Manchester City hopes of claiming a third consecutive Premier League title suffered a fresh blow as Jonjo Shelvey’s superb late strike helped Newcastle United to a 2-2 draw at St James’ Park.
City looked like set to cruise to all three points when Raheem Sterling scored his eighth Premier League goal of the campaign midway through the first half, but they were pegged back by Jetro Willems’ fierce drive three minutes later.
Kevin De Bruyne restored City’s lead eight minutes from time with a stunning half-volley, yet Pep Guardiola’s side were denied a vital victory by Shelvey’s equally wonderful strike in the 88th minute.
Sterling squandered a huge chance to win it in stoppage time, and the result means City could end the day 11 points behind leaders Liverpool if Jurgen Klopp’s side overcome Brighton and Hove Albion at Anfield.
MATCH FACTS AND STATS
Newcastle: Dubravka, Manquillo, Fernandez, Clark, Dummett, Willems, Almiron, Shelvey, Hayden, Saint-Maximin (Atsu 80), Joelinton (Gayle 69)
Goals: Willems 25, Shelvey 88
Yellow cards: Manquillo 73
Manager: Steve Bruce
Subs not used: Schar, Krafth, Darlow, Sean Longstaff, Matthew Longstaff
Manchester City: Ederson, Walker, Stones, Fernandinho, Mendy, De Bruyne, Gundogan, Silva (Foden 69), Mahrez (Bernardo Silva 69), Gabriel Jesus (Rodri 84), Sterling
Subs not used: Bravo, Jose Angelino, Joao Cancelo, Otamendi
Goals: Sterling 22, De Bruyne 82
Yellow cards: Gundogan 24, Fernandinho 53
Manager: Pep Guardiola
Referee: Chris Kavanagh
After an even opening, City went ahead with their first clear sight of goal in the 22nd minute.
David Silva picked out Sterling with a clever backheel and the England international whipped his finish into Martin Dubravka’s bottom-left corner from 12 yards.
That sparked the hosts into life and they pulled level just three minutes later when Willems ran onto Miguel Almiron’s pass and drilled low past Ederson from 15 yards, the goal marking the Paraguayan’s first assist since joining the club in January.
Dubravka was finally called into action after 68 minutes, standing firm to block Gabriel Jesus’ initial effort before keeping out De Bruyne’s follow-up with his feet.
There was nothing the Magpies goalkeeper could do about De Bruyne’s strike in the 82nd minute, the Belgium international using his chest to control a headed clearance before unleashing a superb effort that crashed in off the underside of the crossbar.
Newcastle bounced back in style to ensure a share of the spoils two minutes from time, though, when Shelvey whipped home from 25 yards after Christian Atsu had picked him out with a short free-kick.
Sterling went agonisingly close to a winner deep into stoppage time, but Dubravka saved and it was not to be for Guardiola’s side, who have now dropped points in five of their 14 Premier League games this season.