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August 17, 2014
• St. James' Park, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Referee: M. Atkinson
• Attendance: 50816
David Silva 38'
S. Agüero 90'+
Shots on Target
Newcastle can certainly take plenty of positives from that showing as they pushed City to the limit, and they must now prepare to face Aston Villa on Saturday. Manchester City, meanwhile, host Liverpool in eight days in what will be another big test for the champions. For now, though, I've been Tom Maston, and thanks for joining me.
Referee Atkinson ends proceedings and the champions have made the perfect start to the new campaign. Silva and Aguero found the net, and though they didn't have things entirely their way, that is a performance that sends out a message that City aren't going to give their title up without a fight.
90' + 4'
Newcastle realise now they aren't going to get anything from this game and City are able to play the ball around in midfield and wait for the final whistle.
90' + 2'
Goal Sergio Agüero
GOAL!!! City wrap it up thanks to a fine individual effort by Aguero. The forward got away from Coloccini and fired at Krul's near post. The goalkeeper was able to parry but Aguero kept his composure to roll the rebound into the empty net. City are heading to the top of the table on opening weekend.
90' + 1'
They almost didn't as Cabella pulled the ball back for Sissoko on the edge of the area, but the midfielder leans back and sees his shot fly over the crossbar.
90' + 1'
The fourth official shows four minutes of added time on his board, and the home fans urge their team forward once again. Can City hold out?
Into the final minute of normal time and it's all Newcastle as they chase an equaliser. Hart is still to make a save, however.
Yellow Card Fernando
Yet another Manchester City booking as Fernando brings down Sissoko by the halfway line. The former Porto man knew what he was doing there as he halted another attack.
All Newcastle now as Obertan swings a ball from the right towards the back post, but Aarons cannot control his acrobatic volley and City can breathe again.
One debutant replaces another for Newcastle as Ayoze comes on for Riviere, and what a start he almost made. A ball over the top found him in space, and after bringing the ball down he looked for all the world like he would score, only for his effort to be deflected narrowly wide.
Colback's latest free-kick into the box finds Sissoko as he climbs above Toure, but the France international can only flick it wide of the post.
City make their third and final change as Dzeko, whose delightful backheel created the only goal of the game so far, is replaced by Aguero for the closing stages.
Sissoko looks to drive the hosts forward again before being brought down by former Newcastle man Milner. Magpies doing all they can to build some late momentum.
Milner becomes the second City substitute to be thrown on as he replaces Nasri on the right-hand side.
Yellow Card Daryl Janmaat
Newcastle are throwing more and more men forward as time goes on, and leaving themselves open at the back. Janmaat is the man to suffer as he is booked for a foul on Fernandinho as he looked to get back into position following the break down of an attack.
Yellow Card Vincent Kompany
Colback robs Fernandinho with a tenacious tackle and looks to take the ball into the box, only for Kompany to check his run and pick up City's fourth booking of the afternoon.
Pardew makes his second substitution as youngster Aarons replaces Gouffran for the final 16 minutes.
JUST OVER! Toure has the chance to double the lead with a free-kick from 20 yards that flies just over the crossbar. Krul was worried by that one.
Pellegrini makes his first change of the afternoon as the hard-working Jovetic is replaced by Fernandinho. Surely a sign the Chilean is looking to shut up shop.
City have taken all the pace out the game with some patient passing play, and you have to wonder whether the Newcastle players still have the legs to keep going given the stage of the season.
Pardew still has new signing Ayoze on the bench should he require him, with the former Tenerife striker eager to impress. It may not be long until we see him.
Newcastle are doing all they can to throw everything at City, but Kompany and Demichelis are holding firm. Fernando is also doing a fine job at breaking up attacks with some strong challenges.
CLOSE!!! City threaten as Newcastle fail to clear a corner, and after Kompany stands the ball up from the left, Dzeko meets it with his head but sees his effort float just over the bar with Krul beaten.
Before the corner can be taken, Obertan is introduced at the expense of Anita. Cabella's ball in is a poor one and City can clear at the near post.
Newcaslte threaten again, this time down the left, and Clichy has to put the ball behind for a corner as Gouffran looks to get clear and put in a cross.
