Manchester City displayed their championship resolve as they came from two goals down to salvage a 3-3 draw in an all-action game at Newcastle.
City had won 27 of their previous 28 games when scoring first but, after Ilkay Gundogan’s early opener, they fell 3-1 behind through a display of intensity and attacking intent.
Allan Saint-Maximin made all three of Newcastle’s goals as City found it impossible to deal with the winger’s pace and power, first crossing for Miguel Almiron to level with a diving header which was initially ruled out for offside before a VAR intervention.
After a surging run forward Saint-Maximin then found Callum Wilson for the second, with the striker beating Ruben Dias before firing past Ederson. Kieran Trippier then curled in a third with a stunning free-kick after Saint-Maximin had been fouled by John Stones.
But City, unbeaten in the Premier League since February, would not go down without a fight and were given a lifeline when Erling Haaland rifled home from a corner, before Bernardo Silva finished off a piece of genius playmaking from Kevin De Bruyne to level things up again.
The drama was not limited to the goalmouths with Trippier shown a red card by referee Jarred Gillett for a high challenge on De Bruyne, but VAR stepped in again and the decision was downgraded to a booking, and neither side could then find another breakthrough late on nor a pulsating match at St James’ Park ended level.
How Newcastle came so close to Man City win
Eddie Howe admitted before the game his side’s attacking intent may leave holes at the back and City dealt them an early blow when Gundogan was left unmarked to take down Silva’s cross and beat Nick Pope with his second touch.
But that mindset would serve Newcastle better as the game wore on, with their fluid counter-attacks cutting City apart at will once they found their stride.
Saint-Maximin was left with Rodri and Kyle Walker on him in the build-up to the hosts’ equalizer, but beat both before crossing for Almiron to glance home at the back post.
An offside flag cut the Paraguayan’s celebrations short, but a VAR review judged him just onside and brought St James’ Park to its feet.
Wilson’s second owed much to the Frenchman’s direct running too, turning inside Walker and driving forward before feeding the forward, whose excellent first touch took him away from Dias before he fired past the exposed Ederson.
Newcastle’s half-time lead was deserved but felt fragile, until Trippier doubled their advantage with a free-kick reminiscent of his World Cup strike against Croatia in 2018 – again after a Saint-Maximin run.
Haaland, who had earlier been denied by a stunning Pope save to tip a shot onto the post, would pull City back into contention six minutes later when a corner kick was kept alive at the back post.
A touch of class from De Bruyne provided the next twist on a rollercoaster afternoon, picking out Silva in the box with a pinpoint pass from deep for the equalizer.
Trippier was shown a straight red card for a knee-high trip on the Belgian which threatened to turn the match in City’s favor, until Gillett visited the pitchside monitor and awarded him a yellow instead.
After that moment of redemption, Newcastle stood firm to secure an impressive point against the Premier League champions, and continue their own unbeaten start in the process.
Newcastle play away from home twice this week, first visiting Tranmere in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday; kick-off at 7.45pm, before they are live on Sky Sports Premier League next Sunday when they face Wolves at Molineux; kick-off at 2pm.
Manchester City play Barcelona in a charity friendly at the Nou Camp on Wednesday night; kick-off at 8.30pm, before hosting Crystal Palace next Saturday; kick-off at 3pm.