Manchester City rescued a point against Newcastle United in what was a pulsating, end-to-end entertaining encounter at St James’ Park on Sunday.
Manchester City fought back from two goals down to earn a 3-3 draw against Newcastle United on Sunday. It was a highly-charged encounter, with Ilkay Gundogan scoring early on, only for the hosts to respond with goals from Miguel Almiron, Callum Wilson, and Kieran Trippier. But City came back in the second half to earn a point courtesy of goals from Erling Haaland and Bernardo Silva.
Following last weekend’s goalless draw at Brighton, Eddie Howe named an unchanged starting XI, and it appeared like another one of those games where City would come out on top with a comprehensive victory when Gundogan put the visitors in front inside five minutes, capitalising on a rusty Newcastle defence.
However, Newcastle responded in some fashion, forging chance after chance, pinning the Champions back into their territory, with an electric Allan Saint-Maximin, the flagbearer of their dangerous-looking transitions. Miguel Almiron fired a golden chance over the crossbar before levelling things up with a goal from close range, teed up by Saint-Maximin.
The hosts then tore City’s frail defence to shreds with their attacking intent and irrepressible mid-block and took a surprise lead through Wilson, rewarding their relentless pressure. Newcastle’s third goal of the afternoon came from a world-class free-kick from Kieran Trippier, which created a euphoric atmosphere around St James Park.
City eventually woke up and cut the deficit to half thanks to a smash and grab goal from summer signing Haaland. Soon after, Kevin De Bruyne made an eye-of-the-needle pass to assist Silva and tie the score at 3-3.
The game soon turned end-to-end with chances at both ends, but the hosts rode their luck with a few incredible saves from goalkeeper Nick Pope proving vital in Newcastle earning a deserved point. Howe’s men will be disappointed, considering they led 3-1 at one point, but against the reigning champions, it was a point they will happily take. After an exhilarating clash on Tyneside, The Hard Tackle will now rate both sets of players.
— Match of the Day (@BBCMOTD) August 21, 2022
Nick Pope: 8/10
Despite conceding three times, it was Pope who kept his side in the game and really earned them a deserved point against the relentless Manchester City attack, who just kept coming at him. He made some very great saves for his side, dealt with high balls into the box well, and came off his line when needed to prevent at least three loose balls.
It could have been a different result at the end of the whistle, the way Manchester City attacked in the second half. He denied Haaland at least twice, and also made a spectacular save from point-blank range. An absolute steal at £10 million.
Kieran Trippier: 7/10
It was a captain’s display from the Newcastle defender, who netted his third direct free-kick in only his eighth Premier League start for the hosts. He drove the Magpies forward on multiple occasions and switched the direction of play with an excellent diagonal at Saint-Maximin’s feet. His first-time long-balls down the channels were precise, but his crosses or corners into the box were not. He was shown a straight red card, which was a nervous moment but thankfully overturned by VAR.
Kieran Trippier has taken four direct free-kicks for Newcastle in the Premier League since the start of last season.
HE'S SCORED THREE OF THEM. ? pic.twitter.com/gE2iKqCdkI
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) August 21, 2022
Fabian Schar: 7/10
Schar was guilty of allowing Gundogan room for the first goal of the game and was booked in the first half for a foul on Phil Foden, but he regained his mojo and made some important interceptions to help Newcastle win back possession high up the pitch.
Enjoyed the battle with Haaland, and late in the second half, he helped Newcastle soak up pressure and keep a tight lid on the movements of Foden and Gundogan. He made a match-high six interceptions and six clearances and was dribbled past only once throughout the game.
Sven Botman: 6.5/10
It was a difficult full home debut for the silky Dutchman, who struggled to hold his own against Haaland multiple times and allowed the Norwegian to get in behind him. Still, he stood up to the challenge well enough with some composed last-ditch defending.
Dan Burn: 4.5/10
Burn had a bad game by his high standards as he was no match against the tricky Bernardo Silva and was rattled multiple times throughout the game. He was dragged all over the place and was guilty of offering Silva too much room down the left flank.
Bruno Guimaraes: 7/10
It’s a testament to how impressive Guimaraes has been since arriving on Tyneside that Real Madrid are already targeting him after just a few months with the Magpies. He was once again superb at spraying the passes, switching the play, releasing the wingers, and relieving pressure in the later stages of the game by winning fouls.
In the first half, it seemed like he had read City’s passing pattern manual, given the number of clever interceptions he made. That said, he kind of struggled in the second half with the game’s intensity and was booked early on in the match.
Joelinton is a unit. He has been an absolute destroyer ever since converted into an enforcer. Colossal in midfield, offered invaluable energy off-the-ball, and Newcastle completely blocked City from getting their share of the ball at one point in the first half, with a preposterous 95% to 5% possession ratio over that 10-minute stretch.
He was cool and sensible in possession, and whenever possible, he released Saint-Maximin while also providing the outlet on the overlap.
Joe Willock: 6/10
A combative presence in midfield. Willock played an important role in keeping the City midfielders quiet during that golden period in the first half as he was constantly breaking up the play. He showed endeavour with a couple of searing runs forward, including the one where he burst past Kyle Walker, but all that faded out in the second half, where he couldn’t make any impact at all.
Miguel Almiron: 7/10
Superb performance. Made the right runs, passed at the right times, and never let City breathe in the opening 60 minutes or so, showcasing his excellent engine. His work rate has always been there but with zero end product. Sunday’s game was similar. Although he bundled home the equaliser to bring the roof down at St James’ Park, he could easily have a hat-trick during that stretch of the game had he finished better.
