MX23RW : Friday, February 1 13:22:29

Live Commentary: Newcastle United 2-1 Manchester City - as it happened

Relive Newcastle United's stunning 2-1 victory over Manchester City as the Magpies come from behind to deal a major blow to the champions' title hopes.
Live Commentary: Newcastle 2-1 Man City - as it happened
© Reuters

Manchester City's title hopes suffered a major blow this evening as Newcastle United came from behind to run out shock 2-1 winners over the champions at St James' Park.

It looked as though Newcastle's wait for a league win over City would stretch to 23 matches when Sergio Aguero gave the visitors the lead after only 24 seconds.

However, Salomon Rondon levelled things up for the home side shortly after the hour mark and Matt Ritchie fired home the winner from the penalty spot to stun Pep Guardiola's side.

Find out how all of the action unfolded courtesy of Sports Mole's minute-by-minute updates below.

7pmGood evening! Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for tonight's Premier League showdown between Newcastle United and Manchester City!

The visitors have the chance to pile the pressure on Liverpool in the title race this evening, while Newcastle are embroiled in a relegation battle, so this contest will have a big impact at either of the table.

There is plenty to look at before kickoff, so let's waste no time in checking on the team news...

7.02pmNEWCASTLE STARTING XI: Dubravka; Yedlin, Schar, Lascelles, Lejeune, Ritchie; Perez, Hayden, Longstaff, Atsu; Rondon

SUBS: Woodman, Manquillo, Clark, Fernandez, Kenedy, Roberts, Murphy

7.04pmMAN CITY STARTING XI: Ederson; Walker, Stones, Laporte, Danilo; De Bruyne, Fernandinho, Silva; Sterling, Aguero, Sane

SUBS: Muric, Gundogan, Bernardo, Mahrez, Otamendi, Jesus, Foden

7.06pmWhat can we make of those two sides, then?

Well, the headline news for City is that Sergio Aguero returns to the starting lineup after coming off the bench to score in the FA Cup at the weekend, and he will be bidding to continue his remarkable record against Newcastle this evening.

Indeed, the Argentine has netted 14 goals in 12 league games against the Magpies, which is more than any player has scored against an opponent for a single club in the competition's history.

Sergio Aguero celebrates scoring the opener during the Premier League game between Manchester City and Liverpool on January 3, 2019© Reuters

7.08pmAguero is joined in that front three by Sane and Sterling once again, with the latter needing just a goal or an assist tonight to take him on to 100 direct goal involvements in the Premier League.

Sterling's current tally of 99 goals involvements consists of 59 scored himself and a further 40 he has created for teammates in 212 such appearances.

7.10pmThe creative tandem of Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva finally start together for the first time in the Premier League this season, meaning that Bernardo only makes a strong bench which also includes the likes of Mahrez, Gundogan, Otamendi and Jesus.

Interestingly, there is once again no Benjamin Mendy in the squad, having suffered some injury backlash from his recent return to action against Burton Albion last week.

7.12pmThat leaves the door open for Danilo to start at left-back again, which is turn means that Walker starts at right-back - his 250th appearance in the Premier League.

Walker scored the winner in the reverse fixture incidentally, while Laporte returns to the side after sitting out the FA Cup win over Burnley at the weekend.

7.14pmAs for Newcastle, they welcome a host of first-team players back into their side after making seven changes for the FA Cup defeat to Watford, including up front as Salomon Rondon returns.

Joselu had led the line initially against the Hornets, although he suffered a sprained ankle in that match and is expected to miss a few weeks through injury as a result.

7.16pmIt looks like Rafael Benitez has opted for a 5-4-1 formation once again with Ritchie acting as left-back and DeAndre Yedlin - scorer at the Etihad in September - on the opposite flank.

It was Schar who proved to be Newcastle's deadliest attacker in their last league game, scoring twice including a fine solo effort for the first, but he is far more likely to be tested defensively by this Man City attack.

Fabian Schar celebrates scoring for Newcastle United on January 19, 2019© Reuters

7.18pmThe Magpies are missing a few important first-team players, most notably in midfield with Diame, Shelvey and Ki all sidelined at the moment, while Muto remains away at the Asian Cup and Dummett is also unavailable.

Those issues limit Benitez's options to a certain extent, meaning that he names the same starting XI today as he did in their last league outing against Cardiff.

7.20pmThat means that there are once again seven changes from the FA Cup defeat to Watford, then, as Dubravka, Yedlin, Schar, Lejuene, Perez, Atsu and Rondon all return to the starting XI.

