Newcastle 1 Manchester City 3: Mancini's men bounce back from derby defeat with comfortable win on Tyneside
15:12 GMT, 15 December 2012
Yaya Toure helped Manchester City stay in touch with Barclays Premier League leaders Manchester United by sealing a hard-fought win at Newcastle.
The reigning champions looked to be coasting to victory at St James' Park after Sergio Aguero and Garcia gave them a 2-0 lead before the break.
However, the Magpies launched a concerted fightback after Demba Ba dragged them back into the game with a 51st-minute header, his 11th goal of the season.
Another one: Yaya Toure scored City's third to seal the victory
Bouncing back: City players showed their resilience with an impressive performance on Tyneside
Pulling it back: Demba Ba brought Newcastle into the game again
Newcastle: Krul, Simpson (Ferguson 83), Williamson, Coloccini, Santon, Perch, Tiote (Marveaux 75), Anita, Gutierrez, Cisse (Shola Ameobi 79), Ba.
Subs not used: Elliot, Bigirimana, Sammy Ameobi, Tavernier.
Booked: Simpson, Williamson, Perch
Goal: Ba 51
Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Nastasic, K Toure, Clichy, Silva, Javi Garcia, Y Toure, Nasri (Kolarov 37 (Dzeko 72)), Aguero, Tevez (Lescott 79).
Subs not used: Pantilimon, Sinclair, Rekik, Razak.
Booked: K Toure, Aguero
Goals: Aguero 10, Garcia 39
Referee: Andre Marriner.
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Papiss Cisse came agonisingly close
to rescuing a point in front of a raucous crowd of 49,579, but the
visitors – who did not have striker Mario Balotelli among their ranks
after manager Roberto Mancini left him out of the 18 – eased over the
line when Toure restored their two-goal advantage 12 minutes from time.
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew was left
to reflect upon a sixth defeat in seven league matches, but buoyed by a
performance of real character against a team which at times threatened
to rip them apart.
Deprived of the threat of mercurial
Frenchman Hatem Ben Arfa, Pardew beefed up his midfield by introducing
the more defensively-minded James Perch.
The Magpies enjoyed the better of the
possession in the first 10 minutes and might have been ahead had Joe
Hart not got down smartly to turn away Cisse's early half-volley from
Cheick Tiote's cross.
However, roused from their slumbers,
City responded to assume the appearance of a team assembled on a budget
of hundreds of millions of pounds playing against another assembled on a
Opening up: Sergio Aguero scored the first goal of the match early on
The pace and movement of Samir Nasri,
David Silva, Carlos Tevez and Aguero, coupled with the vision of the
imperious Toure, was simply too much for Newcastle to handle at times
and had it not been for the efforts of goalkeeper Tim Krul and some less
than effective finishing, the game could have been out of their reach
long before the half-time whistle sounded.
City took the lead in breathtakingly
simple, but magnificently constructed style with 10 minutes gone when a
Toure pass split the home defence and Nasri unselfishly squared for
Aguero to slide the ball into the empty net.
In an instant, the flow of the game had changed and Pardew's men found themselves chasing shadows.
Tevez was denied a second three
minutes later by Krul's point-blank save and Nasri fired against the
foot of the post after 20 minutes before Mike Williamson blocked
Aguero's follow-up on the line.
Doubled: Javi Garcia headed home for the second of the game
Sea of blue: City fans lit a flare
Newcastle rallied with Williamson
forcing another good save from Hart with a left-foot volley after
central defensive partner Fabricio Coloccini had headed upfield, before
Cisse fired over from long range 13 minutes before the break.
City doubled their lead with six
minutes of the half remaining. This time, City adopted a far more
prosaic approach as Javi Garcia met Silva's left-wing corner with a
header which full-back Davide Santon perhaps should have cleared at the
far post, but could only hack into his own net.
To their credit, Newcastle returned
determined not to capitulate, and went close twice within four minutes
of the restart with Ba heading over at the far post and Santon drilling a
low drive into the side-netting.
They got their reward with 51 minutes
gone when, after Vurnon Anita's corner had been half-cleared, Coloccini
hooked the ball back into the penalty area where Ba beat the offside
trap to head firmly past Hart.
Audacious: Carlos Tevez tried an ambitious overhead kick in the second half
Too easy: Sergio Aguero knocked home a sumptuous ball from Samir Nasri
The Magpies came within inches of
levelling two minutes later when Cisse span on Anita's pass and fired
inches over, but it took another crucial save by Krul to keep their
hopes alive after Tevez had been played in over the top with 57 minutes
Ba stabbed the ball into the
side-netting from the last of a series of right-wing Anita corners with
City's composure eluding them for once, and then prompted Hart to make a
solid save with a rasping drive from distance.
However, City made sure 12 minutes from time when Pablo Zabaleta got in down the left and crossed for Toure to make it 3-1.
Aguero might have extended City's
lead considerably as time ran down, curling a shot just wide and then
chipping harmlessly across goal after racing from halfway, but the
damage had already been done.
Sent tumbling: Aleksandar Kolarov is bundled over by Danny Simpson
Supportive: X Factor Tulisa Contostavlos was in the stands to cheer on boyfriend Danny Simpson