Newcastle United and Manchester City staged a true thriller on Sunday at St. James’ Park, a six-goal show ending 3-3 between the champions and their would-be challengers.
Man City took a fifth-minute lead through Ilkay Gundogan, but Allan Saint-Maximin led the Magpies to three-straight goals.
The Frenchman assisted Miguel Almiron and Callum Wilson before drawing a free kick that Kieran Trippier smashed home with aplomb.
Erling Haaland and Bernardo Silva had answers for the Premier League champs and it appeared headed their way when Kieran Trippier was shown a red card for a high challenge on Kevin De Bruyne.
But the Video Assistant Referee sent the referee back to the screen, where it was judged that Trippier’s tactical foul was merely worthy of a yellow in a VAR review that will be scrutinized all over England this weekend.
Man City falls to two wins and a draw, two points back of Arsenal, while Newcastle has a win and two draws to sit sixth after three matches.
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What we learned from Newcastle vs Manchester City
Newcastle can play: Eddie Howe has always viewed himself as a lover of the wide-open game and Newcastle has the horses to run over, around, and through teams if they aren’t at their best. Saint-Maximin was a handful for the visitors and Bruno Guimares and Kieran Trippier showed steel from the opening whistle. The Magpies were good money for this win, especially when noting the next section.
Man City’s defensive depth is far from perfect: Pep Guardiola keeps trying to make Nathan Ake work, but the Dutchman needs a better defensive partner than John Stones if he’s going to do the trick. Both Ake and Stones can work next to a Ruben Dias or Aymeric Laporte, but Ake in particular has struggled to find that next level since arriving from Bournemouth. With Joao Cancelo functioning at left back, Ake’s deficiencies were a real problem as Miguel Almiron ran wild on the right.
A taste of what’s to come? Just as Chelsea was a blueprint for Man City after its big takeover, Newcastle is looking to Man City (and others) for how to fast-forward a rise to top-four and eventually title contender. The biggest difference between the Magpies and Citizens right now is that City brought Ruben Dias off the bench and had Kalvin Phillips, Riyad Mahrez, and Julian Alvarez waiting if needed. Newcastle brought off Callum Wilson, Joe Willock, and Miguel Almiron for Chris Wood, Sean Longstaff, and Jacob Murphy. No wonder Joao Pedro’s being chased so hard by the Magpies.
Still grey area in VAR: Kieran Trippier’s improbably-perfect free kick goal was his highlight (see below), but the way his red card was changed to a yellow will lead to a lot of questions from Pep Guardiola and his crew. Was it a red card? Probably not. Was there any evidence to overturn the referee? Thank goodness that man made the call himself at the screen, because otherwise there would be big questions about why the call went back to yellow!
Stars of the show
Nick Pope: Make no mistake about the stars of this game. St. Max at one end, and the holy gloves of Pope at the other. He could get a Team of the Week nod despite allowing three goals.
Kevin De Bruyne: He’s the best non-forward in the world right now, and well may be the best player, period. Kylian Mbappe, we’re sure, would join Lionel Messi in wanting a word.
Bernardo Silva: You can see why Pep Guardiola wants to keep Bernardo from moving closer to home. And you can see that Bernardo’s eventual move to Barcelona will likely have nothing to do with Guardiola or City. This is otherwise a perfect match.
Allan Saint-Maximin: On his day and in this system, there are few players in the world who can claim to provide more danger than ASM.
Erling Haaland: More than eight touches this week. Watch teams defend City off the ball and you’ll see the eyes and attention trained on the big Norwegian, who scored a goal you’ll see him score 5-10 more times this year. The big body in traffic is the difference for City.
Newcastle will visit Wolves at 9am ET Sunday, while Man City plays a day earlier. The Citizens host old pal Patrick Vieira and Crystal Palace at 10am ET Saturday.
How to watch Newcastle vs Manchester City live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 11:30am ET, Sunday
Odds: Newcastle (+700) v Man City (-276) | Draw (+400)
TV Channel: USA Network – WATCH LIVE
Newcastle team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Jonjo Shelvey (thigh), Jamal Lewis (calf), Federico Fernandez (calf), Matt Targett (thigh)
HWTL! ⚫️⚪️ pic.twitter.com/b3B9NjUhd7
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) August 21, 2022
Manchester City team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Aymeric Laporte (knee), Benjamin Mendy (suspension – MORE)
🔵 TEAM NEWS 🔵
XI | Ederson, Walker, Stones, Ake, Cancelo, Rodrigo, De Bruyne, Gundogan (C), Bernardo, Haaland, Foden
— Manchester City (@ManCity) August 21, 2022