Kevin de Bruyne came back from injury to inspire Manchester City to victory as they came from behind to secure a 3-2 win over Newcastle United at St James’ Park.
Eddie Howe’s side have lost their last three league matches and fallen away from the top-four race, but they were unable to hold on to a 2-1 lead once De Bruyne stepped onto the field.
Bernardo Silva’s opener was quickly cancelled out by two goals in two-and-a-half minutes from Alexander Isak and Anthony Gordon.
But once De Bruyne was brought on for Silva in the second half, City grasped control of the match and were able to fight their way back into the game.
De Bruyne scored the equaliser himself, before Oscar Bobb stepped up in stoppage time to secure all three points for the visitors.
NEWCASTLE V MAN CITY – LIVE UPDATES
FT: Newcastle 2-3 Man City
GOAL! Bobb puts the visitors ahead – Newcastle 2-3 Man City [90+1’]
GOAL! Kevin de Bruyne strikes an equaliser – Newcastle 2-2 Man City [74’]
HT: Newcastle 2-1 Man City
GOAL! Gordon puts hosts ahead – Newcastle 2-1 Man City [38’]
GOAL! Isak levels the match – Newcastle 1-1 Man City [35’]
GOAL! Bernardo Silva strikes! – Newcastle 0-1 Man City [26’]
Injury! Ederson is forced to leave the field – Newcastle 0-0 Man City [8’]
Newcastle XI: Dubravka; Trippier, Schar, Botman, Burn; Longstaff, Guimaraes, Miley; Almiron, Isak, Gordon
Man City XI: Ederson; Walker, Dias, Ake, Gavardiol; Rodri, Kovacic; Silva, Foden, Doku; Alvarez
Here is the match report from The Independent’s senior football correspondent Richard Jolly:
Enter Kevin de Bruyne. To a match Newcastle were winning, and to a title race where Manchester City threatened to slip off the pace. He had not played in the Premier League for five months. Within five minutes there was his belated first goal of the season, and within another 17 a pass to permit Oscar Bobb to score an injury-time winner, complete the second turnaround of a stunning game and put City a mere two points behind Liverpool. No wonder Pep Guardiola says there are few in the world with his ability to win games. This one was being lost without him, won with him. The theory that City will be better in the second half of the season has long been based around the Belgian but it was an illustration of how and why, of the class that can elevate him above even outstanding players.
FT: Newcastle 2-3 Man City
Eddie Howe added: “We had chances in the game, the first half was maybe a bit of a slow start but we came into the match and scored the two goals, we could have potentially scored more, limited chances in the second half. I think there were a couple of counter attacks that ended in opportunities for us, but the quality in the end I think the substitution of De Bruyne, a world-class player, he’s scored one and he’s assisted one and he’s made the difference really.”
On four Premier League defeats in a row: “I think we’ve just got to continue from the same vein really, there’s not a lot wrong with our performances we’re just not putting it together for the whole 90 minutes so I think you could see today we were a top team in moments and phases of the game but to win games you need to do it for the whole game and we just weren’t able to physically today.”