Manchester City have shown that they do have a human side as their unbeaten start to the season has finally come to an end. 20 Wins and two draws in their first 22 matches of this Premier League campaign but last weekend saw them lose their cloak of invincibility.
Anfield was the setting for the end of the history making run and in fairness to them, it is one that they nearly kept alive but after going 4-1 down to Jurgen Klopp’s men they gave themselves too much to do and their late fightback was all in vein as they managed to reduce the deficit to just one goal.
Not only that but the gap has diminished to 12 points to their nearest rivals Manchester United, so it has at least blown a bit of interest back into what was looking like an almost non-existent title race this season, the hope for the rest of the division is that the defeat last Sunday sends them into something of a tailspin.
One that can then allow the likes of Manchester United to erode the gap and setup something of a grandstand finish, that perhaps is wishful thinking though as it took 23 games for Pep Guardiola’s men to lose their first league game of the season.
So that means they will now have to draw six more or lose four more games than Manchester United in these last fifteen games, it doesn’t take the biggest of betting men to work out that the odds are still very much with the league leaders at present.
Today will be the test as to whether they can brush off defeat to Liverpool last weekend or whether will see something of a blip in their performances as the play host to a Newcastle side who came in for some serious criticism the last time these two sides met.
St James’ Park was the setting during the festive period and although Newcastle may have only allowed City to score a solitary goal that evening the tactics were uninspiring to say the least as they set out simply not to lose, a plan that was ultimately foiled by Raheem Sterling’s winner.
Now you could understand that if they were playing away from home but to set up like that in front of their own fans left something of a sour taste in the mouth of everyone who watched the game. The thing is now they are away from home today then I guess we have to expect more of the same.
Last weekend they were held to a draw by struggling Swansea it what can only be construed as two points dropped at the end of the day, a point that sees them currently lie 15th in the table but had they won that game they would have been as high as 11th.
The bottom half of the Premier League table is almost like the stock market at the moment, it seems to be so volatile from one week to the next. Results ultimately dictate who will be up and down and where the smart money lies for investors.
Which is something that arguably mirrors Newcastle off the pitch at the present as the club continues to be beset by takeover talks, ones that do not seem to be going swimmingly and that means there is unlikely to be any money coming Rafa Benitez’s way.
If any deal to purchase the club is not completed before the end of the month then you get the feeling that the Magpies may well regret the opportunity to not improve their squad especially when the teams around them would have done so.
There will certainly be no reinforcements for the trip to Manchester this afternoon and even if there were I don’t think they will have any joy against City. Pep’s men to bounce back after their defeat last Sunday with a comfortable home win.