He had a good run, seventy-seven minutes to be precise.
Longer than Gabriel Jesus who got just fifty-eight and a lot more than Leroy Sane who sat watching on from the corporate seats.
Bernardo only came on as a sub too.
Watching Mahrez yesterday, he’ll need to catch fire quickly at the Etihad to keep the above out of the side.
The man keeping Bernardo and Sane out showed no reason why he should be a definite starter when Guardiola wants all City’s stars in his matchday squad. Mahrez struggled again to put his marker down on this side, something so pivotal when the standard around him is so high.
At Leicester City; he was the best technically and was the star in a side remembered for shocking the Premier League, with their title win in 2016.
Yet at The Etihad Mahrez will get few chances more to impress, certainly as City look set for a titanic battle with Liverpool for the title.
Against Newcastle yesterday it took till midway through the second half to make an impact. The Algerian took a different move, choosing to keep the ball on his right foot to play in a cross rather than turn onto his favoured left to whip the ball in. This particular ball was his best, going deep towards David Silva who couldn’t quite convert. This was vintage Mahrez and had Silva converted Mahrez would’ve got all the plaudits.
He may have been trying too hard, just wanting to settle his early nerves in his fledgeling career – which comes with signing for the Premier League champions.
On the tenth anniversary of The Abu Dhabi takeover, Mahrez currently stands as the Citizen’s record signing, something that’s surely laying heavy on his mind.
All the more pressure then to make an impression on Guardiola and a group of trophy hungry City fans. Barring the ball towards Silva in the second half, there was very little to shout about.
In his fairly low-key seventy-seven minutes, Mahrez failed to give the Newcastle left-back Paul Dummett much of a headache.
There was no star quality from Mahrez, no twisting or turning of Dummett who stuck to his task.
For now; the Algerian will get the benefit of the doubt, indeed with time on his side. However, he is not at the King Power anymore. Furthermore, there was no standing ovation as he left the pitch yesterday.
Sane would surely have noticed this.
Sort out his attitude problems and it won’t be long before he’s back in this side, whilst Mahrez continues to provide weak competition.