Jovetic gets clear of the Newcastle defence as City go the direct route, but Coloccini gets back well to make the block as the striker gets a shot away. The goal apart, the hosts' defence have been excellent today.
From the resulting free-kick Dummett gets above Hart to head goalwards, but his effort is too high and the City goalkeeper can breath again.
Yellow Card Aleksandar Kolarov
Kolarov becomes the third City player to go into the referee's book as he brings down Riviere by the corner flag. Cynical foul by the left-back and no complaints about his punishment.
The former Sunderland man's ball into the box is a good one, but Gouffran cannot make the most of it and City get it clear. The volume has gone up a notch as the home fans sense an equaliser.
Yellow Card Martín Demichelis
Cabella's trickery is too much for Demichelis and the defender is booked for a blatant trip on the Frenchman. Chance for Colback to swing a ball into the box.
Jovetic and Dzeko combine well in the left-hand channel, with the latter's eventual shot sliced over the bar with the Montenegro man waiting for a ball into the middle.
Cabella's corner from the right causes all sorts of problems for the City defence as Gouffran finds himself in acres of space, but neither of his two balls across the box from the left can find a man in black and white, Eventually Hart claims the ball to ease the pressure.
A bright start from City to the second half is brought to a halt after Demichelis is penalised for a high foot on Riviere by the halfway line. The centre-back has shown no signs of a shortened break following the World Cup as yet.
Newcastle kick-off with no changes to either side at the break...
The two teams are making their way back out onto the field as we approach the start of the second half. Newcastle have done enough to suggest they could get back into this, though City could shut up shop early on if they feel the Magpies are causing too many problems.
The Magpies have few options on the bench who have much experience, though Obertan has had a good pre-season and may be introduced if things don't change in the second half. I'll be back in ten minutes to see if City can hold onto their lead.
The half-time whistle blows and it is the champions who have the narrowest leads thanks to a fine team goal from Silva. Newcastle have threatened without ever testing Hart in the visitors' goal.
45' + 1'
Nasri almost gets in behind the Newcastle defence as we enter the second minute of first-half stoppage time. Pellegrini will be happy with his side's showing thus far.
City are holding firm in the build-up to the second half, with Newcastle's attacking threat diminishing since Silva's opener.
Riviere and Cabella are certainly bringing some flair to this Newcastle side, but Kompany and Demichelis have had a pretty comfortable first half. The work of Fernando in front of them has also been crucial.
That will come as a blow to Newcastle after a decent spell of pressure from the home side. Silva was allowed to break into the box unmarked, though a lot of the credit for the goal must go to Dzeko for his brilliant assist.
Assist Edin Dzeko
Goal David Silva
GOAL!!! City break the deadlock, and Silva is the man on target this time! A Toure ball over the top is delightfully backheeled by Dzeko into Silva's path, and the playmaker has time to pick his spot and slide a finish past Krul. Well-worked goal for the champions.
There is some concern here for Anita, with the physio having had to come on despite the midfielder originally declining treatment following that Silva foul. It looks as if he will carry on for now though.
Yellow Card David Silva
Silva picks up the first yellow card of the game for a trip on Anita as the midfielder got back well to win the ball for the home side. No arguments from the Spaniard.
Now Kompany pulls off some fine defensive work as he flings himself at the ball to clear Janmaat's cross with Riviere poised to finish behind the City captain. Superb from the skipper.
Jovetic again looks to get a shot in on goal, this time with his left-foot, but Williamson again puts his body on the line to make the block. Excellent defending from the centre-back.
Sissoko has certainly been the one player in Newcastle's midfield trio who has looked to break forward, with his driving runs not too different to those usually performed by opposite number Toure. The Ivorian, for his part, has been very quiet so far in this one.
Janmaat looks to chip a ball into the box as Sissoko races through, but the full-back's cross is too heavy and Hart can watch it bounce out for a goal kick.
Better from Gouffran as he races back to challenge Kolarov and win a throw as Janmaat found himself caught up the field. City not quite been able to threaten as much as they would have liked as yet.
Jovetic and Nasri combine well down the Manchester City right, but the latter's cross is far too deep for Dzeko and the home side can clear. Jovetic at the heart of much of City's good play thus far.
