Manchester City was given a major scare by Newcastle before coming from behind to draw 3-3 in a thrilling Premier League game on Sunday.
City needed goals in the space of four minutes after the hour mark from Erling Haaland and Bernardo Silva to salvage a point at St. James’ Park and maintain the unbeaten start to its title defense.
Newcastle battered City for much of the first half and just after halftime, responding to going behind to Ilkay Gundogan’s fifth-minute strike with goals from Miguel Almiron, Callum Wilson and then a stunning free kick from Kieran Trippier in the 54th.
Rather than opt for damage limitation, Newcastle — inspired by the individual brilliance of Allan Saint-Maximin — decided attack was the best form of defense and it nearly paid off.
Ultimately it was a goal by Silva, starting for the first time in the league this season after being linked with a move to Barcelona in the summer, that saved City and it came off a brilliant through-ball from Kevin De Bruyne that took out three Newcastle players — going through the legs of one of them.
Newcastle also stayed unbeaten after three games and, funded by the riches of Saudi Arabia, will be proud of a statement display against the champions.
City started strongly, and Silva and Haaland had already combined ominously to allow Rodri to whistle a long-range strike over Nick Pope’s crossbar when the midfielder was allowed time and space to deliver a cross for Gundogan to control and fire past Pope.
The England goalkeeper had to save with his legs from De Bruyne and Phil Foden in quick succession with the visitors utterly dominant, although the home side should have leveled when Saint-Maximin cut the ball back for Almiron, who skied his shot.
Then Newcastle took over. Ederson had to save at full stretch to keep out Saint-Maximin before substitute Ruben Dias — on for the injured Nathan Ake — deflected Wilson’s attempt wide.
The respite proved temporary. Saint-Maximin tricked his way past Kyle Walker and Rodri down the left to cross to the far post where Almiron slid in to turn the ball home. The goal was ruled offside but it was overturned on review.
That Almiron was the scorer was poignant, given he was mocked by City midfielder Jack Grealish in post-title celebrations in May.
Joao Cancelo had to come to Ederson’s rescue after he had rashly raced from his line to confront Almiron and was easily rounded, but the Brazil goalkeeper was picking the ball out of his net once again six minutes before the break. Saint-Maximin cut inside and fed Wilson, who touched the ball back inside past Dias before dispatching it into the net with the outside of his right foot.
Haaland was unfortunate not to drag the visitors back level within seven minutes of the restart when his shot was tipped onto the foot of a post by Pope, and his misery was compounded two minutes later when the home side extended their lead.
John Stones was penalized for bringing down the flying Saint-Maximin 22 meters out and Trippier’s free kick gave Ederson little chance.
Haaland blasted City back into it from close range from Rodri’s flick back into the area and should have helped himself to a second three minutes later, but was denied by Pope’s legs.
City was level, however, seconds later when De Bruyne picked out Silva’s run.
Trippier was shown a straight red card by referee Jarred Gillett for a cynical trip on De Bruyne, but the official was advised to review the incident and reduced the punishment to a yellow.