Callum Wilson: 7/10
It was a classic Wilson performance on the day. He came close to scoring with a couple of half-chances early on before finding the net with aplomb after being played in by Saint-Maximin to get Newcastle ahead in the game. He worked hard for the team, but showed little in the second period, and appeared fatigued.
Allan Saint-Maximin: 8.5/10
4️⃣ Chances Created
3️⃣ Successful Dribbles
6️⃣ Duels Won
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) August 21, 2022
Saint-Maximin was breath-taking and electrifying, and Howe has turned him into a beast by pushing him to provide the required defensive output. He was incredibly disruptive with his pace, running, movement, and dribbling on half-turns that caused absolute chaos in opposition ranks.
The Frenchman, who is known for consistently getting fans off their seats at St James’ Park with his zig-zagging, mesmerising runs, was at full tilt. He dazzled once more in Sunday’s victory against Man City. It was his cross that was scuffed home by Almiron that saw the Magpies level things up and was also involved in the build-up in Wilson’s goal, while he won the free-kick that resulted in the third.
Chris Wood: 5/10
Held the ball up quite well on occasions to relieve the pressure off his team in the dying embers of the game.
Sean Longstaff: 5/10
Added some fresh legs and energy to Newcastle’s midfield when they were in danger of collapsing.
Jacob Murphy: N/A
Didn’t play enough to warrant a rating.
Emil Kraft: N/A
Didn’t play enough to warrant a rating.
Produced a very good save in the opening exchanges before needlessly stepping off of his line, being robbed in possession by Almiron and having to be rescued out by Joao Cancelo before allowing three goals. Although he could do very little about the first and third goals, with one from close-range and the other a top-notch free-kick, he could have reacted better to prevent Wilson’s goal.
Kyle Walker: 3/10
Walker looked well off the pace up against Saint-Maximin. Newcastle targeted him as a weak link and tried to get him in uncomfortable situations in one-vs-one situations against Saint-Maximin, who had him on his toes. He continued to make blunders and silly challenges until City reclaimed control of the game.
John Stones: 5/10
Making his first start of the season at the heart of the Manchester City defence, Stones was left crumbling whenever Newcastle embarked on their counter-attacking moves. He was feeble for Wilson’s goal, backtracking but failing to put enough pressure.
He was caught out whenever Newcastle pushed forward at pace, with Saint-Maximin giving him quite a few nightmarish moments, including when he chopped down the Frenchman, gaining a yellow card, and to make matters worse, Trippier scored from the resultant free-kick.
Nathan Ake: N/A
Ake was forced off early with what appeared to be a groin injury. He made a key block to thwart a quick Newcastle onslaught prior to that.
Joao Cancelo: 4/10
You would be forgiven for thinking that Cancelo wasn’t on the field in the first half, such anonymous was his offensive and defensive contribution. He was slightly better after the break and showed his attacking prowess as City got back into the game.
Newcastle forced the issue on City’s midfield from the start, which pushed Rodri deeper into his territory and impacted his ability to progress the ball. The Spaniard had little control in the midfield area and struggled with Newcastle’s high press in the first half. It was a much better display in the second period as City regained their command.
Ilkay Gundogan: 7/10
City’s new skipper has now scored in consecutive weeks, indicating that he is rediscovering his best form. In possession, the midfielder was neat and tidy, and he was one of City’s better players as they came back in the second half. Having said that, he was often overwhelmed by Newcastle’s speed and industry in midfield in the first period.
Kevin De Bruyne: 7/10
Kevin De Bruyne vs Newcastle:
24 Accurate Passes
68.6% Pass Accuracy
100% Long Balls Completed
7 Ground Duels Won
4 Key Passes
3 Accurate Crosses
3 Big Chances Created
2 Shots On Target pic.twitter.com/3W2jBYkMgf
— City Xtra (@City_Xtra) August 21, 2022
De Bruyne was lively throughout the game and tested Pope with a well-struck first-half free kick. He struggled to make an impression and was clearly not at his best in the opening 45 minutes. However, he emerged as a creative force in the second half, as he was at the heart of every City foray forward and spread exquisite passes all over the pitch. Grabbed the assist for Silva’s dramatic equaliser with an out-of-this-world, sublime through pass.
Bernardo Silva: 9/10
A brilliant display from Bernardo Silva, who ran circles around the Newcastle defence at times and played three key passes, and even grabbed a goal and an assist for the opening goal that came from his delightful cross.
He conducted play smartly from a more advanced wide-forward role, and his twinkle-toed footwork and sparkling dribbles meant he rattled Burn every time he surged forward down the right flank, while he also put in the hard yards off the ball, making four tackles.
Bernardo Silva’s game by numbers vs. Newcastle United:
90% pass accuracy
5 ground duels won
4 tackles won
3 key passes
He led the come-back. ? pic.twitter.com/5PyNanbO3t
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) August 21, 2022
Erling Haaland: 8.5/10
After a relatively quiet first half, the Norwegian dropped deeper on a few occasions and took advantage of the extra spaces in behind in the second half to put his stamp and get himself on the scoresheet, showing a poacher’s instinct. The former Borussia Dortmund goal-machine came close multiple times after that, hitting the woodwork once and being denied in 1v1s with goalkeeper Pope on other occasions.
Phil Foden: 7/10
Foden was City’s best player in the first half, and he was a major attacking threat after the interval too. He drove his side forward with explosive runs down the left flank and had a shot stopped by Pope. However, the Englishman, like last week, failed to square the ball to Haaland for a tap-in.
Ruben Dias: 5/10
He looked uncomfortable like the rest of the defence, which did not help City restore their defensive composure, although he was vital at progressing the ball towards the Newcastle box later in the second half.