Sunday, December 3

Manchester City drop first points of Premier League season but rally for chaotic draw at Newcastle

After not allowing a goal in their first two matches, Manchester City allowed three to Newcastle United while also dropping their first points of the season in a 3-3 draw away to Newcastle United on Sunday. While City are on seven points after the draw, Arsenal are now the only Premier League team with three wins in their first three matches. Goals from Bernardo Silva, Erling Haaland, and Ilkay Gundogon were canceled out by Miguel Almiron, Callum Wilson, and a Kieran Trippier free kick in what was a wild affair.

With transfer interest quelling, Bernardo started the match and it made all the difference for Pep Guardiola’s side. Assisting Gundogan on the opening goal just five minutes in, it seemed like this would be an easy victory for Manchester City. Creating chances with ease, City were pressing until Nathan Ake left the game with an injury in the 21st minute, being replaced by Ruben Dias. After missing a big chance only minutes earlier, Almiron was in the right place at the right time to send St. James’ Park into cheers by latching onto an Allan Saint-Maximin cross.

After the cross missed a diving Joe Willock, Almiron saw it past Ederson with his thigh. It would see Newcastle turn up the pressure before Callum Wilson put the team ahead in the 38th minute. After a missed header by Kyle Walker, it was off to the races for Saint-Maximin before a deft touch by Wilson gave him just enough space to score the goal. It seemed to deflate Manchester City as they were unable to create much more during the first half of play.

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It went from bad to worse as after Nick Pope made a save on Haaland, Walker fouled Joelinton to give Newcastle a free kick. Never something that a team wants to do with Kieran Trippier lurking, he hit the ensuing shot perfectly to put Newcastle ahead 3-1 in a shot that finally woke City up.

Haaland got his goal following a short corner as Rodri found him but City’s equalizer may have been the goal of the day. De Bruyne and Bernardo always have an excellent understanding of where the other is on the pitch but de Bruyne’s through ball to Silva’s timed run was an absolutely perfect combination. Pope had been excellent at guarding his net all day, but there was nothing he could do about the speed at which the goal developed.

There was worry for Newcastle as Trippier was sent off for a challenge on De Bruyne soon after where a high boot made contact with the Beligan’s knee while attempting a tackle. The challenge was downgraded to a yellow card — likely because studs weren’t raised — but it calls into question what the proper usage of VAR is. A high boot is a reckless tackle that can result in a red but the studs are what usually turns it into that shade of card.

Manchester City did well to get back into the match and without seven saves from Pope, it could’ve ended differently on another day. But when Newcastle are looking to crash the European party, it’s a massive result for Eddie Howe despite allowing two goals after the 60th minute. When Matt Targett is back from his injury, Newcastle’s defense are good enough to play with anyone, and on his day he, Saint-Maximin is impossible to contain.

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City will need defensive improvement as with new signing Sergio Gómez making the squad, mistakes like the ones Sunday could see Kyle Walker benched in the future. Manchester City believe that they can win any match which led to the comeback, but similar situations could see them stumble in the league race.

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