Woodman, Manquillo, Fernandez, Clark, Murphy, Kenedy and Joselu are among the players to drop out of the team, although the injured Joselu is the only one not on the bench.

7.22pmRafael Benitez has made no secret of his desire to get more reinforcements in before the end of the transfer window, and reports today suggest that the Magpies may have finally secured their first signing of the month in Almiron.

In doing so, owner Mike Ashley may hope to have also convinced Benitez to stay amid growing reports that the Spaniard may leave his post at the end of the campaign.

7.24pmShould he do that then it would be a huge blow for Newcastle, and would no doubt increase the level of anger felt by the fans towards Mike Ashley, with protests against his ownership present at every game now.

Ashley has been looking to sell the club for a while now, but he will be as aware as anyone that relegation would see the value of it plummet, and that remains a very real danger at the moment.

7.26pmThe Magpies come into tonight's game sitting 17th in the Premier League table, and they will have one eye on Cardiff's result against Arsenal with the Bluebirds only two points adrift of them in the first relegation spot.

Victory could lift Newcastle as high as 14th, although there will not be too many supporters holding out much hope considering the contrasting records between these two sides, not to mention their dreadful past record against City.

7.28pmNewcastle have won just two of their last 10 Premier League games since the beginning of December, but arguably the most telling difference between these two clubs comes in the goalscoring stakes, where Newcastle have had their main problems this term.

Man City are the highest scorers in the league and incredibly have netted 28 games in their last six matches across all competitions. To put that into context, Newcastle have scored only 25 in their 27 outings across all competitions throughout the whole campaign.

7.30pmThree of those goals did come in Newcastle's last league outing, though - the first time they have scored more than twice in a game all season - with Schar grabbing two of those in the 3-0 win over Cardiff which lifted them out of the relegation zone at the Bluebirds' expense.

That result ended a five-game winless run in the top flight, and they are now looking for back-to-back triumphs for the first time since November 26.

7.32pmSurprisingly, considering their general poor form and lowly league position, Newcastle have not actually lost back-to-back games since October, though, and that is a much more likely fate that they could suffer tonight following their defeat at the hands of Watford in the FA Cup at the weekend.

Worryingly, Newcastle have lost all eight of their league games this season against teams currently in the top six, although only two of those have been by more than a two-goal margin.

Rafael Benitez in charge of Newcastle United on January 15, 2019© Reuters

7.34pmNewcastle's general home record so far this season has been poor, with eight Premier League defeats already at St James' Park and only three wins across all competitions this season.

However, there is some cause for optimism tonight as the Magpies have won four of their last six home league games against teams starting the day in the top two, while Benitez has only lost one of his nine home league games against Man City.

7.36pmMost of the other statistics ahead of this match are quite firmly in Man City's favour, though, and Pep Guardiola has left his players in no doubt that only a win will do for their title hopes this season.

City begin the day four points off leaders Liverpool, but in recent weeks they have had to play after the Reds, whereas this time around they have the chance to pile the pressure on Jurgen Klopp's side by cutting their lead down to one.

7.38pmLiverpool will have the chance to respond tomorrow when they host Leicester at Anfield, although Man City's involvement in the EFL Cup final means that they have had another fixture brought forward and therefore have a double gameweek next up.

City could therefore close to within one point of Liverpool on a more permanent basis in the near future, and while the Reds would still have a game in hand, it could nonetheless give the champions a psychological boost to be that little bit closer.

7.40pmThe reason behind their deficit was a blip either side of Christmas in which they lost three of four games, but there is no doubt that Guardiola's side are right back to their best now.

City have won each of their last eight matches across all competitions, scoring 33 goals and conceding just twice in that time - including six successive clean sheets.

Pep Guardiola gives orders during the Premier League game between Manchester City and Liverpool on January 3, 2019© Reuters

7.42pmMan City had failed to keep a single clean sheet in 11 games prior to that recent run, but they have now netted 29 times without reply since last being breached in their win over Liverpool at the start of this month.

Indeed, not only are they the Premier League's leading scorers, but they have also found the back of the net more times than any other team in Europe's top five leagues.

7.44pmMan City's last two Premier League games have both ended in 3-0 wins, while they added a further five goals to their tally in the FA Cup at the weekend as Burnley were swept aside en route to the fifth round.

The result kept Man City's hopes of the quadruple alive too, having hammered Burton Albion 10-0 over two legs to confirm their place in the EFL Cup final last week.

