Benitez hoping Newcastle can turn City upset into league leap to safety

Pep Guardiola said his Manchester City side have to overcome the "challenge" of a hard run of fixtures as they seek to get their title defence back on track after a 2-1 loss at Newcastle.

"I know the challenge is big, being in all competitions is what it is", shrugged Guardiola.

United's need for a goal grew and Burnley managed to score a second, leaving Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with the need to react. "I think he had the best position".

But time went on and City couldn't find a crucial second.

However, City lost their rhythm after that and were punished when Salomon Rondon equalized for Newcastle in the 66th minute from an Isaac Hayden header.

The youngster told The Chronicle: "Obviously, you want to get into the Premier League but that's (playing against Man City) a different level - that's Champions League, that's some of the best players in the world on the pitch".

"Every game is one less, but we are in January and we have lots of trophies and a lot of games to play".

Guardiola added: "We didn't make a good performance".

"We didn't take the rhythm of the game, it was slow and we weren't aggressive enough".

Elsewhere, Wolves thrashed West Ham 3-0, Arsenal beat Cardiff 2-1 at the Emirates, and Everton were 1-0 winners at Huddersfield Town.

"I think obviously we had a gameplan, and the gameplan was not to concede a goal in the first minute", said manager Benitez. The game was not good.

"So we worked with different moves and examples of global teams to look at the defenders and the different aspects of a modern defender".

"Robertson committed the foul, you can see Jurgen Klopp there probably thinking 'why is he touching him there?', he's going mad just before half time", Savage said on BT Sport.

"It's always tough when you have to play when it just snowed, but it's two teams that have to deal with it so you can't complain about it or use it as an excuse". Pep Guardiola will no doubt point to this result as an example of Liverpool's frailties, especially as we enter the title run in.

However, former United star Solskjaer, serving as interim boss until the end of the season after temporarily leaving Norway's Molde, has had the midas touch.

  • Angelo Rivera