Manchester City’s defence of their Premier League title suffered another blow after they were held to a 2-2 draw by Newcastle in a lacklustre performance at St James’ Park.
Despite going ahead twice, the champions allowed their opponents to peg them back, leaving them eight points behind Liverpool at the top of the league with the Reds still to play.
Raheem Sterling’s opener was cancelled out by Jetro Wilems in the first half before Kevin de Bruyne and Jonjo Shelvey traded screamers late on to deny Pep Guardiola’s side a desperately-needed win.
The shape of the game was established very early on with the Champions dominating possession while the home side were content to defend deep and play on the counter through their pacy forward line, in particular winger Allan Saint-Maximin.
Guardiola’s side struggled to create any meaningful chances however, and only came close to scoring through Fernandino’s header from a corner but the Brazilian’s effort missed the target.
A rare foray forward saw Newcastle almost take a shock lead through Shelvey’s free kick which had Ederson at full stretch before hitting the side netting.
An away goal felt inevitable and came on 21 minutes through Sterling.
David Silva found the narrowest of gaps in the busy Newcastle defence to drive into the penalty area, taking advantage of a fortunate bounce of the ball before back-heeling to the England man to slot the ball beyond Dubravka into the bottom corner, for his 19th goal for club and country this campaign.
Their lead didn’t last long as the home side somehow found their way back into the game just three minutes later. A well-worked move on the left hand side led to Miguel Almiron laying the ball off to Willems who stroked the ball home with almost a carbon copy finish to that of Sterling at the other end.