Newcastle United vs Manchester City: Classic Encounters
NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - MAY 14: Joe Willock of Newcastle United celebrates after scoring their sides third goal, missing from the penalty spot but scoring the rebound during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Manchester City at St. James Park on May 14, 2021 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Newcastle United look to be spending Christmas Day in the relegation zone for the first time in Premier League history, but can Eddie Howe's side lift The Toon Army's festive spirits and pull off a morale boosting win over Manchester City on Sunday afternoon? 

The likelihood of The Magpies recording a famous upset is highly unlikely as they sit second bottom in the table with a -19 goal difference, haven't won back-to-back home games in the division for two years and have conceded the most goals this season (37) - an average of 2.18 per game.  

Meanwhile their high-flying opponents are on a seven-match unbeaten run in the league and as a result, sit marginally top of the table, albeit just one point ahead of Liverpool, and victory in the North East would see Pep Guardiola's side record their 34th Premier League win in 2021, which would set a new top flight record for most wins in a single calendar year. 

With their head-to-head record tied at 72 wins apiece, VAVEL look back at three classic encounters between the two sides at St James' Park

Newcastle United 4-3 Manchester City, 24 October 2004

An uninspiring first half suddenly burst into life in the second period in a seven goal thriller which was decided courtesy of Craig Bellamy's extraordinary 89th-minute winner.

Graeme Souness' Newcastle took the lead on 49 minutes through Laurent Robert's left-footed free-kick, before Alan Shearer made it 2-0 from the penalty spot.  

Though the visitors, managed by former Magpie boss Kevin Keegan, responded with quickfire goals from Shaun Wright-Phillips and Robbie Fowler's spot-kick.  

But on 69 minutes, Robbie Elliott flicked on Robert's free-kick and the ball bounced off the post and, despite Richard Dunne's best attempts in trying to clear the ball off the line, the defender was unable to stop Newcastle from retaking the lead.   

With 13 minutes remaining, City hit back once more via Wright-Phillips, when he smashed in his second of the afternoon with Shay Given left rooted to the spot, before the 52,316 in attendance witnessed a moment of magic from Bellamy, whose incredible late flick and volley left David James helpless and gave The Magpies an enthralling victory.  

Fast forward 17 years later and the match is still remembered fondly on Tyneside.  

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Newcastle United 2-1 Manchester City, 29 January 2019

After a nightmare start in which Newcastle conceded just 24 seconds in, when Sergio Aguero scored his 15th goal in 13 appearances against the black-and-whites, it looked like it was going to be a walk in the park for Guardiola's men. 

City continued to dominate possession and Aguero thought he doubled their lead, only for referee Paul Tierney to disallow the goal as Kevin de Bruyne was penalised for taking a quick free-kick before he gave his signal and it proved to be the turning point in the match as Rafael Benitez's side were not only handed a lifeline but they also grew in confidence.

On 66 minutes, Salomon Rondon equalised in front of the Gallowgate End after connecting with Isaac Hayden's header and Newcastle completed a remarkable turnaround with 12 minutes remaining, when they were awarded a penalty following Fernandinho's clumsy challenge on Sean Longstaff.

As Ederson received treatment, Matt Ritchie had to wait two minutes before he could take his spot-kick, but the delay didn't faze him and the 32-year-old fired home to record a famous three points. 

In the past 27 top-flight games against City, this is The Magpies' only victory having drawn four and lost the other 22 meetings. 

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Newcastle United 3-4 Manchester City, 14 May 2021

In the most recent meeting between the two sides, it turned out to be an action-packed topsy-turvy encounter with the only disappointment being the absence of fans with the game played behind closed doors due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

It was City's first match since being crowned 2020/21 Premier League winners, but The Magpies showed no fear and instead offered plenty of fight and desire against the champions.  

Emil Krafth opened the scoring for Steve Bruce's side 24 minutes in with a thunderous header from Jonjo Shelvey's corner, before Joao Cancelo levelled with a deflected finish off Jacob Murphy.

City then took the lead just three minutes later when Ferran Torres delivered a superb backheeled finish from Ilkay Gundogan's free-kick, but it didn't last long as Joelinton was fouled by Nathan Ake inside the penalty area and the Brazilian drilled his spot-kick past Scott Carson, who made his first top flight appearance since May 2011. 

With the scoreline evenly poised at 2-2, it made for an intriguing second-half. The Magpies regained the advantage briefly on 62 minutes and were awarded another penalty after Kyle Walker brought down Joe Willock, and despite his initial effort saved by Carson, he made no mistake with the rebound. 

However, City made sure they had the last laugh as Torres added a quickfire brace to complete his hat-trick in a Friday night classic in the North East. 

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