Newcastle United battled their way to a potentially priceless point at home to Manchester City in their all-important game in hand.

City took the lead through Sergio Aguero, but the Argentine was comfortably offside when he headed past Karl Darlow from a free kick.

Vurnon Anita equalised for Newcastle though, cutting inside from right back before firing an accurate shot past Joe Hart and levelling.

It was another good performance from the home side, who looked like they were up for the fight from the off, crunching into tackles and not letting City play their usual slick style.

Rafa Benitez made just one change to the side that beat Swansea on Saturday, with Ayoze Perez replacing Gini Wijnaldum on the left wing.

Moussa Sissoko was again given the captains armband and was excellent, looking comfortable and influential in perhaps his most favoured attacking midfield role.

Despite the positives, Aguero’s goal threatened to kill Newcastle’s momentum.

Aleksandar Kolarov’s free kick from the left sailed into the box and was flicked in by Aguero, who was at least three yards offside when he connected.

On a weekend when refereeing decisions have been the talking point, that kind of goal going in hurt that little bit more.

But Newcastle didn’t fold and were level just short of the half hour mark, when Anita took down a cross field pass and cut inside Kolarov, before firing across Hart into the far corner.

City – with their Champions League semi-final looming – looked dangerous on the attack but the likes of Jack Colback and Cheick Tiote put in big performances in the middle of the pitch to keep Newcastle level.

Jamaal Lascelles was struggling against Aguero at times, failing to play him offside when he misplaced a pass and watching on as Kevin De Bruyne lashed a shot well wide.

Ironically, the one time Lascelles successfully played Aguero offside, the linesman failed to flag and the Argentine netted his 100th Premier League goal.

Newcastle had chances to win it though, most notably when Wijnaldum jinked his way into a great position before being denied by a superb Hart save.

But it ended level, and Newcastle closed the gap between themselves and Norwich to just two points with four games remaining.

On this performance, the Geordies demonstrated the kind of fight needed to stay in the league, they were just let down by awful refereeing. Let’s hope it’s not too critical a decision come mid-May.