By Richard Morgan
Football journalist - @Richiereds1976
Newcastle 2-2 Manchester City: Jonjo Shelvey's late strike stuns champions
Report as Shelvey's long-range effort earns Newcastle point with the champions
Last Updated: 01/12/19 12:09pm
Manchester City dropped two points at St James' Park as Jonjo Shelvey's stunning late strike saw Newcastle earn a 2-2 draw with the champions.
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- How the teams lined up
- Pep Guardiola defiant on title bid
The visitors opened the scoring midway through the first half thanks to Raheem Sterling's well-taken effort, the forward's 15th goal of another productive season, only for Jetro Willems' low drive to immediately draw Newcastle level.
Kevin De Bruyne's sumptuous volley then appeared to win it for City with just eight minutes to go, but former Liverpool midfielder Shelvey produced an equally stunning strike to level matters late on.
Newcastle: Dubravka (8), Manquillo (7), Dummett (7), Fernandez (9), Clark (7), Willems (8), Shelvey (8), Hayden (8), Almiron (7), Joelinton (6), Saint-Maximin (8)
Subs: Gayle (6), Atsu (6)
Man City: Ederson (6), Mendy (6), Stones (6), Fernandinho (6), Walker (6), Gundogan (6), De Bruyne (8), David Silva (6), Mahrez (5), Sterling (6), Jesus (6)
Subs: Rodri (6), Bernardo Silva (6), Foden (6)
Man of the match: Federico Fernandez
As a result, Pep Guardiola's side have fallen 11 points behind leaders Liverpool, who held on with 10 men to beat Brighton 2-1 at Anfield.
It was a subdued opening to the contest in the North East and when the visitors made the breakthrough after 22 minutes, it came as somewhat of a surprise.
The returning David Silva linked up with Sterling in a tight space in the box and, after a series of fortunate ricochets, the ball fell at the latter's feet, with the England international making no mistake with an accurate side-footed finish into the bottom right corner of the net.
The home team took just three minutes to pull level, though, as Miguel Almiron fed Willems in the box, with the Dutch full-back finding the bottom of the goal with a well-struck drive.
Newcastle defender Fabian Schar had recovered from injury to take his place on the subs' bench, but both Florian Lejeune and DeAndre Yedlin missed out with injury.
Meanwhile, City made five changes from the side that drew 1-1 with Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League in midweek. Sergio Aguero was still out with a thigh injury, but boss Pep Guardiola recalled Kyle Walker, John Stones, Benjamin Mendy, David Silva and Riyad Mahrez.
Those eye-catching strikes were out of character with a lethargic first half and for much of the second period it was more of the same, with the game being played largely in second gear.
But City looked to have stolen the points when Benjamin Mendy's left-wing cross was headed out to the waiting De Bruyne, who proceeded to rifle an unstoppable volley into the net off the underside of the bar.
Newcastle would not be denied, though, catching their opponents out by rolling a free kick across the area to an unmarked Shelvey, who made himself a hero with both Newcastle and Liverpool fans by drilling a thunderbolt of shot past Ederson from 25 yards.
And in what was a frantic finale, City still had time to win it in stoppage time, only for Martin Dubravka to deny the unmarked Sterling with a full-length stop on the line.
- Newcastle are unbeaten in each of their last four home league games against reigning top-flight champions (W2 D2), for the first time since a run of five ending in February 2003.
- Manchester City have found the net in each of their last 22 Premier League games vs Newcastle - their joint-longest such run in the competition (also 22 vs Fulham in March 2019).
- No Premier League player has scored more goals in all competitions this season than Man City's Raheem Sterling (15 goals, level with Raul Jimenez).
- On his 24th appearance in the Premier League, Newcastle's Miguel Almiron has registered his first assist in the competition, with what was his 23rd chance created for a teammate.
- Man City's Kevin De Bruyne has had a hand in six goals in six Premier League appearances against Newcastle, scoring two and assisting four.
- Of players with at least 15 Premier League goals, only David Ginola (66.7%) and Laurent Robert (65.2%) have scored a higher ratio from outside the box than Newcastle's Jonjo Shelvey (64.7% - 11/17).
- Eight of Newcastle's 13 Premier League goals this season have been scored by defenders - the biggest such ratio in the competition (62%).
- Manchester City's David Silva has been directly involved in more Premier League goals versus Newcastle than against any other side in the competition (11 - 5 goals, 6 assists).
Steve Bruce: "When you take on one of the big boys it's always nice to get something from it. Their attitude and effort and endeavour in terms of their workrate and to keep getting after the ball, it's manful in terms of how they do it."
"When you get beat you can always have a look but that consistency is what we're striving for. Villa was disappointing but five or six previous we've been decent. Keep working at it, keep plodding away and we hope.
"No time to sleep! We've got another game on Thursday and then Sunday. December is a defining month. There's that many games so you'll see a few freak results."
Pep Guardiola: We had enough chances to win, definitely. You have to live through the bad moments...tomorrow we will lift ourselves. We have another opponent in front of us, so we now have to try to win games, win games and see what happens."
Man of the Match - Federico Fernandez
The centre back was an absolute rock at the heart of the home team's defence all afternoon long, helping to keep City's dangerous front line at bay with a series of well-timed interceptions and clearances.
The Argentina international was partnered at the back by the equally resolute Ciaran Clark and Paul Dummett, but it was the 30-year-old who exuded calm all match, especially when the champions went in search of a late winner.
Newcastle take on Sheffield United at Bramall Lane on Thursday night, while the champions face Burnley at Turf Moor on Tuesday evening.
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