New Castle, January 30: Manchester City handed the advantage firmly to Liverpool in the Premier League title race as they surrendered the lead in a stunning 2-1 loss away to Newcastle United on Tuesday.
Pep Guardiola’s second-placed side looked likely to keep the pressure on Jurgen Klopp’s leaders as Sergio Aguero got them off to an ideal start in the Spaniard’s 100th league game in charge by scoring the fastest goal of the season just seconds into the action at St James’ Park.
But Newcastle staged an unlikely comeback to ease their relegation fears thanks to Salomon Rondon’s 66th-minute equaliser, the first goal City had conceded for more than 10 hours, before Matt Ritchie struck the winner from the penalty spot with 10 minutes remaining after Fernandinho’s foul on youngster Sean Longstaff.
It means Liverpool, who could have been only a point ahead of their main rivals on their return to action, can extend their lead at the top to an imposing seven points with victory over Leicester at Anfield on Wednesday.
Such a scenario looked unlikely when Aguero continued his amazing scoring record against the Tyneside club with his 15th goal in 13 games against the Magpies, more than any player has scored against an opponent for a single club in the Premier League.
Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez made no apologies for setting out to ‘park the bus’ against free-scoring opponents, even at home, but the Spaniard’s plans to frustrate Guardiola’s side were left in tatters when the visitors took the lead with their first attack. (AFP)