5 Things We Learned From Newcastle 1-1 Manchester City

Sergio Aguero Deserves His Place Amongst The Premier League Sharp-Shooters

Let’s be honest here, there are players on the now 25-man strong list of players that have scored 100 Premier League goals who are really only there because of their longevity. Dion Dublin, Emile Heskey, Darren Bent, we could go on and on.

At the very sharp end of the list though, we now find 147-game Sergio Aguero, tucked just behind Alan Shearer (who hit his hundred in a staggering 124 games) as the second fastest man to record a century of strikes in the competition.

The Argentinean is one of the very best forwards to have graced the division, consistently proving his almost rapier-like qualities in front of goal ever since he burst onto the scene with a double on his debut against Swansea City in 2011.

That really isn’t all that long ago, and it isn’t just City fans who hope that he’ll be sticking around for the next century.


Please, Please Give Officials Some More Help

And yet that 100th goal was, of course, offside.

It has long been the preserve of pieces such as this to berate officials for getting decisions bafflingly wrong, but as we saw with Jon Moss at Leicester City last weekend, sometimes mistakes just happen. It is alarming how frequently they are happening, sure, but human error is all around us.

Incorrect offside decisions can look particularly bad when, as is customary, the damning freeze-frame gets trotted out, but they surely have to be the next in line for the Hawk-Eye treatment.

Just give the officials something, anything, to help them, because they undoubtedly need it.


Jamaal Lascelles Is More Than Just A Big Mouth

Much has been made of Jamaal Lascelles’ vocal ear-bashing of many of his underperforming teammates which apparently contributed to the 3-0 win over Swansea City at the weekend, but the 22-year-old showed that he is more than just a set of lungs here.

Marshalling the defence with wisdom beyond his years, the former Nottingham Forest centre-back put the recent comedy turns of the likes of Steven Taylor and Fabricio Coloccini to shame with a display full of steel and no little style.

Newcastle may actually have found a decent centre-back for once. They’ve just got to hope that it isn’t too late to save their season.


Rafa & Newcastle Would Be Perfect For Each Other, If It Lasts


Newcastle fans often seem to be amongst the easiest of groups to patronise, but one thing that is clear is that they long to be a part of something – holding a sense that they have a manager and players who are all part of the same collective as them.

They want something and someone to get behind, basically, and in Rafael Benitez – whose name was sung throughout this game – they certainly have one.

The Spaniard retains the sense of the determined outsider which made him such a hit at Liverpool and meant that Chelsea were never the right fit for him, and having tapped into the passion and fervour that exists on Tyneside already he has made himself highly revered on the St James’s terraces.

Had he been there for longer then Newcastle certainly wouldn’t be in relegation trouble, and the only worry for their fans now must be that their predicament means that he’ll walk away in the summer should the unthinkable happen.

These two could be perfect for each other next season, but first they’ve got to somehow get through this one.


Don’t Be Surprised To See The Kids Trotted Out On Saturday

Manchester City play Stoke City at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday lunchtime, and if their starting XI there looks anything like this one did then you can all have £1 from me.

Some of Manuel Pellegrini’s key players looked to be struggling a little here following on from their excellent performance at Chelsea on Saturday, and with Real Madrid lurking in the Champions League long grass, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see plenty of them rested for the visit of a Stoke side which have all but given up on their season anyway.

Of course the hosts need points in their top four chase, but they can pick them up even with a shadow side.

On this evidence, some of City’s big-hitters need a full week to prepare for Madrid.


Read more from Mark Jones