De Bruyne returns with a goal, assist to lead Man City in comeback win over Newcastle
NEWCASTLE, England (AP) — Kevin De Bruyne marked his Premier League return by coming off the bench to score the equalizer and set up an injury-time winner as Manchester City rallied for a 3-2 win at Newcastle on Saturday.
Less than five minutes after coming on for his first league appearance since the opening round of the season, De Bruyne showed just what Manchester City has been missing in his absence. The Belgian playmaker collected a pass in midfield and drove forward before calmly slotting a low shot just inside the post with pinpoint perfection to make it 2-2 in the 74th.
With City pressing for a winner, De Bruyne then lifted a perfectly weighted ball into the box for substitute winger Oscar Bobb, who beat goalkeeper Martin Dubravka from close range.
De Bruyne was out for five months after needing surgery on his hamstring, but this 20-minute cameo showed just how instrumental he can still be to City’s title defense.
The win lifted Pep Guardiola’s team into second place, two points behind Liverpool.
Tenth-place Newcastle fell to a fourth straight league loss, despite having come from behind to take the lead in a frantic first half that featured three highlight-reel goals in a 12-minute span.
Bernardo Silva put City ahead with crafty backheel flick after meeting a cross from Kyle Walker in the 26th minute but Alexander Isak and Anthony Gordon then curled in similar shots within two minutes of each other.
Isak equalized after running onto a long ball over the top, cutting inside Walker and beating substitute goalkeeper Stefan Ortega with a curling strike that crept inside the far post.
Gordon then nearly replicated that feat minutes later on another quick counter, driving in from the left and also cutting inside Walker before curling the ball past Ortega and inside the same corner.
Ortega had to come on after just eight minutes after Ederson was injured during an eventful start to the game.
Newcastle had a goal disallowed for offside after just two minutes, but that incident proved costly for Man City as Ederson was hurt in a collision with Sean Longstaff as he put the ball in the net.
But De Bruyne's return proved enough for City to see out a sixth straight win in all competitions.
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