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City Lose Ground On Leaders Liverpool With Shock Defeat To Newcastle

29th January 2019, St James Park, Newcastle upon Tyne, England; EPL Premier League football, Newcastle United versus Manchester City; Jose Salomon Rondon of Newcastle United scores past Ederson of Manchester City to make it 1-1 in the 66th minute (photo by Lee Parker/Action Plus via Getty Images)

Manchester City’s Premier League title challenge was rocked by a stunning 2-1 defeat at Newcastle, while Manchester United’s late escape preserved Ole Gunner Solskjaer’s unbeaten start in a dramatic 2-2 draw with Burnley on Tuesday.

City needed a win at St James’ Park to close the gap on leaders Liverpool to one point ahead of the Reds’ clash with Leicester on Wednesday.

But Pep Guardiola’s 100th league game as City manager proved an evening to forget for the champions.

Second-placed City’s loss means Liverpool, chasing their first English title since 1990, can move seven points clear with a win over Leicester.

It was a remarkable result given City took just 24 seconds to open the scoring.

Raheem Sterling crossed to David Silva and the City midfielder bravely headed it back as he collided with Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka.

Aguero pounced on the loose ball to poke home from close range for his 17th goal of the season.

But City lost their rhythm after that and were punished when Salomon Rondon equalised for Newcastle in the 66th minute from Isaac Hayden’s header.

There was worse to come for City in the 80th minute.

Fernandinho’s foul on Sean Longstaff gave Matt Ritchie the chance to score from the penalty spot and the Newcastle midfielder fired his effort low into the net.

It was City’s first defeat since a loss at Leicester on December 26, ending a run of eight successive wins in all competitions.

Solskjaer had overseen eight straight victories in all competitions — including six in the league — since replacing the sacked Jose Mourinho in December.

He lost that perfect streak, but still finished impressed by United’s never-say-die spirit at Old Trafford.

Ashley Barnes put Burnley ahead in the 51st minute and Chris Wood struck in the 81st minute to double their lead.

But former United star Solskjaer, serving as interim boss until the end of the season after temporarily leaving Norway’s Molde, has had the midas touch.

And in the 87th minute Jeff Hendrick dragged back Jesse Lingard to concede a penalty that was converted by Paul Pogba.

United poured forward and Victor Lindelof snatched the equaliser in the last seconds.

Cardiff paid an emotional tribute to Emiliano Sala following the striker’s disappearance, but Arsenal ran out 2-1 winners at the Emirates Stadium.

Sala signed from Nantes in a club-record deal, but the 28-year-old Argentine was one of two people on board the Piper Malibu plane which vanished in the Channel Islands last week en route to Cardiff.

Yellow daffodils were carried onto the pitch by Cardiff captain Sol Bamba and there was a minute’s applause before kick-off for Sala.

A banner shown by Cardiff fans read: “We never saw you play, we never saw you score, but Emiliano, our beautiful Bluebird, we will love you forever more.”

The Gunners took the lead in the 66th minute when Bruno Manga fouled Sead Kolasinac and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang stroked home the resulting penalty.

smg/jc

About Oisin McQueirns

Oisin McQueirns is a digital journalist at Pundit Arena. Massive fan of Leeds United, Ric Flair and Trusting The Process. Contact him here oisin@punditarena.com