Newcastle United’s penultimate game of the season, and final home fixture of the season, saw a 2-0 defeat inflicted by Roberto Mancini’s Manchester City.
It was only Newcastle’s third home defeat of the Premier League campaign, highlighting the improvement that has been made of home form over the course of this particular season.
Two goals from Yaya Toure sealed the game for Manchester City although with fairness the Magpies had put up a decent fight against the Premier League leaders. It was to be one of those days when all Newcastle threw at City was not enough to gain a result and in the end that extra bit of quality a few hundred million buys you showed through.
The opening minutes of the match saw both teams keeping hold of the ball without really threatening. City were the first to have a ‘proper’ effort on goal when Sergio Aguero shot low but Tim Krul was able to get down low enough to keep the Argentinan’s effort from going in.
Manchester City cranked up the pressure on the home side when Tim Krul had to save a 25 yard freekick from Carlos Tevez following a foul on Gael Clichy.
It was half an hour before Alan Pardew’s men mustered a shot on goal; Hatem Ben Arfa beat Joleon Lescott to a ball on the touchline and he cut inside before passing to Demba Ba. The Senegalese international turned firing a left-footed shot which went narrowly over the top of Joe Hart’s goal.
This was a bright spark for the home side and Jonas Gutierrez capitalised on this new momentum by robbing Pablo Zabaletta, passing to Ba who had his shot blocked and then Hatem Ben Arfa’s follow up was saved by Joe Hart.
Yohan Cabaye then had an effort on goal himself which was dragged wide and Ba headed over from Ben Arfa’s cross. Newcastle were creating chances but it seemed that whatever they tried they were not able to penetrate City’s defence.
Manchester City nearly went in with the lead at half-time but only some superb last ditch defending stopped an effort from Gareth Barry going in. His first shot was blocked by Fabricio Coloccini and then his rebound effort was cleared off the line by Davide Santon.
At half-time the score was 0-0
The first chance of the second half fell to Yaya Toure who struck a 25 yard effort towards goal but he was unable to keep it down. It was another free-kick in a dangerous area for the visitors and served as a reminder that City had the capability to cause damage. Lucky enough for the team the effort was over and Newcastle escaped danger.
Manchester City gained the lead in 70th minute when Yaya Toure curled a 25 yard effort into the back of Tim Krul’s net. Alan Pardew responded by bringing on Shola Ameobi and Shane Ferguson on for Ben Arfa and James Perch but the visitors had the ball in their court and managed to direct another chance at the home team’s goal.
Papiss Cisse had an effort on target but he was unable to direct his headed effort properly after Coloccini and Ameobi had combined to send a cross into City’s box. With not much of the game remaining Shola Ameobi came close to gaining a point for the home side connecting with a volley 18 yards out only for Micah Richards to block.
Immediately after this attack, City gained their second of the match and again it was Toure who grabbed a brace by finishing from six yards out.
That was enough to seal all three points for the away side but for the majority of the match Newcastle had defended resolutely and took the game to Manchester City. It was just one of those days but it should’nt put a dampener on the tremendous season that Alan Pardew and the team have had this year.
Champions League is still a possibility going into the last game of the season but whatever the outcome, Newcastle are guaranteed a place in European Competition. Who would’ve thought that would’ve have been the case?
Onwards and upwards for the men in Black and White!
Newcastle: Tim Krul, James Perch, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini, Davide Santon, Cheik Tiote, Jonas Gutierrez, Hatem Ben Arfa, Yohan Cabaye, Demba Ba, Papiss Cisse
Subs: Rob Elliot, Shane Ferguson, Ryan Taylor, Dan Gosling, Sylvain Marveaux, Gabriel Obertan, Shola Ameobi
Man City: Joe Hart, Pablo Zabaleta, Gael Clichy, Vincent Kompany, Joleon Lescott, Gareth Barry, Yaya Toure, Samir Nasri, David Silva, Sergio Aguero, Carlos Tevez
Subs: Costel Pantilimon, Micah Richards, Aleksander Kolarov, Nigel De Jong, James Milner, Mario Balotelli, Edin Dzeko