Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola lavished praise on Newcastle whilst also hailing his own side’s fighting spirit after the Citizens fought back from 3-1 down to earn a point at St James’ Park.
Ilkay Gundogan gave City a fifth-minute lead but Newcastle quickly regrouped and equalised when Allan Saint-Maximin’s cross was finished by Miguel Almiron.
Saint-Maximin was in inspired form and he was central to Newcastle taking the lead, setting up Callum Wilson for his 39th-minute strike. Kieran Trippier’s stunning free-kick from 25-yards nine minutes after the restart then put the hosts into a commanding position.
But City rolled up their sleeves and two goals in four minutes from Erling Haaland and Bernardo Silva respectively ensured City extended their unbeaten start to their Premier League campaign.
The spirit shown by his City side impressed Guardiola, who told Sky Sports: “We could have not won.
“Newcastle are becoming one of the toughest opponents for sure.
“Leeds beat Chelsea [earlier on Sunday]. The Premier League is so difficult for everyone. It shows how amazing we’ve done for five years and how difficult it will be. To see the team fight to the end is enough.
“[It was a] proper football game. We started really well. We lost some duels and they could run. Once the game was open they were better for 20 minutes. The team showed who we are. Allan Saint-Maximin is really dangerous.
“We should take more time in the final third.”
Guardiola was asked about the referee Jarred Gillet’s decision to downgrade the straight red he showed to Trippier to a yellow card for a knee-high trip on Kevin de Bruyne, to which the Spaniard responded: “I didn’t watch it. The referee and VAR said it was not. I saw it in front of me but after I didn’t watch it.
“That atmosphere after the game, that is what football is all about.”
Newcastle boss Eddie Howe was happy with the result even though his side surrendered a two-goal lead.
“We started poorly and we weren’t quite playing how we wanted to,” he told BBC Sport.
“Maybe the goal took the pressure off and then before half-time we were excellent and we committed everything we had to the game and it’s a valuable point for us.
“You need the mentality first, the bravery and the willingness to take a risk. The alternative is to sit back and you think you are safe in numbers but you’re not. The players executed it brilliantly and some of our counter-attacking was a real threat.
“You need performances but you need the result at the end of the day so I’m pleased for the players we got something.”