Newcastle United 0 Manchester City 2

FA Premier League
Sunday 12 January 2014, 14.05 KO

City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany (c), Demichelis, Kolarov, Toure (Garcia 60), Fernandinho, Silva, Nasri (Milner 79), Negredo, Dzeko (Navas 52)
Unused: Pantilimon, Richards, Lescott, Clichy
Goals: Dzeko (8), Negredo (90+5)
Booked: Fernandinho, Zabaleta

Referee: Mike Jones
Man of the Match: Aleksandar Kolarov

Zabaleta battles for the ball.

Zabaleta battles for the ball.

Newcastle had started the game brightly and had the Blues under some early pressure, but weren’t able to test Hart. And, having been stoic in their resistance from the off, the visitors took the lead inside eight minutes – Kolarov slipped in behind the home side’s defence on the left flank and drove a low cross in towards Dzeko. The Bosnian hammered it into the net left-footed at Krul’s near post.

The home side, though, responded well: A free kick to the back post almost caught City napping, but a combination of Demichelis and Kolarov got the ball clear. Taylor then almost knocked a corner in at the near post but for a great touch by Negredo blocked it. Hart had to then react well to divert a Cabaye shot over the bar.

Then controversy: Newcastle pulled level with an effort from the edge of the box by Tiote, but City’s defenders appealed for an offside. The referee checked with his linesman and ruled that Hart’s vision had been blocked by a man in an offside position, however the replays showed Gouffran didn’t touch the ball and wasn’t in the goalkeeper’s line of sight. It should have stood.

That decision seemed to spur the hosts on and City couldn’t get a kick. The Blues were camped on the edge of their own box until the half time whistle, but fortunately for the visitors, Newcastle weren’t able to get a strike at Hart’s goal.

The second half, though, started as the first ended: Newcastle were pressuring and City were giving the ball away too cheaply. Remy was slipped through neatly, but some good defending from a combination of Kompany and Zabaleta ensure he couldn’t get a shot in. Anita hit an effort from range that Hart gathered at full stretch.

Demichelis nods clear.

Demichelis nods clear.

Negredo twice almost extended the City lead ten minutes into the half. First, a one-two between Silva and Nasri gave the Spanish striker chance to swivel and shoot, but he couldn’t get his effort on target. Then a free kick from Silva found Negredo’s head, but Krul pulled off a brilliant reactions block to keep it out.

Just before the hour, Hart was called into action again. Cabaye picked up a loose ball 30 yards out and, after knocking it out of his feet, belted it towards the far corner. The City keeper did well to push it around the post.

Cabaya was skating on extremely thin ice with two fouls – first on Navas and then on Kolarov, both of which could have seen him shown his second yellow card – but it was his play that sought out Remy in the middle. Kompany and Zabaleta got caught together and the striker was clean through. He belted it, but Hart produced a top save with his boot to keep it out.

With four minutes to play, City came close to winning the game – a free kick from Silva was flicked towards goal by Kompany and the rebound fell kindly for Fernandinho inside the area. His effort looped over Krul and crashed off the top of the bar, with Negredo unable to keep the ball in to shoot again. Two minutes later, a shot from the centre-forward was cleared off the line after good work by Silva.

The game, though, was won deep into seven minutes of stoppage time. A quick break by City as Newcastle piled men forward saw Milner slide it through for Negredo to race away from the back four. One-on-one, he got lucky, as his shot hit Krul and deflected off his own shin towards goal. It just needed touching into the empty net.

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Newcastle United 0 Manchester City 2 (AET)

League Cup Fourth Round
Wednesday 30 October 2013, 19.45 KO

City: Pantilimon, Richards (c) (Zabaleta 83), Boyata, Lescott, Kolarov, Rodwell (Silva 64), Garcia, Navas, Milner, Jovetic (Negredo 10), Dzeko
Unused: Hart, Demichelis, Nasri, Fernandinho
Goals: Negredo (99), Dzeko (105)
Booked: Garcia, Silva

Referee: Neil Swarbrick
Man of the Match: Costel Pantilimon

Negredo volleys at goal.

Negredo volleys at goal.

To say the League Cup tie at St James’ Park wasn’t the greatest game of the season would be an understatement, as many onlookers switched over to the National Paint Drying Championships on the other side before half time. In the end, it took until extra time for the Blues to secure their 100th win in this competition.

The first real talking point of the game saw Jovetic need to depart the action – the Montenegrin, who has had injury problems so far this season, was replaced by Negredo after just ten minutes. It looked like a calf problem.

