Match ends, Manchester City 3, Newcastle United 1.
Manchester City 3-1 Newcastle United
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said he hopes his side can pick up a record number of Premier League points this season after Sergio Aguero's hat-trick saw off Newcastle United.
City, who won the title in 2012 and 2014, are 12 points clear at the top of the table with 65 points from 24 matches. Second-placed Manchester United are on 53 points.
Chelsea collected 95 points when they became champions in 2004-05, and City will surpass that if they win 10 and draw one of their remaining 14 games.
City's latest victory came via Aguero's 11th hat-trick of his City career and his second of the season - he also scored three in the 6-0 win at Watford on 16 September.
The Argentina striker claimed City's first goal when he got the faintest of touches to head in from Kevin de Bruyne's goal-bound strike, before he converted a penalty after Javier Manquillo tripped Raheem Sterling.
Jacob Murphy pulled one back with a chipped finish over Ederson, but Aguero powerfully finished after Leroy Sane's jinking run to seal the victory.
"We need 10 more wins to be champions, and we'll try for more points," said Guardiola. "It was an outstanding performance, often against 11 players behind the ball [but] we were patient, and we found the space really well. They crossed the halfway just once and scored, but we're so happy."
It was a return to winning ways for Guardiola's side after they suffered their first league defeat of the season when they lost 4-3 at Liverpool on Sunday.
"We reacted really well after dropping points before," added the Spaniard. "It's not how many goals you score, it's how many chances you create, it's how many chances your keeper has to save. It was important how we reacted at 2-1 - we didn't panic."
City gain a deserved win, despite a scare
City looked on course for a routine victory after dominating the first half and the early stages of the second.
As well as City's opening two goals through Aguero, they had many other chances with the impressive Karl Darlow twice saving from Raheem Sterling, including a fine stop to push the England forward's attempt on to the post.
Newcastle had only had 17% possession in the first half, but were given a lifeline when City lost the ball, Ciaran Clark played it forward and Murphy ran through to score a well-taken first goal for the club.
Indeed, the visitors had a chance to equalise with Ederson parrying Mohamed Diame's effort and then the follow-up from Joselu.
But City killed off any hopes of a Newcastle fightback as Sane's fine run saw him set up Aguero, who scored for the seventh time in five matches.
Benitez expecting new signings
Newcastle are 15th in the table, but are only two points above 18th-placed Southampton - who would go above them with victory over Tottenham on Sunday - and there is uncertainty over the club's future.
Earlier this week, club owner Mike Ashley announced he had ended talks with businesswoman Amanda Staveley over a takeover that could have been worth around £250m - and that has left manager Rafael Benitez unsure over how much he will be able to spend during January's transfer window.
After the game, Benitez again stressed the need for new signings as the team hopes to avoid an immediate return to the Championship.
"It's the Premier League and everyone is spending a lot of money," said Benitez.
"That is why we expect something in this window. Hopefully we can see some new faces before the end of this window."
One of Newcastle's main weaknesses remains up front - they have only scored six times in their last eight games - and only registered four shots on target against City.
Landmark for Aguero - the stats
- Sergio Aguero is the seventh player to reach 200 Premier League appearances for Manchester City (also Hart, Dunne, Silva, Kompany, Zabaleta, Yaya Toure)
- Kevin de Bruyne and Leroy Sane have each provided 10 assists in the Premier League this season - a joint-high.
- Raheem Sterling has won more penalties this season than any other Premier League player (four).
- Only Wayne Rooney (15) has scored more Premier League goals against Newcastle than Sergio Aguero (14)
- Manchester City have conceded in seven of their last eight home games in all competitions, after keeping three clean sheets in the previous four.
- Jacob Murphy scored his first Newcastle goal in what was his 19th appearance for the club in all competitions.
- Aguero has scored the first perfect Premier League hat-trick (header, left foot, right foot) since the Argentine himself scored one against Newcastle in October 2015.
