FA Premier League
Saturday 30 March 2013, 15.00 KO
City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany (c) (Garcia 73), Lescott, Clichy, Barry, Y Toure, Nasri (Aguero 71), Silva (Sinclair 83), Dzeko, Tevez
Unused: Pantilimon, Kolarov, K Toure, Milner
Goals: Tevez (40), Silva (45+1), Kompany (56), Y Toure (68)
Referee: Neil Swarbrick
Man of the Match: Samir Nasri
It was a rather slow start to the game, but it was the hosts in control of possession. Despite this, it was Newcastle who had the first opportunity to open the scoring, but Joe Hart was off his line quickly to clear the ball away from Cisse, as the forward looked to latch onto a route one pass. It was Cisse with the next opportunity, too – dropping off Clichy to volley at the back, but he struck the post.
It seemed to wake the home side up. Somehow, the ball didn’t hit the back of the Newcastle net when it was squared from the right and Dzeko’s shot was saved by Elliot. It bounced out to Barry, who had an open goal in front of him, and the England midfielder skied his effort, when it seemed a lot easier to score.
Free kicks from Silva and Tevez went close, both leaving Elliot rooted to the spot, but both missing the target. Clichy then took a volley on and it needed two hands from the Newcastle goalkeeper to get it away from danger, before Silva was flagged offside as he planted the ball into the net. City were getting closer.
Five minutes before half time, the hosts got their breakthrough. Clichy slid a brilliant low ball into the box and neither defenders nor goalkeeper could cut it out, leaving Tevez to knock it into the empty net, sliding in at the back post.
On the stroke of half time, City added their second and made it a tough second half for the visitors. Nasri did brilliantly to wriggle through two challenges in the box and he poked the ball on to Silva on the left side of the area. He wellied the effort through the goalkeeper’s outstretched hands and into the bottom corner.
Early in the second half, you’d have been forgiven for thinking it was the visitors who were leading by two goals – first Cabaye fired a volley close to Hart’s goal, but just missed as the City keeper was rooted to the spot. There followed more pressure from the away side that the blues coped with in the best way possible: Kompany expertly flicked Barry’s effort on goal past the goalkeeper and into the net.
Elliot was in the right place at the right time to tip over from Dzeko as the Bosnian let rip from just inside the box, before Yaya Toure added City’s fourth of the afternoon. He powered a shot from close range towards the back post and it took a nick on the way through, deceiving Elliot, who could only get a hand on it as it dropped into the net.
There was a brief scare from the visitors, but Hart was able to hold on to Gosling’s side-footed effort from inside the area. It was a comfortable victory for City and, with Chelsea losing, they had edged away from the London club.