It was the hosts who had the better of the opening exchanges, but they only had a lobbed effort from Cisse dropping wide to show for it. If the rumours of Pantilimon having a chance to impress his manager ahead of Saturday held any water, he was doing his cause no damage with a good save – pushing Ameobi’s volley around the post.

The second half saw an improvement from the visitors, but there was very little for the away fans to write home about. Richards headed over after the ball was knocked back into the middle at the second attempt, and then Navas nicked the ball ahead of Krul before finding Milner, but with the keeper off-limits, the midfielder couldn’t find the net from the corner of the box.

With ten minutes to play and extra time looming, Negredo almost put the Blues ahead: He waltzed through the Newcastle back line and waited for Krul to go down before trying to lift the ball over him into the net. He didn’t get enough on the dink and the goalkeeper forced it behind.

Pantilimon proved to be the hero again in the first half of extra time, as he blocked a one-on-one with Cisse after Ben Arfa had sent the Senegalese forward clean through. He stood up to make himself big and kept the scores level.

It allowed the Blues to kick on and ease themselves in front. A burst of pace from Dzeko allowed him to cross the ball low into the six-yard box, where Negredo had stolen a yard on his man. With one touch, he slid the ball through Krul and put the away side in front.

On the stroke of half time in extra time, the visitors made sure their fans would be facing the long trip home with smiles on their faces. With one of the best pieces of play of the evening, Silva slipped the ball through for Dzeko and he carried it around the on-rushing Krul to pass it into the net.

Milner had a shot deflected wide, before Silva weaved his way into the Newcastle box and flashed a shot just past the post, as the Blues tried to kill off the hosts once and for all. Lescott found himself in the right place at the right time to clear off the line behind his goalkeeper, as Ben Arfa volleyed past Pantilimon.

It took a bit longer than Pellegrini and the visiting fans would have wanted to get the job done, but the Blues were in the hat for the next round – with an away tie at Leicester City being the eventual fixture.

Manchester City 4 Newcastle United 0

FA Premier League
Monday 19 August 2013, 20.00 KO

City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany (c) (Garcia 71), Lescott, Clichy, Toure, Fernandinho, Silva (Negredo 80), Navas, Dzeko, Aguero (Nasri 62)
Unused: Pantilimon, Kolarov, Rodwell, Milner
Goals: Silva (6), Aguero (22), Toure (50), Nasri (75)
Booked: Dzeko, Fernandinho

Referee: Andre Marriner
Man of the Match: Edin Dzeko

Newcastle1

Dzeko goes close.

The new era at Manchester City began with a big win to take the club to the summit of the Premier League. In fact, Manuel Pellegrini couldn’t have asked for a better start – two chances in the opening six minutes and one of them finding the net. Dzeko would have opened the scoring in the opening couple of minutes but for the fingertips of Krul.

It was to be Dzeko who was the provider for Silva to net the first for the Blues under Pellegrini. His low cut-back deflected from Taylor and sat up nicely for the Spaniard to nod past the goalkeeper.

An equaliser wasn’t really forthcoming, despite some Newcastle pressure. Hart in the City goal was unworked, facing just two decent strikes all game: Ben Arfa fired just over from range and Tiote had a driven effort plucked from the air by the City keeper. It was probably going wide.

City were denied the chance to extend their lead further, as Newcastle struggled under the attacking force the hosts were putting them under. The visitors were let off the hook – albeit momentarily – as Toure broke into the box and appeared to be tugged down by Debuchy, but the referee didn’t point to the spot.

The inevitable second goal didn’t take much longer, though. Dzeko squandered another chance, skewing a header wide, before he again set up the Blues’ second. Kompany brought the ball out of defence and fed it into the Bosnian’s feet. His cute flick set Aguero through and, after taking it around Taylor, he found the bottom corner. Clinical.

Another penalty appeal for the hosts was turned down – probably correctly – by referee Andre Marriner, before any hope of Newcastle salvaging anything from the game was snuffed out. Aguero wanted a spot-kick when his shot struck the arm of Taylor, but it was that same arm that earned the defender a red card, as the two players clashed in stoppage time. The centre-back’s sending off was fully justified.

It was one-way traffic throughout the second half, as City looked to take advantage of their visitors’ poor fortunes. Dzeko was somehow denied by a fantastic Krul save, as the Bosnian was surely already celebrating when his header looked like it couldn’t miss. And then came the third break through: Toure curled a free kick into the top left corner, after Aguero was bodychecked on the edge of the box.

