Barclay’s Premier League
Sunday 3 October 2010, 13.30 KO
City: Hart, Boateng, Kompany, K Touré, Lescott, de Jong, Barry (A Johnson 73), Y Touré (Adebayor 58), Silva, Milner, Tevez (c) (Vieira 87)
Unused: Given, Boyata, Jo, Santa Cruz
Goals: Tevez (18 pen), A Johnson (75)
Booked: K Touré, Boateng, Tevez
Referee: Martin Atkinson
Man of the Match: Vincent Kompany
City started the game knowing that a victory would take them up into second place in the Premier League table and above United. The match, however, started on something of a sour note, with Nigel de Jong going in very strongly in a challenge with Ben Arfa. De Jong won the ball, but his follow through caught the Newcastle man, who was stretchered off with a suspected broken leg.
With 13 minutes gone, City had been in control of possession, but hadn’t had an opportunity to make it count. The closest they had come was a Milner and Silva short corner routine, but it spun off Tiote to safety.
With 18 minutes on the clock, City benefited from a slice of good fortune as Tevez was given a penalty for a foul by Williamson. It looked unfortunate for the Newcastle defender, who appeared to win the ball, but that didn’t stop the captain picking himself up and slamming the ball home from the spot.
Two minutes later, City could have doubled their lead. Milner spun away down the left wing expertly and got to the ball first on the by-line. His pull-back, though, was too far ahead of Tevez and went out for a throw in on the far side.
With 24 minutes on the clock, Joe Hart was called into action for the first time, tipping a Collocini effort from just outside the box away for a corner.
But, within a minute, the visitors were level. Kompany could only half clear a cross from the left and it was picked up by Gutierrez, who found the top corner off the underside of the bar.
Ten minutes later, City should have been back in front. Barry was set free down the left and ran towards goal. With only the keeper to beat, he decided to look for Tevez in the box instead of taking on the shot and the visitors cleared the danger.
The second half started brighter for City, who looked more comfortable in possession than they had done in the first period. Silva had a dangerous corner just cleared, before Tevez forced a save from Newcastle’s goalkeeper, as City looked for the lead.
With City pressing, but unable to force any chances, the manager decided to change personnel, bringing on Adebayor and Adam Johnson to try and turn the game in the home side’s favour.
Tevez and Adebayor played an excellent one-touch move, working their way to the edge of the box, but, just as Tevez looked like he was going to pull the trigger, he found Silva and neither he nor Adebayor could force the ball into the net.
Newcastle threatened shortly after with an isolated second half breakaway. Their goalscorer, Gutierrez, though, could only find the gloves of Joe Hart, when he perhaps should have found the net.
A goalmouth scramble in the Newcastle area was then cleared as none of the blue shirts could get a shot in, before Kompany brought the ball out of defence and looked for Silva at the back post, but it was just flicked to safety.
Though, as it looked like it was going to be another frustrating afternoon at home for City – just like the game with Blackburn, Adam Johnson turned on the style to score the winner. He picked up the ball on the right wing and ran at the defence. Stepping inside the full-back, he fired his shot low and into the bottom corner.
Newcastle could have equalised for the second time in the match, this time through their substitute, Andy Carroll. He was found by a cross from a right wing corner, but his header was just wide of the angle between post and bar.
The visitors then could have had a penalty for what looked like a clear foul on Ameobi by Lescott, but the referee didn’t see anything wrong with the challenge and waved play on.
City were able to hold on until the final whistle, despite the late Newcastle pressure and, with Chelsea’s victory against Arsenal, the blues remain in second place in the league. Newcastle will consider themselves unlucky, but it wasn’t pretty and was the gritty win City needed.