Newcastle United started the game having dropped into the relegation zone. Rafa adopted the same 5 at the back that had almost gained a result from the Chelsea game the week before.
STARTING XI: Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Clark (Murphy, 80), Fernandez, Dummett, Ki, Diame, Perez, Kenedy (Atsu, 65), Rondon (Joselu, 73)
And a goal inside the first ten minutes was not that start that Newcastle was looking for however. An awful pass out of the back line from Lascelles, back in the side after injury, gifted the ball back to City on the edge of the Newcastle area. The ball wide to Sterling allowing the England winger to cut in on his stronger right foot and curl an effort home on 7 minutes.
Newcastle looking all over the place!!
Time and time again after the players just seemed to panic. A free kick opportunity to put the ball in the City box ended up going back to Dubravka from their half. Ki passing straight into touch with two men free, then passing to their keeper from 30 yards with an awful cross.
You’d expect Manchester City to be the better side but at least make them work for it.
On 30 minutes a huge breakthrough. A big ball up found Kenedy, his nice first touch allowed a neat ball out to Rondon on the left who hesitated before playing a wonderful pass right across the box to the onrushing Yedlin to blast home for 1-1. Que madness amounts the thousands of travelling fans.
The referee however was at least trying to get City back into the lead. A free kick given 25 yards out for Diame sticking a leg out and not touching anyone an example of just that.
The away goal changed the first half completely. Newcastle, all of s sudden looked more organised, galvanised. City, seemed bereft of idea, players stopped running, passes all of a sudden not so slick - other than perhaps Sterling who continued looked very lively.
It’s as if the home side were waiting for half time for their manager to sort things out.
Half time duly came. 1-1.
Newcastle started the second half as they’d left off in the first. Tight and well organised, repelling everything that City were throwing at them.
But on 53 minutes Kyle Walker hit a shot from fully 35 yards that somehow managed to find it’s way straight into the bottom corner of Dubravka’s net. Walker will play the rest of his career and not hit one as well as that! That’s what happens though eh.
On the 64th minutes City broke with Newcastle finally committing a few forward for an attack. The result a superb triple save from Dubravka from close range. Outstanding from the Newcastle stopper to keep Newcastle in with a sniff.
The Citizens completely on top of course, the only hope was that Newcastle could somehow keep it a 2-1 until the last 5 and then have a go.
The introduction of Murphy for Clark for the last 10 minutes did mean Newcastle would have one last big push but to no avail.
A 2-1 reverse is not the end of the world and out run of crazy awful fixtures will have to wait for two weeks to come to a conclusion with the visit of Arsenal.