Newcastle United are bottom of the Premier League after a humiliating 6-1 defeat to Manchester City this afternoon.
Aleksandar Mitrovic had put Steve McClaren’s side ahead at the Etihad Stadium in the 18th minute with his first goal for the club.
But the Sergio Aguero levelled before the break – and he was only just getting started.
The City striker went on to score four more goals in what turned out to be a hugely-embarrassing rout for Newcastle, who now prop up the league.
And the result – and performance – has heaped more pressure on head coach McClaren ahead of games against Norwich City and Sunderland, who drew 2-2 West Ham United to climb above Newcastle on goal difference.
The second-half was as bad as anything witnessed in the latter months of last season as the club grimly battled the threat of relegation.
Yet it had started so well for the visitors, who deservedly took the lead in the 18th minute.
Defender Kevin Mbabu beat Pablo Zabaleta down the left, and City failed to clear his cross. Georginio Wijnaldum crossed for Mitrovic, who headed past Joe Hart.
But Aguero levelled before the interval with a close-range header.
And he took advantage of some shambolic defending to score quick-fire goals in the 49th and 50th minutes and put City into a commanding position.
Kevin De Bruyne added a fifth before Aguero completed his own scoring feat to make it 6-1.
McClaren – who lost Mbabu to injury early in the second half – threw on Cheick Tiote and Florian Thauvin later in the half in place of the ineffective Moussa Sissoko and Yoan Gouffran.
But the damage was already done, and City coasted through the last 20 minutes.
The result saw Manuel Pellegrini’s side go top of the league.
McClaren now has a week to inject some belief into his beleaguered team ahead of next Sunday’s home game against Norwich, a game Newcastle simply have to win.
NEWCASTLE UNITED: Krul; Janmaat, Mbemba, Coloccini, Mbabu (Lascelles, 52); Sissoko (Tiote, 66), Anita, Gouffran (Thauvin, 66), Wijnaldum; Perez, Mitrovic. Subs not used: Elliot, Williamson, de Jong, Cisse.
MANCHESTER CITY: Hart, Zabaleta, Otamendi, Mangala, Kolarov, Fernando, Fernandinho, Silva (Iheanacho, 75), Sterling (Navas, 46), De Bruyne, Aguero (Bony, 66). Subs not used: Caballero, Demichelis, Sagna, M Garcia.
Goals: Mitrovic 18, Aguero 42, 49, 50, 60, 62, de Bruyne 53
Bookings: Anita 35 Fernandinho 45, Zabaleta 82, Mangala 88
Referee: Kevin Friend (Leicestershire)