On an exciting evening at St. James' Park, the reigning champions took on Newcastle United in an encounter that set the tone for the 2022-23 season.
It was an incredible game of football, and it had everything - an overturned red card, brilliant goals and an epic comeback. It feels like the old Newcastle United FC are returning to their old selves.
The reigning champions, City, took first blood off Ilkay Gundogan, but goals courtesy of Miguel Almiron, Callum Wilson and Kieran Trippier saw the hosts taking a 3-1 lead at the 54th-minute mark.
But, City is used to being in such situations and anchored another famous comeback with goals coming from Erling Haaland and Bernado Silva to draw the game 3-3. It was a game with many twists and turns; it was a game that everyone enjoyed and cherished.
With Newcastle's level of football, a draw felt like the correct result.
Almiron, with the last laugh
It was sweet revenge for Newcastle's Almiron as he was able to win back respect after the Grealish comment last season. City had just clinched the League title after defeating Aston Villa 3-2 emphatically, and Grealish was on the headlines for the wrong reasons.
As the side celebrated the win, Grealish's words from a video went viral. He added, "Riyad [Mahrez], take him off the pitch, as soon as possible. He played like Almiron,".
Little did Grealish know that these words would come back to haunt him last week as Almiron showcased an unparalleled level of skill throughout the 90 minutes. Newcastle fans showed up with banners with praise for Almiron (Miggy) even before the game, but Almiron lived up to expectations.
With Grealish not playing owing to injury, Almiron showcased his perfect response by scoring the first after he converted a cross from Allan Saint Maximum. The goal was awarded a few minutes later following a VAR decision.
Several football pundits voiced their concern after the Grealish dig last season, and it felt like a perfect response at St. James' Park. At the full-time whistle, he handed his jersey to a fan who had brought a banner stating Miggy, can Grealish have your shirt?'
After 3 league games, both sides remain unbeaten in the league. City sits with 7 points and is in second place. Newcastle is in sixth with 5 points - the same total they were with after 11 games in the last season. Newcastle was a side that was in the red zone with uncertainty about them playing in the Premier League this season.
But, the new takeover by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia changed it around. New manager Eddie Howe ensured that the club survived and stayed clear of relegation.
The results of this effort are slowly starting to take shape this season. City boss Pep Guardiola praised the way Newcastle played. He added that Newcastle is now becoming one of the toughest opponents and added that the atmosphere after the game was superior and reflected that this was the true meaning of football.
Foden should have passed?
Manchester City ticket holders who made it to St. James' Park felt like Phil Foden should've made the pass to Erling Haaland in the first half. Instead, Foden continued to go for goal and was not successful. Had he made the pass, the side would've neutralized the threat from the home team, but it was not meant to be.
Speaking at the full-time whistle, the commentators also believed that the pass could've been made. City was leading 1-0, and it would've been 2-0.
Fans who purchased Manchester City tickets at the away stand would've been slightly disappointed that their side could not get the full points on offer in match week 3. However, the pitfalls of the side are coming out early in the side so that Guardiola has time to fix them before the big games start coming.
Guardiola identified a failure to make more passes in the final third to be one of the reasons why the side could not collect the full points on offer over the weekend. He added that St. James Park is always a difficult venue to play and emphasized the lacklustre performance in the final third.
The idea behind playing more passes in attack, rather than attacking through quick transitions, is that it gives the City players more time to get into position and guard against quick breakaways.
That didn't happen on Sunday, hence why the likes of Rodri, Walker and Stones frequently looked out of position when Newcastle broke forward.
Ederson - 6
Conceded the opener from Almiron, but the City goalkeeper could do very little with the close-range shot. The second goal was a late reaction, and it could've been avoided. However, Trippier's free-kick was a wonderfully hit goal, and you could've done very little to prevent it from going through.
Nathan Ake - 6.5
While Ake left the field early due to an injury, he defended the bolstering Newcasted attack with all might but was often caught offside.
Ilkay Gundogan - 7.5
Making the scoresheet back-to-back weeks, the City captain is walking the talk, but he did not come out with his A game after the first 10-15 minutes.
Kevin De Bruyne - 8.5
As usual, De Bruyne was in his zone, looking lively during the entire duration. He turned up when the side needed him the most, grabbing the assist for Silva's equalizer.
Bernado Silva - 8.5 (POTM)
With the Barcelona rumours put to rest, Silva was given his first start in the season. The chatter beyond the field hasn't affected him as he sent across an assist in the opening minutes to aid Gundgan for his opener.
A well-taken goal from the Portuguese midfielder levelled the score for City, having earlier trailed by two goals.
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