Manchester City tore Newcastle to shreds last night in what was a frankly embarrassing display for Steve Bruce and the side he selected.
Fortunately, no fans were able to make the journey to the Etihad Stadium, and the likelihood is those who tuned in watched with disdain as a rampant Citizens side set a new Premier League record with their 94 per cent pass accuracy.
After the match, Opta shared a map of Pep Guardiola’s side’s 840 attempted passes, of which a whopping 787 were successful. The statistic highlighted the squalid nature of the Magpies’ performance and some fans took to Twitter to express their disdain at the account Newcastle gave of themselves.
93.7 – Manchester City completed 93.7% of their passes against Newcastle (787/840), the highest recorded figure in a Premier League game since full passing data is available (2003-04). Pollock. pic.twitter.com/RDlj2DRUjS
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) July 8, 2020
Some supporters scrutinised the way Bruce deployed the Magpies against the Sky Blues, suggesting that his tactics played straight into the hands of the opposition. They believe Newcastle may have made it easy for City and invited pressure upon themselves by failing to hunt the ball back when out of possession.
That’s what happens when you apply ZERO pressure. Bruceball tactics first rule, keep the opposition passing lanes open
— Sticky glue (@ImStickyGlue) July 8, 2020
Kinda easy when the opposition stands still
— Percy (@michaelpercival) July 8, 2020
Meanwhile, another fan referenced the previous encounter between the two sides in the FA Cup, just ten days prior, when Newcastle produced a similarly abject performance and were fortunate to lose 2-0.
Newcastle did the exact same in the match the other week, didn’t even try to make a competition of it. Already beaten before the game started.
— Patrick Veale (@nuttyhill) July 8, 2020
Others were quick to point out that when Rafael Benitez was in charge, he at least made Manchester City work for their results. Newcastle even beat Guardiola’s side 1-0, the last team to do so in the Premier League on their route to becoming champions. While this is a fair reflection of the previous two meetings, Bruce did oversee a thrilling 2-2 draw with City earlier in the campaign.
The Steve Bruce effect & when Rafa was our manager they only beat us by one goal not 5
— AnnE37 (@E37Ann) July 8, 2020
But for some fans it was the lack of influence Newcastle exerted on the rare occasions they did have possession, retaining 26 per cent, which infuriated them most. While the Toon did muster six shots, only one of those forced a save from Ederson, as per WhoScored.
Unbelievable that Newcastle offered absolutely nothing
— Richie (@richielowthian) July 8, 2020