One of the few mysteries that will leave Pellegrini scratching his head is how Dzeko managed not to end up on the scoresheet. An blast from range was well touched around the post, another header flashed wide and a side-footed effort all stacked up on his tally of missed chances. It didn’t happen for the Bosnian, despite putting in an excellent shift.

A sour note came 20 minutes from the end, as the home side lost their captain to injury. Kompany slid in to dispossess Ameobi, breaking down the left flank, and he didn’t get up, immediately feeling his groin. He was immediately replaced and the armband moved to Toure.

And Newcastle’s miserable trip to the Etihad was complete 15 minutes from time. Substitute Nasri latched on to a loose ball in the middle of the pitch to set himself up with a one-on-one with Krul and, before the keeper could set himself, it was past him and into the net.

Newcastle2

Silva celebrates his first goal of the season.

Navas continued to impress on the right wing with pace and a sublime touch, and, despite the game growing older and it meandering towards the final whistle, the Spaniard was still causing problems for the visiting defence with a number of excellent deliveries.

The only saving grace for the away side was that a linesman’s flag wrongly denied Negredo a debut goal. He was level with the ball when Garcia forced Krul into a good save from a corner, but the assistant disagreed and raised the flag, when the Spaniard knocked in the rebound.

All in all, it was a good opening weekend for the new City boss and he sees his side top of the table after his first managerial game in England. Not a bad day at the office, eh?

Manchester City 4 Newcastle United 0

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)
Booked:

Referee: Neil Swarbrick
Man of the Match: Samir Nasri

Newcastle1It 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.

Newcastle United 1 Manchester City 3

FA Premier League
Saturday 15 December 2012, 12.45 KO

City: Hart, Zabaleta, K Toure, Nastasic, Clichy, Garcia, Y Toure (c), Silva, Nasri (Kolarov 37 (Dzeko 72)), Aguero, Tevez (Lescott 79)
Unused: Pantilimon, Sinclair, Razak, Rekik
Goals: Aguero (10), Garcia (39), Y Toure (78)
Booked: Aguero, K Toure

Referee: Andre Marriner
Man of the Match: Pablo Zabatela

Newcastle1Newcastle were out of the blocks quicker than the visitors, who opened by looking fragile at the back. Kolo Toure and Nastasic challenged for the same ball and left a gap for the hosts to attack in behind. Clichy cleared, but from the ball back in, Tiote found Cisse, who smashed a shot at goal and it took a great save from Hart to keep it out. The City keeper then needed to be alert from a Newcastle corner, punching clear from under his own crossbar.

Despite that early pressure, though, City’s first attack brought the first goal. Yaya Toure produced a wonderful pass to Nasri, breaking into the box. He drew Krul from his goal and squared it for Aguero, breaking into the six-yard box, leaving the Argentine with an open goal that he couldn’t miss.

Minutes later, it could have been two from City. Newcastle looked over-awed as Silva and Nasri played a one-two on the left flank and, as the passing move worked the Spaniard into the box, he squared for Tevez. The striker’s first touch meant it was a difficult volley and Krul produced a good save to keep it out. Nasri found himself in again shortly after and tried to square for Tevez, but it was just too far in front of him.

City were attacking like a hot knife through butter: Silva was terrorising the Newcastle back line and played Nasri in. The Frenchman, facing Krul on a one-on-one, slid it past the goalkeeper and was unlucky to see it bounce back off the post. Aguero was there for the rebound and it looked a certain goal, but Williamson threw himself at the ball and got it behind.

Newcastle, though, weren’t out of it: A free kick on the left flank was nodded back across goal and it needed Hart to come off his line to boot the ball away. From the resulting knock down, the volley was slammed towards the back post, but the City keeper got across brilliantly to keep it out.

Newcastle2Another flowing move from City saw Nasri and Tevez combine quickly to work the opening down the right flank. Nasri was in behind the home side’s defence and he squared for Aguero, whose first time shot was wide of the post. A City breakaway sent Silva running at the Newcastle back line. He played in Tevez and the Argentine’s shot deflected wide. From the corner, Garcia got up above Coloccini and planted it past Santon on the line.

The second half began as a repeat of the first, with Newcastle pressure. Ba was just offside from a deep free kick, before Cisse headed powerfully over. After blazing past Zabaleta on the left wing, Santon cut inside and drove a low shot at goal, which hit the base of Hart’s post and bounced behind.

