In the dying moments, De Bruyne’s impressive pass set up Oscar Bobb for the late-winning goal.
Newcastle quickly thought they had an early goal when Alexander Isak set up Sean Longstaff, but celebrations were cut short by an offside flag and a subsequent VAR check. Kyle Walker’s attempt to block the shot, a situation that wouldn’t have occurred if the offside had been called promptly, left Ederson injured on the ground.
Ederson, visibly uncomfortable, tried to continue but was caught in possession. Despite this, Newcastle failed to capitalize on the situation. Rodri and Phil Foden urged Pep Guardiola to substitute Ederson, and the manager eventually made the change.
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After the dust settled, both teams had possession and attacked whenever possible. City had to be patient for their opening goal, with Kyle Walker delivering a cross to Bernardo Silva, who flicked it beautifully into the bottom corner.
City dominated proceedings, with Martin Dubravka tipping a shot from Silva onto the post. However, against the run of play, Isak equalized with a well-timed run and a bending effort into Stefan Ortega’s top corner.
Newcastle then took the lead as Anthony Gordon exploited Kyle Walker’s defensive vulnerability, slotting the ball into the same side of the City net.
The game’s tempo slowed in the second half, with Newcastle focusing on subduing City’s threat. De Bruyne, brought in as a substitute, turned the tide with a controlled strike from the edge of the box, finding the bottom corner.
As the match seemed headed for a draw, De Bruyne made a decisive impact once again. In the 91st minute, his exquisite pass set up Bobb, who rounded Dubravka and sealed a dramatic victory.