Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer has lashed out at the antics of the Magpies’ Dwight Gayle in the club’s 1-0 defeat to Manchester City on Wednesday.

Raheem Sterling’s first half goal was all that separated the two sides at St James’ Park, securing City’s 18th successive Premier League victory, while leaving Newcastle with just one win from 11 games, which included a nine game winless run.

However it was a spirited display from Rafael Benitez’s men against the runaway league leaders, with the home side managing to fashion chances of their own against the best defence in England’s top flight.

One such moment saw Gayle, who came on as a substitute break through the City back line before tumbling in the box under pressure from Danilo, but was deemed to have dived by referee Andre Marriner and subsequently booked.

Commentating on the match, Shearer blasted the 27-year-old, accusing him of cheating and insisting he was right to receive a yellow card.

Speaking on BBC Radio Five live (27/12, 19:45), he said: “My first reaction was that it was a dive. The referee gets that absolutely spot on.

“Why would he go down there? There is no need. You have the chance to go on and pull the trigger.

“It is just cheating. I’m still so angry with Dwight Gayle – I really am.

“Why did he dive? Why didn’t he take the chance to shoot?”

Gayle has been a regular in the first team squad this season, although has had to settle for a spot on the substitutes’ bench at times, with just nine starts from his 17 league appearances.

He has netted three times this season, which makes him the joint top scorer for the club alongside attacking counterpart Joselu.

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