Title race setback for Guardiola as Newcastle beat Man City 2-1

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Toon stun Man City by coming from behind to earn home win against defending champions

Pepe Guardiola’s Man City title hopes suffered a hammer blow as Newcastle came from a goal down to record a great victory over the defending champions at St James’ Park.

Two lapses in defence cost Pep’s side the chance to reduce Liverpool’s lead at the top of the Premier League to one point. The Scousers face Leicester at home on Wednesday.

City could not have wished for a better start when Sergio Aguero scored after only 24 seconds.

Aguero also had a goal disallowed a short time later when referee Paul Tierney decided Kevin De Bruyne had delivered a free-kick before he gave him the signal and booked him to boot.

From then on Man City rarely troubled opposing keeper Martin Dubravka, and Rafael Benitez’s side’s cohones grew with belief.

The Toon Army erupted in the 66th minute when Salomon Rondon instinctively fired in after connecting with Isaac Hayden’s header from 12 yards out.

And the match swayed Newcastle’s way in the 78th minute when the Magpies were awarded a penalty after Fernandinho – overplaying at the back – fouled Sean Longstaff in the area after being robbed of possession.

Matt Ritchie then fired his post kick beyond the stretch of City’s Brazilian keeper Ederson for an unexpected win.

City had not lost to Newcastle in 22 league games, with the North East club having only collected three points from a possible 66 against them.

Guardiola’s side came to St James’ Park on the back on a 5-0 battering of Burnley in the FA Cup, and after having despatched three goals past Huddersfield and Wolves in their previous two league matches.

Nothing less than a win seemed on the cards and when Aguero put City ahead inside a minute, following a cross from Raheem Sterling, that appeared a certainty.

But City eased off the gas although they continued to dominate possession. Newcastle sat deep allowing City’s widemen only to get in behind them on a handful of occasions.

Sterling should have made the most of those rare crosses that got through into the six-yard box, but he failed to attack Leroy Sane’s ball – which frustrated his manager.

Magpies keeper Dubravka really only made one save – a block to keep out David Silva’s effort in the 58th minute, which was City’s final effort on target.

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