Defending premier league champions Manchester City were handed a shock defeat at St. James’ Park by Newcastle United
It was a dream start for the champions as Argentine striker Sergio Aguero put the visitors ahead within the opening 24 seconds as he stroked in David Silva’s headed pass from close range. At that point of time, it looked like Newcastle could be at the wrong end of a battering by City. However, that was not to be as Newcastle defended solidly and went into the halftime break with just 1 goal deficit.
Then, on the 66th minute, Jose Salomon Rondon equalized for the Magpies. About a quarter of an hour later, Fernandinho’s tackle inside his own box resulted in a spot kick for the home side, which was converted by Matt Ritchie. Newcastle then somehow managed to hold on for all 3 points. The victory had huge implications for both sides. Newcastle rose into the 14th spot and went 5 points clear of the relegation zone. On the other end of the table, City’s defeat means that Liverpool now have a chance to go 7 points clear at the top of the table when they take on Leicester city at Anfield later tonight. However, City manager Pep Guardiola feels that City are still very much in the title race,
“We’re still in January. There’s a lot of time but of course, when you’re behind the leaders you don’t want to drop points and every game is one less but there are still a lot of matches to play.
A lead of seven points is a lot but we’re not in April or May. There are still many games left and anything can happen.”
There are a lot of tough games to play against sides trying to stay in this division, or playing to get into the Europa League or the Champions League. In our case we will do our best to be there and not to give up.”
The ball is very much now in Liverpool’s court, so to say. The Reds need to keep their nerve and do what they have been doing for the entire season upto now.