Manchester City vs. Newcastle United: Final score 4-0 in a disastrous opener for the Magpies

Michael Regan

Good thing you gave Alan Pardew that giant contract and hired Joe Kinnear as your Director of Football, Newcastle! Those were really sound decisions.

Newcastle United weren't expected to get any points from their first match of the season at Eastlands, but their fans certainly expected a better showing than they gave. The visitors were thoroughly dominated for 90 minutes by Manchester City, with the hosts coming out 4-0 victors. Newcastle had a man sent off at the end of the first half, but City didn't exactly need the help.

It was obvious from the first kick of the ball that the visitors were in serious trouble. Sergio Agüero forced Tim Krul into a 2nd minute save with a shot from close range and Krul was forced into action again in the 4th minute by Edin Džeko. Two minutes later, City got past the Newcastle keeper.

David Silva both started and finished off the move for City's first goal. He picked up the ball in midfield and hit it wide for Džeko before making a run into the center of the box. Džeko beat Mathieu Debuchy on the outside, then hit a cross that took a deflection. The ball fell right to Silva, who headed past Krul.

City's second came in the 22nd minute, through Agüero. Vincent Kompany helped to set up the goal by pushing forward over the halfway line and playing a pass forward to Džeko, who flicked backwards into the path of his strike partner with his first touch. Agüero only made a tiny bit of space, but didn't need much to place a perfect shot to the far post and put City ahead 2-0.

Things got downright ugly for Newcastle at the end of the first half. Jonas Gutiérrez picked up an injury in the 44th minute and had to go off, with Vurnon Anita replacing him. Shortly afterwards, Steven Taylor got away with a handball in the box, blocking a shot by Agüero. Perhaps in response to an argument between the two players following that incident, Taylor inexplicably clubbed Agüero in the head during a 50-50 aerial challenge and was justly shown a straight red card. Short a defender, Alan Pardew took off Yoan Gouffran and brought on youngster Paul Dummett for his Premier League debut.

It took no time at all for City to assert their dominance in the second half and put the game to bed. Džeko was cruelly denied by Krul on a point-blank header in the 49th minute, but the score would stay 2-0 for only two more minutes. Yaya Toure expanded City's lead to three goals in the 51st with an absolutely brilliant free kick, curled into the top corner at the near post from 20 yards.

While City's win was easy, the game wasn't all positive for them. Kompany picked up an injury in the 69th minute and seemed to know that he had more than a knock right when he went down. He punched the ground in anger and was instantly subbed off, with Javi Garcia replacing him.

Samir Nasri came on as a substitute in the 62nd minute and made the most of his time on the pitch. He pounced on a loose ball in the 75th minute and burst between the two Newcastle central defenders before finishing low from just inside the penalty area to add to the Magpies' woes.

Álvaro Negredo came on for his Premier League debut in the 80th minute, replacing Silva, because City needed two large and powerful strikers up top while leading 4-0. Mercifully for Newcastle, his introduction did not result in any more goals, or at least goals that stood. The Spaniard looked to have a debut goal in the 85th minute, but it was incorrectly disallowed for offside.

Manchester City: Hart, Clichy, Lescott, Kompany (Garcia 71') , Zabaleta, Silva (Negredo 80'), Fernandinho, Touré, Navas, Džeko, Agüero (Nasri 62').

Goals: Silva (6'), Aguero (22'), Touré (51'), Nasri (75')

Newcastle United: Krul, Yanga-Mbiwa, Coloccini, S. Taylor, Debuchy, Tioté, Gutiérrez (Anita 44'), Gouffran (Dummett 45'), Sissoko, Ben Arfa (Sa. Ameobi 65'), Cissé.

Goals: None

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