7.46pmPep Guardiola has consistently played down the possibility of completing a quadruple, but achieving the unprecedented is something he has made a habit of doing in his stellar managerial career so far.

Indeed, the Spaniard has the chance to achieve another record tonight as he takes charge of his 100th Premier League game - should Man City win then Guardiola would surpass Jose Mourinho's record of 73 wins from his opening century of games in the division.

7.48pmIf Newcastle can manage to get the first goal tonight then the stats suggest that they will stand a much better chance of getting something out of the game, with the Magpies having lost all 11 of their games in which they have conceded first so far this season.

It is he highest such 100% defeat record in the league this season, and worryingly for them Man City have scored the opening goal of a game on a league-high 20 occasions this term.

7.50pmPREDICTION: Right, we're 10 minutes away from kickoff at St James' Park, which means that it is time for a prediction!

I cannot see past a Man City win in this match, with Guardiola's side right back at their best at the moment and Newcastle struggling for results at home this season. It could be quite comfortable, too.

SPORTS MOLE SAYS: Newcastle 0-3 Man City

7.52pmAs if the weight of this season's results was not enough reason to back Man City, Newcastle also have a truly dreadful record in this fixture having failed to win another of their last 22 Premier League games against City.

It is the Magpies' longest winless run and Man City's longest unbeaten streak against a particular top-flight opponent, and Newcastle have taken only three points from the 66 on offer in that time.

7.54pmIndeed, Man City have taken 46 points from the last 48 available in this fixture, winning 15 of 16 games in that time while scoring 45 goals and conceding just nine.

You have to go back to September 2005 for Newcastle's last league win over Man City, when Michael Owen scored the only goal of the game here at St James' Park.

7.56pmNewcastle did win a League Cup game at the Etihad in October 2014, though, and they have been getting closer to pulling off an upset in recent meetings.

The reverse fixture in September saw Walker score a 52nd-minute winner in a 2-1 triumph, while Man City's last visit here was also decided by the odd goal, scored by Sterling in December 2017.

Kyle Walker celebrates Manchester City's second goal against Newcastle United on September 1, 2018© Reuters

7.58pmRight, the players are out and we're almost ready to get going now! A reminder of the team news before we do get underway...

NEWCASTLE STARTING XI: Dubravka; Yedlin, Schar, Lascelles, Lejeune, Ritchie; Perez, Hayden, Longstaff, Atsu; Rondon

MAN CITY STARTING XI: Ederson; Walker, Stones, Laporte, Danilo; De Bruyne, Fernandinho, Silva; Sterling, Aguero, Sane

8pmBefore kickoff, we will have a minute of silence in reflection of the tragic events that saw a plane carrying new Cardiff striker Emiliano Sala disappear last week.

8pm...impeccably observed by the Newcastle and Man City fans.

1 minKICKOFF:  Newcastle get us underway at St James' Park.


1 minGOAL!  Well, that didn't take long! Just 25 seconds on the clock, and Man City have the lead against Newcastle, and it is Aguero who is there again against Newcastle.

Sterling advances down the right and floats a cross/shot towards the far post. Silva slips but bravely manages to get a stooping header onto the ball under pressure from Dubravka, knocking it inside for Aguero to apply an easy finish.

3 minThat is a nightmare for Newcastle, who would have laid so many plans throughout the last few days simply designed to stay in this game. They already have a mountain to climb now.

5 min

7 minUPDATES: There are plenty of other Premier League games taking place tonight, and there have been early goals elsewhere too. Brighton already lead Fulham 2-0, while Everton a 1-0 ahead against Huddersfield.

9 minNewcastle have responded fairly well to that early, early goal, preventing Man City from building any more momentum in the opening exchanges.

11 minSome planned protests in the 11th minute are currently taking place, aimed at Mike Ashley's 11 years in charge. There were a few chants against the owner after the early goal too.

13 minCHANCE!  The hosts create their first chance of the night as Perez catches Danilo in possession and advances into the box, only to drag his finish a little as it goes wide of the far post.

15 minNewcastle are beginning to find their feet now, with that first chance and some sloppy play by Man City allowing them to settle a bit more.

17 minYELLOW CARD!  Aguero has the ball in the back of the net again after a quick free kick from De Bruyne, but the whistle goes and De Bruyne is booked for taking the kick before the whistle.

18 minDe Bruyne touches the ball into the path of Aguero, but this time he is stopped in his tracks by the defender. Man City are beginning to control things again here, which is ominous for Newcastle.

