The wait must have seemed interminable, and not just here at St James’ Park. Over on Merseyside, the time and tension as Matt Ritchie stood over the ball and the penalty spot, and Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson received treatment must have stretched out an agonising age.
If Ritchie scored, and Newcastle held on, January 29, 2019, could become the day Liverpool’s first Premier League title felt like a reality. If he scored and Manchester City lost, it would mean they had blinked first in this stand-off, and that a home win over Leicester on Wednesday night would leave Liverpool seven points clear. Nobody had given Newcastle much hope against City – and certainly not when they went 1-0 down inside 24 seconds.
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