Newcastle United 1-1 Manchester City: Bleak display sees sky Blues held to draw on Tyneside

Following a fantastic showing on the weekend for both sides, City travelled to Tyneside - but managed to struggle against Rafa Benitez' resolute Geordies.

Newcastle United 1-1 Manchester City: Bleak display sees sky Blues held to draw on Tyneside
Picture source: Getty Images
Newcastle United
1 1
Manchester City
Newcastle United: Darlow, Anita, Mbemba, Lascelles, Dummett, Townsend ('80 Wijnaldum), Tiote, Colback, Sissoko (c), Perez, Cisse ('55 Mitrovic)
Manchester City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany (c), Mangala, Kolarov, Fernando, Delph ('67 Sterling) Navas, Toure ('70 Fernandinho), De Bruyne, Aguero
SCORE: 0-1 '14 Aguero, 1-1 '30 Anita
REFEREE: Kevin Friend (ENG) - Booked: '43 Anita '66 Kompany

Goals from Sergio Agüero - his 100th Premier League strike - as well as an equaliser before the half-time interval courtesy of make-shift fullback Vurnon Anita, ensured both sides shared the spoils at St. James' Park in a result neither side would've wanted.

Chances for both sides within the first five minutes saw this game get off to an energetic start. Manchester City were the first to break away down the flanks - however Jesús Navas' hesitation to make the cross cost City the opportunity to grab an early lead. Not long afterwards, Andros Townsend looked threatening down the wing and found Papiss Cisse in the area - but his headed effort flashed over the crossbar, landing on the roof of Joe Hart's net.

Who else? Sergio strikes again

It took 14 minutes for the deadlock to break - Aleksandar Kolarov's free-kick delivery was whipped into a dangerous area, and Sergio Agüero's header evaded the attention of the hosts' backline, allowing the Argentine to net from close-range. His 100th Premier League goal, it was a controversial one though as replays clearly showed he was standing in an offside position as the ball was fizzed toward his path, although the match officials failed to spot this and the goal was allowed. An excellent chance for Newcastle went begging in the 28th minute, as Kolarov's lazy pass was picked off by Moussa Sissoko - who charged towards Joe Hart but the City and England goalkeeper was able to smother the opportunity comfortably. 

Anita pegs Citizens back

However two minutes later Newcastle United equalised. Vurnon Anita managed to create space for himself down the wing, and cut the ball back inside - curling it goalwards, bouncing in off the post with St. James' duly erupting. From there onward, both sides battled for supremacy but the half ended one apiece.

Newcastle enjoy fair share of chances

Newcastle got the second-half underway, a real chance for City came in the 49th minute as Kevin de Bruyne rolled the ball to Aguero - who held his man off but couldn't pivot to get a shot away. Despite this opportunity going begging, it was clear that the visitors were gradually improving.

Karl Darlow was called upon again to turn wide a fizzing Navas shot, the resulting corner-kick was cleared with ease. Aleksandar Mitrovic replaced Papiss Cisse shortly after in a like-for-like substitution. Chances soon began to swing Newcastle's way, a superb cross from Townsend to Mitrovic was denied by an important interception from Pablo Zabaleta, with the home fans' voice growing ever louder as City looked to steady themselves defensively.

Both come close, but no eventual winner

City had another good chance to regain their lead, but Aguero was unable to place much direction on his shot after being played through by de Bruyne, leaving Darlow with a relatively easy job to deal with the danger. Frustration continued to grow as Raheem Sterling made his return to first-team action with just over 20 minutes left, as an ineffective Fabian Delph was unsurprisingly replaced. Newcastle continued to apply pressure upon the City backline, forcing the sky Blues to make some hasty clearances - much to the obvious delight of the home support, who could clearly sense the opportunity to pounce.

Fernandinho was on in place of Yaya Touré as the clock continued to tick down, and Georginio Wijnaldum replaced Townsend as the hosts went in search of a winning goal. City's final throw of the dice saw Navas replaced by Wilfried Bony with six minutes remaining - but neither side were able to gain the upper hand as possession changed frequently and play was frequently disjointed courtesy of cynical fouls. Kolarov almost signed City's death warrant, failing to stop Wijnaldum, the Dutchman twisted away to get a shot away but Hart made an excellent save to parry his effort away.

In a night where plenty expected City to brush aside the Magpies, Newcastle held on and won a deserved point. The only real highlight for the sky Blues was Aguero netting his 100th Premier League goal - a game to forget for the visitors considering their quality.