Torres hat-trick fires Manchester City to 4-3 win vs Newcastle: Maybe he can play as a striker, says Guardiola

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola heaped praise on Ferran Torres after the Spain forward scored a hat-trick, securing the Premier League champions a 4-3 victory at Newcastle United on Friday.

City twice fought back from a goal down and extended the gap at the top of the table to 13 points. That was City’s 12th consecutive victory in an away league game – a record in English football.

Torres, who signed from La Liga club Valencia for 20 million pounds ($28.20 million) last August, scored once in the first half of the game and twice in the second, taking his total goal tally for City this season to 13.

“He was fantastic all season and an incredible signing for us,” Guardiola said of the 21-year-old. “He’s a young player and can play in three positions up front.

“He can make incredible runs in behind but maybe we have to start to think about if he can play as a striker because every time he plays in that position he has a sense for goal, a real sense for goal.”

Torres said he is happy with his performance in his first season in England.

“It’s been a season of learning for me, the Premier League is a very different competition from what I was used to, it’s very physical,” he said. “But I think I have adapted very well and I keep improving every day.”

Torres scored twice in three minutes from the 64th as City fought back from 3-2 behind. City moved 13 points clear of second-placed Manchester United, which handed its neighbour the title by losing to Leicester in midweek.

Newcastle, which is safe from relegation, went ahead through Emil Krafth’s header at a corner in the 25th before Joao Cancelo equalized off a deflected shot that spun into the far corner from the edge of the area in the 39th.

Torres produced an impressive flicked volley in mid-air three minutes later as City moved ahead 2-1, only for Joelinton to get fouled in the area by Nathan Ake and dust himself down to convert the penalty past Carson in first-half stoppage time.

Newcastle was awarded another penalty when Joe Willock was tripped by Kyle Walker and the fouled player again took the spot kick. This time, Carson made the save, but the ball rebounded out and Willock converted into an empty net in the 62nd.

Walker teed up Torres to equalize, and the winger was on hand to volley the winning goal high into the net when Cancelo’s shot came back off the post.

“It has been an incredible week – we qualified for the Champions League, won the Premier League and I scored a hat trick. Very happy,” Torres said.

India Today

India Today is a weekly Indian English-language news magazine published by Living Media India Limited. It is the most widely circulated magazine in India, with a readership of close to 8 million. In 2014, India Today launched a new online opinion-orientated site called the DailyO.

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