Newcastle 3-3 Man City: Player ratings & man of the match as City slip up in St James’ thriller
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Manchester City fought back from two goals down to earn a 3-3 draw against Newcastle United on Sunday.
It was a high-energy and hugely entertaining encounter, with Ilkay Gundogan netting early on, only for the hosts to fight back with goals from Miguel Almiron, Callum Wilson and Kieran Trippier.
But City responded in the second half, and took a point thanks to strikes from Erling Haaland and Bernardo Silva.
The visitors managed to calm the raucous atmosphere inside St James’ Park within five minutes, when Silva picked out Gundogan in the box with a superb curled pass.
From there, the City No.8 took a touch to control inside the box and smashed the ball past a helpless Nick Pope.
The former Burnley keeper kept out two efforts with his feet from Kevin De Bruyne and then Phil Foden, while he also was tested by a free-kick from the former.
It took until the 18th minute for Newcastle to have a shot of note - when Almiron fired over from a cutback cross - but from there the Magpies were on top.
Allan Saint-Maximin and Wilson forced Ederson into decent saves before Eddie Howe’s men netted a well-deserved equaliser.
It was Almiron who got it, bundling home Saint-Maximin’s cross with his upper leg. The goal was initially ruled offside, but correctly overturned after a VAR check from Stockley Park.
Soon after, Sven Botman blocked a Gundogan shot which would have otherwise been on target, while Joao Cancelo had to be on hand to stop Almiron’s effort hitting the net after he skipped past Ederson and fired towards goal.
But City were struggling to stop the lively Saint-Maximin, and he soon drove through the heart of the champions’ defence before flicking it to Wilson, who powered the ball past Ederson and gave Newcastle the lead on 39 minutes.
Ruben Dias, who replaced the injured Nathan Ake early on, headed over with the final touch of a first half City were second best in by a distance.
The second period started in the same breathless manner, with Haaland’s right-footed strike tipped onto the post by Pope, minutes before Newcastle grabbed a third.
It was Trippier who turned in a free-kick won by Saint-Maximin, and Ederson stood no chance of getting a glove to the curled strike from the right-back.
Next it was City who scored, with Haaland reacting first to a bouncing ball in the box and blasting it into the back of the net from close range.
The No.9 could have had another soon after, but Pope flew out and narrowed the angle for the shot.
And within minutes it was 3-3, as the engrossing encounter took another twist. De Bruyne managed to squeeze the ball into the smallest of gaps for Silva, who took a touch and then placed it into the corner.
On 75 minutes, Trippier had a red card overturned for a lunge on De Bruyne, with referee Jarred Gillett coming to the decision after a review on the pitchside monitor.
The chances kept coming and Haaland poked over from an instinctive shot, while Fabian Schar powered a strike over from a corner.
But in the end, both sides had to settle for a point as City failed to grab a winner late on, despite seeing more of the ball.
Manchester City player ratings
Could have been caught out in the first half when Almiron beat him to a long ball outside the box. The keeper couldn’t have stopped any of Newcastle’s goals.
Kyle Walker- 4
Was well below his usual levels, particularly in the first half. Walker found it extremely difficult to contain Saint-Maximin, while he was beaten for pace by Joe Willock at one stage.
John Stones- 5
Had a tough afternoon against Wilson and gave away a few sloppy passes. The defender started his first game of the season.
Nathan Ake- 5 (off 21)
Came off through injury and didn’t make a huge contribution in his 21-minute cameo.
Joao Cancelo- 6
Struggled in the first half, but improved as the game went on. The No.7 sprayed repeated balls to Silva on the wing in the second half and was more of an attacking threat after an opening 45 when Almiron got the better of him.
Not at his best at St James’ and he failed to exert the level of control he tends to have on matches. Like many in blue, Rodri improved after the break.
Ilkay Gundogan- 6
Was good on the ball but got overrun in the first half by the Newcastle midfield. The midfielder was neat and tidy in possession.
Kevin De Bruyne- 7
Wasn’t happy with a number of challenges on him throughout the game, including the one that saw Trippier initially sent off. While not at his best, De Bruyne has some good passes, including the sublime ball for Silva’s goal.
Bernardo Silva- 7
Playing from the right wing, the Portugal international set up the first goal and converted the third excellently. Improved as the game went on.
Erling Haaland- 6
Attempted to make runs but again City found it difficult to find him with passes. The striker dropped deeper on a few occasions and took advantage of the extra spaces in behind in the second half.
Phil Foden- 8
City’s best player in the first half and he was a threat after the break as well. He drove the team forward with explosive runs down the left flank and had a strike saved by Pope in the opening 15 minutes.
Ruben Dias- 6 (on 21)
City seemed to drop a level after his introduction, although Dias didn’t do much wrong. He advanced with the ball from the back on several occasions during the game.
Newcastle United player ratings
Pope 7; Trippier 7, Schar 8, Botman 6, Burn 7 (Kraft 90+4); Guimaraes 8, Willock 5 (Longstaff 69; 6), Joelinton 8; Almiron 7 (Murphy 82), Wilson 8 (Wood 69; 5), Saint-Maximin 9
Man of the match
Saint-Maximin was sensational at St James. Walker simply could not stop the flying Frenchman, who cut inside at will and caused panic in the City defence. He also supplied the assists for two goals and won the free-kick from which Trippier scored. There won’t be many finer displays in the Premier League this season.