Perhaps Benitez will consider handing him an attacking role after his 31st minute goal _ only his third for the club and first for two years.
Picking up Sissoko’s pass in space on the right, he cut in and, with his weaker left foot, let fly with a low drive which beat Hart, going in via the far post.
De Bruyne has given City a new dimension since returning from injury and five minutes in the second half he made ground before slipping the ball inside to Aguero.
With his back to goal, the Argentine tried to spin Chancel Mbemba but the centre half remained resolute, a quality that’s returned to the Newcastle side recent days though the City man appealed in vain for a penalty.
Mbemba was again in the right place to block a De Bruyne effort but the Toon defence switched off in the minute allowing Jesus Navas to get in behind and it needed a fine save by Darlow to keep out his shot.
Newcastle sent on Mitrovic for the hard-working Cisse on 55 minutes with Benitez still looking for the win his side so desperately required despite that early City pressure.
And the Serb almost made an instant impact, rising to meet Townsend’s cross at the far post only for Pablo Zabaleta to get in a goal-saving headed clearance.