Newcastle United 2-2 Manchester City
Manchester City’s title defence looks to be hanging by a thread after they were pegged back twice in a four-goal thriller at St. James’ Park.
The Premier League clash between Newcastle and City was the weekend’s curtain-raiser, with Liverpool and Chelsea also playing the same day.
The Sky Blues were widely expected to ease past the Magpies, but Jetro Willems hit back after Raheem Sterling put the champions ahead. Then, Jonjo Shelvey raised the Newcastle roof again with a thunderous strike after Kevin De Bruyne thought he’d scored a dramatic late winner.
The pre-match Premier League 2019 news revealed that the Sky Blues were without top scorer Sergio Aguero for this clash, but it was in defence where City struggled again. And the single point now leaves 11 behind Liverpool after the leaders’ win.
Highlights of the game
The Sky Blues camped in the Newcastle half in the opening exchanges, but in a rare foray into opposition territory, the Magpies had the first shot on goal as Allain Saint-Maximin tested Ederson at his near post. And at the other end, Fernandinho got free from a corner but he powered his header over the bar.
City’s pressure told half-way through the first 45. Another attack saw the ball fizz back and forth across the Newcastle box as Sterling just passed it into the net for his eighth league goal of the season and his 15th in all competitions.
If we all thought that was game over, we were wrong. The Geordies hit back almost immediately with a super strike. Wing-back Jetro Willems played a one-two with Miguel Almiron down the left flank before firing his shot into the bottom right corner. Game on!
While they enjoyed plenty of the ball, the champions created precious little in the first.
Kevin de Bruyne had a shot blocked in injury time but Guardiola had work to do at the break. Riyad Mahrez was outstanding in City’s crucial win over Chelsea last week but he was pretty much anonymous in the first half, as was Gabriel Jesus.
For the first 20 minutes of the second half, the pattern remained unchanged. The Sky Blues dominated possession but were without a cutting edge.
After a fast break, De Bruyne fired one over the bar. And at the other end, Almiron tried his luck but was also off target. On 69 minutes, Guardiola had seen enough and Mahrez was replaced by Bernardo Silva.
As City went for the kill, Martin Dubravka made a brilliant double save to deny Jesus and De Bruyne. Then, Silva should have scored but screwed his shot wide with the goal gaping.
With the minutes ticking away, De Bruyne had another fierce shot charged down. And then, the game exploded. With eight minutes remaining, the ball was cleared out to the Belgian and this time there was no stopping his volley as it crashed in off the underside of the bar.
But the lead lasted only slightly longer than City’s first-half advantage. The Toon Army took the roof off when a free-kick was rolled sideways to Jonjo Shelvey, and he hammered his shot low into the corner.
What a finish!
The Premier League 2019 betting odds pointed to an away win and no-one outside of Newcastle expected the draw to come in at 6.80.
Head coach Steve Bruce said he had absolute faith in his misfiring strikers. Newcastle have now scored 13 goals in their 14 Premier League games, but £40million summer signing Joelinton’s winner at Tottenham in August is the only one to have come from a frontman.
Manchester City are the first team to score more than one at St. James’ Park in all competitions, but the champions have now gone seven games without a clean sheet and have won just one of the last five in all competitions.
Believe it or not, this was Kevin de Bruyne’s first away goal in two years!
Next up, Pep takes his team 20 miles north to face Burnley on Tuesday night. The Clarets’ strike partners will be a different proposition to those City faced today.
Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood are a handful, scoring 64 Premier League goals between them and six each so far this season. We’ll be at Turf Moor for all the action so keep it here at SBOBET for the highlights as they happen.
Newcastle have a really tough assignment ahead this week, with a trip to Bramall Lane to face Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United. The newcomers have impressed with their energetic and fearless style; that game could be a cracker.
CHECK OUT OUR BLOG FOR MORE FOOTBALL STORIES & ODDS
Stay updated with everything sports and betting.