20 minMan City are still feeling a little aggrieved at that disallowed goal, and it did seem like a harsh decision to book De Bruyne on top of it.

22 minSHOT!  Another sloppy piece of play from Danilo allows Newcastle to hit Man City on the counter-attack as the ball is played in to Rondon, who knocks it down to Atsu. Atsu gets a shot away, but Stones throws himself in the way of the ball to send it deflecting over the crossbar.

24 minWe're midway through this first half now and Benitez will be relatively content with everything he has seen from the 30th second onwards. He was fuming at the early goal, but Newcastle have done well to avoid any further damage so far.

26 minSHOT!  Ritchie swings a beauty of a cross into the box from a deep free kick which Fernandinho does well to clear. It goes as far as Yedlin, who blasts a long-range effort well off target.

28 minDanilo has the chance to go for goal from range - as he did when opening the scoring in City's last league game - but he fires it well off target.

30 minRondon has the chance to break forward down the right flank, but he is so isolated and looks up to find himself on his own against the defence, who eventually crowd him out.

31 minSAVE!  De Bruyne picks up the ball in midfield and looks for Aguero, who in turn tries his luck from range. He doesn't quite catch it, though, and Dubravka makes a routine stop.

33 minMan City pounce on a loose ball as Aguero releases Sane, but Lascelles does just about enough to put the winger off and allow Dubravka to collect the ball.

34 minYELLOW CARD!  Sterling picks up a booking for dragging Longstaff back and stopping an attack.

36 minMan City have not been at their best tonight. It looked as though they might be on course to rack up another big win the way this game started, but they have not quite had things all of their own way.

38 minThe Newcastle fans are just growing a little frustrated with a few sloppy passes which is stunted their ability to get at the Man City defence.

39 minChance for Man City to break as De Bruyne is slipped in down the right channel, only for his low pass to be cut out by the first man.

41 minNewcastle have been solid enough in this one so far, but they are struggling to offer anything in the final third. Rondon is increasingly isolated up front and they are being pinned back into their own half.

43 minJust two minutes remaining in this first half now and I'm sure the home fans will have taken a 1-0 deficit at this stage following that early goal. They want to see more going forward, though.

44 minOFF THE LINE!  Man City do almost get a second right before half time as Schar can only clear the ball as far as Silva, who tries a stooping header towards goal from close range. Schar is there to clear the ball off the line, though, and Newcastle survive.

45+1 minThere will be one minute of added time at the end of this first half.


8.56pmThe first half comes to an end at St James' Park and the deficit remains just the one goal as Newcastle overcome a dreadful start to stay in the game.

Man City have been the better team without being at their brilliant best, but as things stand they are all set to move to within one point of Liverpool at the top of the table.

8.58pmThe only goal of the game so far arrived after just 24 seconds - the quickest goal of the Premier League season.

The identities of both the team and player who scored were no surprise too, with Aguero making it 15 goals in just 13 Premier League appearances against Newcastle with a close-range finish after good work from David Silva.

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero celebrates with teammates after scoring against Newcastle United on January 29, 2019© Reuters

9pmThe champions have also had the ball in the back of the net through Aguero on a second occasion, although this time it was ruled out in fairly controversial fashion.

Aguero put the ball in from De Bruyne's free kick, but the midfielder took his kick too early for the referee's liking and was shown a yellow card for his efforts.

9.02pmThere have been a couple of sights of goal for Newcastle, but they have offered nowhere near enough in the final third on the whole.

Ayoze Perez dragged one presentable chance wide of the far post while Atsu has also see a strike deflected over the top, but so far they have been missing that crucial piece of quality going forward.

46 minKICKOFF:  Man City get us back underway for the second half at St James' Park.

48 minUPDATE: Newcastle will have one eye on the Fulham score, and the Cottagers have now come from behind to make it 2-2 against Brighton, with former Magpie Mitrovic getting the goal.

49 minCLOSE!  Sane skips down the left flank and fires a dangerous low cross into the box which Sterling is a whisker away from turning home from close range. The defence did just enough to prevent him from getting anything on the ball.

51 minUPDATE: A flurry of goals from elsewhere to tell you about, including a particularly notable one at Old Trafford, where Burnley have broken the deadlock against Manchester United through Ashley Barnes. Arsenal have also taken the lead against Cardiff through Aubameyang, while Wolves now lead West Ham.