And then the hosts got themselves back into the game. The first ball into the City box was cleared, but the back line was late in pushing out, leaving Ba onside. His header bounced over Hart, who had come for the cross and stopped, leaving himself stranded in no man’s land. Immediately, they could have been level, as Cisse found space in the box to turn and shoot, but his effort was well over the bar.

With 56 minutes played, a brilliant ball from Zabaleta played Tevez in on goal. Krul was out quickly to block the effort, as Tevez tried to lift it over him, when perhaps the better option was a square pass to Aguero.

On the hour mark, Newcastle were stepping up the pressure and City were struggling to clear their lines. Several balls into the box were just about headed clear by Kolo Toure and Clichy, before Hart was out quickly to get a Tevez knock-back away from goal. From the final corner of that spell, Ba smashed a low shot, but it could only ruffle the side netting.

But despite the Newcastle pressure, somewhat against the run of play, the visitors extended their lead. Some good work by Silva kept the ball alive on the left. He played in Zabaleta on the overlap and the Argentine’s low ball into the box was prodded home from six yards, by the stand-in captain, Yaya Toure.

With five minutes to play, Ameobi headed a great chance straight at Hart when he should have made the goalkeeper work. From Hart’s kick, Dzeko held the ball up and slid it to Aguero, who fired a shot from the edge of the box. Krul threw himself at it, but if flashed just wide of the far post. A minute later, it broke to Aguero with just one defender between him and the goal. He got away from Anita, but his chip over Krul dropped well wide of the post.

Newcastle 0 Manchester City 2

English Premier League
Sunday 6 May 2012, 13.30 KO

City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany (c), Lescott, Clichy, Y Toure, Barry, Nasri (de Jong 62), Silva (Richards 86), Tevez (Dzeko 70), Aguero
Unused: Pantilimon, Kolarov, Milner, A Johnson
Goals: Y Toure (70, 89)
Booked: Barry, Y Toure, Zabaleta

Referee: Howard Webb
Man of the Match: Yaya Toure

It was Newcastle that started the game with more possession, but it was the visitors with the first spell of pressure. Nasri and Yaya Toure had shots blocked, before a short corner routine allowed Silva to shoot first time in the box. That effort, though, was blocked behind, before Krul pulled off a neat save from a low shot from Silva across goal. Tevez then found Nasri in the box, but the Frenchman couldn’t control.

With 16 minutes played, Tevez and Barry combined to slide the ball through to Aguero on the left side of the box. There, he took the ball onto his right foot and tried a low effort at Krul’s goal, but it was weakly hit and the Dutch keeper was able to dive on it comfortably. Soon after, the goalkeeper came for a long ball but didn’t get there and Aguero was able to take it around him. His ball across the goal, though, was just short of finding Nasri.

Tevez curled a free kick from just outside the area with just over 25 minutes played, but Krul was able to swallow it up. City were pressing, but the breakthrough was still eluding them. Newcastle’s first effort on goal followed shortly after – Clichy lost the ball to Ben Arfa and he found Ba inside, but the turn and shot was over Hart’s crossbar.

Just after the half hour, Zabaleta gifted a chance to Gutierrez and he slipped it past Kompany to find Ba in the box. His shot was blocked as far as Ben Arfa on the right side of the box and the Frenchman hit it first time. Hart pulled off a great save to keep it out, before Cabaye shot well wide. Newcastle were suddenly on top.

It should have been City that took the lead with five minutes of the half to play. The ball broke to Barry on the edge of the box with room to shoot, but a brilliant save by Krul kept it out. The rebound bounced straight back to him and this time he beat the goalkeeper, but couldn’t get it past Santon on the line. A goalmouth scramble followed, but the hosts managed to squeeze the ball clear.

The first real spell of pressure of the second half came from a City corner. Silva and Nasri worked a short flag kick, before it was kept alive in the box by Lescott. Yaya Toure found Tevez on the corner of the area, but his instinctive hit was sliced wide of the far post. Silva’s effort from range just before the half hour took a deflection and that took all of the power out of it, leaving Krul an easy job to collect.

Silva and Barry were crowded out on the edge of the Newcastle box, before a mistake from de Jong allowed the hosts to break. Ben Arfa’s effort, though, was high and wide, when he should have done better having beaten Clichy. Ba broke free from Kompany and shot straight at de Jong; both sides were pressing for the victory.

Seconds after the introduction of Dzeko, City put the ball in the net with their next attack. De Jong played a neat one-two with Dzeko, before doing the same with Aguero and finding Yaya Toure in the middle of the pitch. He placed his shot into the bottom corner of the goal and the blues had squeezed themselves in front. Just.

