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2018/2019 English Premier League
  • Salomón Rondón (66')
  • Matt Ritchie (80' PEN)
  • Sergio Agüero (1')

Newcastle shock Manchester City with Salomon Rondon, Matt Ritchie goals

Newcastle dealt a blow to Manchester City's title hopes, beating the reigning Premier League champions 2-1 at St. James' Park on Tuesday night.

City were far from their rampant best but a goal after 24 seconds from Sergio Aguero had looked set to ease them on their way to a victory that would have put them within a point of leaders Liverpool.

Instead, Newcastle, struggling just above the relegation zone, hit back in the most unlikely fashion after halftime, with a goal from Salomon Rondon and an 80th minute penalty by Matt Ritchie.

It meant an end to the fantastic start to the New Year for Pep Guardiola's champions, who had looked ready to win their eighth straight match in 2019 once Aguero had scored the quickest goal of the season in any Premier League match.

Newcastle's well-laid plans were immediately shredded by their perennial tormentor Aguero, who volleyed his 15th goal in 13 league games against Newcastle when set up by David Silva's brave far post header after the Spaniard lost his footing.

Aguero had a second effort ruled out after latching on to a free kick that Kevin De Bruyne was ruled to have taken without waiting for the referee's whistle -- a misdemeanour that saw the Belgian booked.

But City paid for their sluggish form, despite dominating possession, with Rondon taking advantage of poor defending to equalise before Fernandinho brought down Sean Longstaff in the box to allow Ritchie to send the home fans into ecstasy.

Newcastle's badly-needed win during a period of turbulence at the northeast club saw the fans' protests against owner Mike Ashley dampened for a night and had manager Rafa Benitez hailing his players' spirit.

"To get three points this way, the players played for the shirt, the fans and for everyone," he said. "They give everything every game, and the fans appreciate that."

Manchester City have now lost four games in the Premier League so far this season after losing only two during the entire campaign last year when they won the title.

Liverpool host Leicester City on Wednesday, with the prospect of moving seven points clear of City if they win.

English Premier League Standings

POS Team GP GD PTS
1 Liverpool 31 +52 76
2 Manchester City 30 +58 74
3 Tottenham Hotspur 30 +25 61
4 Arsenal 30 +24 60
5 Manchester United 30 +18 58
6 Chelsea 30 +17 57
7 Wolverhampton Wanderers 30 +2 44
8 Watford 30 -2 43
9 West Ham United 31 -5 42
10 Leicester City 31 -3 41
11 Everton 31 +1 40
12 AFC Bournemouth 31 -13 38
13 Newcastle United 31 -9 35
14 Crystal Palace 30 -5 33
15 Brighton & Hove Albion 29 -10 33
16 Southampton 30 -16 30
17 Burnley 31 -24 30
18 Cardiff City 30 -30 28
19 Fulham 31 -41 17
20 Huddersfield Town 31 -39 14