53 minDubravka needs to be alert as he comes out of his area and produces a diving header clear to take the ball away from Sterling.

54 minYELLOW CARD!  Schar picks up a yellow card for catching Silva on the ankle after losing the ball.

56 min...indeed, it looks as though it was Perez who was shown the yellow card rather than Schar having kicked the ball away.

58 minCHANCE!  That is how quickly Man City can turn on the style. De Bruyne feeds a clever pass in to Silva, who suddenly finds himself in space inside the box. The Spaniard goes for goal but puts his effort too close to Dubravka, who makes the save.

60 minUPDATE: Fulham have completed the turnaround against Brighton! They now lead 3-2 courtesy of a second for Mitrovic!

62 minThe Newcastle fans want a second yellow card for De Bruyne here as he clatters in to Ritchie, arriving to the ball just too late. It is definitely worth asking the question, but the referee opts for leniency.

63 minAnd Perez is lucky to get away with one as well! This time Perez trips De Bruyne from behind and ordinarily it would be a yellow, but Paul Tierney seems to recognise that there would have been uproar had he produced a red moments after not showing one to De Bruyne.

65 minMAN CITY SUB: Guardiola seems to be concerned about a second yellow card for De Bruyne and so takes him off to be replaced by Bernardo Silva.


66 minGOAL!  Huge goal as Newcastle level things up out of nothing! Ritchie's cross from the left is only cleared as far as Hayden, who nods it back inside. Atsu almost gets in Rondon's way, but the striker keeps his eye on the ball the whole way and fires his volley past Ederson!

68 minThat could be a massive goal at both ends of the table. Man City did not defend it well at all and may need to step things up if they are to avoid some damaging dropped points.

70 minMan City have been camped inside the Newcastle half since that equalising goal and this may be a long final 20 minutes for the Magpies.

72 minSilva slides a cute pass in for Aguero, but for once the Argentine's touch lets him down and the ball runs through to the keeper.

72 minYELLOW CARD!  Schar does go into the book this time, sliding in to a late challenge on Silva.

73 minMAN CITY SUB: Change for the champions here as Sane is replaced by Gabriel Jesus.

75 minSHOT!  Clever play from City as Bernardo plays a free kick back to Danilo on the edge of the box, but the full-back's first-time strike slams into Stones, who is flagged offside.

76 minMan City have had a whopping 90% of the possession since that equalising goal - it has been one-way traffic for the past 10 minutes.

78 minPENALTY!  Incredible scenes here as Newcastle are awarded a penalty! Fernandinho is caught in possession by Longstaff in his own box and trips the midfielder to give away the spot kick!


80 minGOAL!  After a long, long wait while Ederson received treatment, Matt Ritchie steps up and drills his finish into the bottom corner! Ederson gets something on it, but there was enough power to take it through the keeper!

82 minHow big could that goal be at both ends of the table? Newcastle lead with less than 10 minutes remaining, and that will take them clear of the relegation zone while leaving Man City still four points behind.

83 minMAN CITY SUB: City make another change as Ilkay Gundogan replaces Danilo.

84 minGundogan goes straight to take a free kick from just outside the area, but fires it straight into the wall and the linesman's flag is raised from the follow-up.

86 minNEWCASTLE SUB: Change for the home side here as Atsu is replaced by Kenedy.

87 minAguero has a half chance as he shows good footwork in the box before poking it towards goal, but once again the scramble comes to an end with the offside flag.

89 minTime is ticking away for Man City now! If things stay the same then Liverpool will have the chance to move seven points clear tomorrow night!

90+1 minBut there will be FIVE minutes of stoppage time at the end of this match!

90+2 minNEWCASTLE SUB: Another change for the hosts as Javi Manquillo replaces Perez.


9.58pmIncredible scenes at St James' Park as Newcastle pull off one of the shocks of the season, overcoming their bogey team and conceding after just 24 seconds to win 2-1 in a result which has a huge impact at both ends of the table!

The result only looked to be going one way after Sergio Aguero scored the quickest goal of the campaign so far, but Salomon Rondon levelled things up against the run of play before Matt Ritchie drilled home the winner from the penalty spot.

Newcastle move five points clear of danger, while Man City remain four points adrift of Liverpool having now played a game more.

10pmRight that is all we have time for this evening!

Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for tonight's contest as Newcastle stun the champions to leave a huge dent in their title hopes, boosting their own chances of survival in the process. I will leave you with our match report, and be sure to stick around for reaction too.

From me, though, it is goodbye for now!

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