Sergio Aguero's 11th Manchester City hat-trick, and his second of the season, gave his team the three points after second-placed Manchester United had beaten Burnley 1-0 earlier on Saturday (Jan 20).
Sergio Aguero's hat-trick helped Manchester City beat Newcastle United 3-1 at the Etihad to keep Pep Guardiola's side 12 points clear at the top of the Premier League table. City broke the deadlock after 34 minutes when Aguero nodded in Kevin De Bruyne's inch-perfect cross, before the Argentinian's penalty doubled the lead (63).
Jacob Murphy pulled a goal back for Newcastle four minutes later, only for that man Aguero to seal the win with his 11th hat-trick for City, and his 22nd goal of the season.
As a result, City stay 12 points ahead of rivals Manchester United at the summit, while the visitors are just two points clear of the relegation zone in 15th.
City kicked off knowing Man United had won at Burnley to cut the gap at the top of the table to nine points, but if the home team were feeling the pressure, particularly after their first defeat of the league season to Liverpool on Sunday, then they did not show any signs of it in the first half.
Right from the start Guardiola's team went on the attack against opponents clearly intent again on playing for a draw, with the visitors playing with five at the back in their attempts to frustrate City.
For the opening half an hour of the contest, however, Rafa Benitez's plan appeared to be working, with Karl Darlow, despite City's domination of both possession and territory, not called upon to make a save.
Benitez's game plan went out the window, though, when City -- who had earlier seen a Raheem Sterling effort ruled out for offside -- opened the scoring through Aguero 11 minutes before half-time. Moments before Darlow had denied David Silva with an excellent point-blank save, only for City to quickly recycle the ball to De Bruyne on the left flank.
The Belgian, given too much time and space, looked up and crossed perfectly for Aguero to glance the home team ahead with the faintest of touches at the near post. City doubled their lead just past the hour-mark when Raheem Sterling's run into the box was ended when Javier Manquillo hauled the winger down, with Aguero making no mistake from the penalty spot.
However, totally out of the blue Newcastle pulled a goal back as Ciaran Clark's inch-perfect through-ball released Murphy and faced with just Ederson to beat, the midfielder kept his cool to chip the advancing Brazilian.
Any hope the visitors may have had, though, of escaping with an unlikely draw ended with seven minutes to go as Leroy Sane's quick feet left three Newcastle players for dead in the box, with Aguero's neat finish giving the striker a perfect hat-trick.