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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 34 +57 85
2 Manchester City 33 +64 83
3 Tottenham Hotspur 33 +30 67
4 Arsenal 33 +26 66
5 Chelsea 34 +21 66
6 Manchester United 33 +19 64
7 Leicester City 34 +1 47
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 33 -1 47
9 Everton 34 +2 46
10 Watford 33 -1 46
11 West Ham United 34 -10 42
12 AFC Bournemouth 34 -12 41
13 Crystal Palace 34 -6 39
14 Burnley 34 -18 39
15 Newcastle United 34 -11 38
16 Southampton 33 -15 36
17 Brighton & Hove Albion 33 -21 33
18 Cardiff City 34 -33 31
19 Fulham 34 -44 20
20 Huddersfield Town 34 -48 14