Man of the match - Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)
'The penalty was a bit soft' - what they said
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola speaking to BBC Sport: "We face these kind of teams - Southampton, West Ham, Bournemouth, who play with the 5-4-1 - that's why it's so important to attack this kind of team.
"When you have the ball, the opponent does not. To concede, they have to have it. It's not easy, with 10 players plus the keeper behind the ball.
"I don't know how many, but we created a lot of chances. Even at 2-1, how we reacted was good, we kept going, kept playing and made a difference."
Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez told Match of the Day: "We wanted to stay in the game and we did it, the penalty was a bit soft and it changed everything. After we scored we had a couple of chances. They are a very good team, our reaction was quite good.
"We changed at the end and played with four at the back, the idea was to stay solid and try to regain and play counter-attack. At the beginning we were giving the ball away easily. To find the balance between defending and attacking is what we were trying to do.
"I have been praising the players the whole season in terms of effort, sometimes it's a bit of luck. If you have a little bit of luck you can be ahead in some games."
Manchester City have two away cup games against Championship sides before they return to Premier League action.
On Tuesday, 23 January, they play at Bristol City (19:45 GMT) in the second leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final, with a 2-1 advantage after the first leg, before playing at Cardiff City in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Sunday, 28 January (16:00), which will be broadcast live on BBC One.
Pep Guardiola's side next play in the Premier League on Wednesday, 31 January, with a home game against strugglers West Brom (20:00).
Newcastle are at Chelsea in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Sunday, 28 January (13:30) and they then entertain Burnley in the Premier League on Wednesday, 31 January (19:45).
- 17De Bruyne
- 7SterlingSubstituted forBernardo Silvaat 86'minutes
- 19SanéSubstituted forDiazat 87'minutes
- 20Bernardo Silva
- 19ManquilloSubstituted forYedlinat 66'minutes
- 2ClarkBooked at 78mins
- 30AtsuSubstituted forPérezat 64'minutes
- 21JoseluSubstituted forGayleat 76'minutes
- Paul Tierney
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Manchester City 3, Newcastle United 1.
Brahim Diaz (Manchester City) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Jamaal Lascelles (Newcastle United).
Attempt missed. Dwight Gayle (Newcastle United) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Jonjo Shelvey with a cross.
Attempt blocked. Jacob Murphy (Newcastle United) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Jonjo Shelvey.
Substitution, Manchester City. Brahim Diaz replaces Leroy Sané.
David Silva (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Mohamed Diamé (Newcastle United).
Substitution, Manchester City. Bernardo Silva replaces Raheem Sterling.
Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Jamaal Lascelles.
Attempt blocked. Fernandinho (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Kevin De Bruyne.
Goal! Manchester City 3, Newcastle United 1. Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Leroy Sané.
Foul by Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City).
Isaac Hayden (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Sergio Agüero.
Foul by Nicolás Otamendi (Manchester City).
Mohamed Diamé (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Ciaran Clark (Newcastle United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Ciaran Clark (Newcastle United).
Substitution, Newcastle United. Dwight Gayle replaces Joselu.
Attempt missed. David Silva (Manchester City) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right following a corner.
Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by DeAndre Yedlin.
Attempt saved. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Oleksandr Zinchenko.
Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Isaac Hayden.
Offside, Newcastle United. Ciaran Clark tries a through ball, but Ayoze Pérez is caught offside.
Attempt saved. Ayoze Pérez (Newcastle United) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Attempt saved. Mohamed Diamé (Newcastle United) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.
Attempt missed. Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the right.
Attempt saved. Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Leroy Sané.
Attempt missed. Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Kevin De Bruyne with a cross following a corner.
Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by DeAndre Yedlin.
Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Paul Dummett.
Goal! Manchester City 2, Newcastle United 1. Jacob Murphy (Newcastle United) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Ciaran Clark with a through ball following a fast break.
Substitution, Newcastle United. DeAndre Yedlin replaces Javier Manquillo.
Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Paul Dummett (Newcastle United).
Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Ciaran Clark (Newcastle United).