Dzeko could have done better with 73 minutes played, as he got the better of the hosts’ defence. Though on the left side of the box, he could have looked for Aguero in the middle, but chose to volley at goal. He slashed it wide. Aguero was then onside and played in on a one-on-one with Krul, but he slide the shot wide.

With 12 minutes to play, Cisse found space inside the City box and nodded Ameobi’s cross wide of Hart’s near post. It was a let off for City, who were suddenly on the back foot again. Zabaleta gave away a rash free kick on the left flank, but a combination of Barry, Silva and de Jong got it away. A Yaya Toure free header was then flashed wide of the post, as City tried to tie it up.

Five minutes later, Newcastle were still in the game thanks only to Tim Krul. On a one-on-one with Yaya Toure, the keeper stood up and the Ivorian slipped. He found Aguero from on the floor and he appeared to have an open goal. He lifted it over the defence and seemingly into the net, until Krul’s hand came out of nowhere to tip it over the bar.

It was all Newcastle going into the final stages. Richards made a brilliant block from an Ameobi effort on the edge of the box and, on the break from that corner, Clichy slipped Yaya Toure in and he took a touch, before slotting it past Krul to double with a minute plus stoppage time to play. Hart then kept Newcastle out with a brilliant one-handed stop from Cisse.

City had put the pressure right back onto United.

Manchester City 3 Newcastle 1

English Premier League
Saturday 19 November 2011, 15.00 KO

City: Hart, Richards, Kompany (c), Lescott, Clichy, de Jong, Y Toure (Barry 85), Milner, Nasri, Aguero (A Johnson 77), Balotelli (Silva 69)
Unused: Pantilimon, Kolarov, K Toure, Dzeko
Goals: Balotelli (pen 41), Richards (43), Aguero (pen 72)
Booked:

Referee: Chris Foy
Man of the Match: James Milner

Newcastle started the game brightly by pressing the home side in possession of the ball. Neither side were quick out of the traps to create chances, but it was City who looked the more dangerous, as Nasri couldn’t find a shot in the area and Balotelli couldn’t turn Richards’s low cross into the net from inside the six yard box.

Aguero chanced his arm from outside the box with a neat turn and shot, but it was just over the bar with Krul flapping at thin air. Balotelli then forced a good save from the visiting keeper, as he headed towards goal – either side of the Newcastle shot-stopper and it would have been the opening goal.

Hart was called into action mid-way through the first half as the visitors had their first meaningful spell of possession. A neat one-two on the edge of the box by-passed Kompany and Lescott, leaving Ba with the chance to shoot, but he couldn’t find the corner of the net and the England international was able to get the ball around his post.

And just as the game appeared to be trundling to half time goalless, a moment of City pressure earned the home side a penalty, after Yaya Toure’s shot at goal was blocked by the arm of Taylor. Balotelli stepped up and he wasn’t put off by Krul, sliding the ball into the bottom right corner.

Two minutes later, City had doubled their lead. A ball into the box looked to have bounced to the Newcastle defence, but Micah Richards pressed Ryan Taylor, who didn’t have as much time as he thought. The City full back blocked his clearance and volleyed the ball into the net with his left foot and the hosts were two up at the break.

With the hour mark approaching, a good exchange between Nasri and Aguero almost put Balotelli in, but the chance was cleared from a yard in front of the line as Taylor got back to recover well, before an uncharacteristic miss-control from Kompany gifted the ball to Ben Arfa on the edge of the box. He beat two men and fired at Hart’s goal, but saw his effort bounce back off the post and Clichy was there to clear.

Aguero put the ball in the net again, but he’d been flagged for offside when through on goal – though, had he let Yaya Toure pick up the ball and carry it at goal, the flag would have stayed down. On the breakaway, Hart was down quickly to push away a Ryan Taylor effort with Clichy again across to clear. Silva then sent Richards through on goal and he was tripped, resulting in the hosts’ second spot kick of the day – with Balotelli substituted, Aguero found the back of the net.

Nasri was frustrated to be given offside twice in as many minutes as he looked to add to City’s tally, before, with two minutes of normal time remaining, the visitors pulled a goal back. Hart was out quickly to block an effort from Ameobi, but the rebound deflected to Gosling and, faced with an open goal from four yards out, he was never going to miss. That goal, though, came too late to change where the points were heading and City were left the only unbeaten team in the Premier League.