The game has entered a bit of a lull after a frantic start, though Newcastle do look a threat on the counter-attack when they find themselves in possession.
Clichy is getting some joy in his unfamiliar role on the right, and his cross has Krul stretching to catch inside his six-yard box. This certainly isn't the same Pellegrini side that we saw at Wembley last week.
Cabella attempts an audacious chip from 20 yards as he spots Hart off his line, but the France winger's effort is always too high. The former Montpellier man is certainly bringing a touch of the unexpected to this encounter.
Newcastle have certainly played some nice stuff in these opening exchanges, but have failed to penetrate the City defence as yet. Cabella has certainly looked bright when he has found himself on the ball.
GOOD SAVE! Krul has had a busy opening 12 minutes and he does well to keep the scores level as Nasri hits a vicious drive from 25 yards that the goalkeeper has to parry away from danger.
Krul has to be quick off his line again as he smothers Dzeko's flick forward as Jovetic chased it down alongside Williamson. The Montenegro international scored five times in pre-season and looks in the mood again.
Manchester City certainly look a threat down the left where Silva and Kolarov are looking to target Janmaat. The Dutch right-back will need some help to keep those two quiet.
Better from the home side as Sissoko twice drives them forward from midfield, but first Riviere and then Gouffran see the door shut in their face by the City defence.
Jovetic is heavily involved again as he looks to cut inside from the left-hand side of the box, but Williamson is out quickly to charge down his shot.
City threaten in the opening stages as Jovetic chips a ball over the top of the home defence, but Krul is alert to keep the pass away from Dzeko as the Bosnia striker looked to get on the end of it.
Manchester City kick-off and we are up and running in the North East...
After the formalities are completed, we are ready to get underway...
Before kick-off, though, we will have wreaths laid and a moment's silence in remberance of Newcastle fans Liam Sweeney and John Alder, who died in the MH17 plane crash as they travelled to New Zealand to watch Pardew's side in pre-season action. Unsurprisingly, the silence is impeccably observed by those inside the ground.
Big cheers as the two sides enter the arena, and the usual pre-match handshakes go off without a hitch. We're almost ready for the start of the champions' title defence.
The two teams are in the tunnel and they should be emerging to an electric atmosphere in a matter of moments. Few Premier League stadiums are noisier than St James' Park on a normal matchday, but with this being the opening fixture, expect the volume to be turned up a further couple of notches.
The two teams have completed their warm-ups and we should start seeing captains Vincent Kompancy and Fabricio Coloccini, along with their respective sides, appearing in the tunnel within the next five minutes. After a poor attempt at retaining their Premier League title in 2012-13, Pellegrini's side will be looking for the perfect start this time around.
If Newcastle are to spring a shock then they will have to turn around a pretty rotten record against City in recent years. The Magpies haven't taken a single point off the champions in nine meetings since October 2008, while they haven't tasted victory over the Blues in just short of nine years. The home fans will be hopeful of that being put right today.
You may recall that these two sides met on the opening weekend of last season, with City running out convincing 4-0 winners at the Etihad Stadium. Pardew has blamed the impact of Cabaye's wantaway attitude on that day, and does not foresee a repeat this time around.
Newcastle, meanwhile, have four debutants in their starting line-up, with Daryl Janmaat, Jack Colback, Remy Cabella and Emmanuel Riviere making their Premier League bows for the Magpies. Fellow new boy Siem de Jong misses out with injury along with Cheik Tiote, while Hatem Ben Arfa doesn't make the matchday eighteen.
Plenty of big news from Pellegrini's opening selection, with Joe Hart being preferred to Willy Caballero in goal. Pablo Zabaleta, Fernandinho and Sergio Aguero are only fit enough for places on the bench following taxing World Cup campaigns, so Gael Clichy starts at right-back, Stevan Jovetic plays up front and Fernando makes his Premier League debut in midfield.
Manchester City subs: Caballero, Boyata, Zabaleta, Milner, Fernandinho, Navas, Aguero.
Manchester City: Hart; Clichy, Kompany, Demichelis, Kolarov; Nasri, Fernando, Toure, Silva; Dzeko, Jovetic.
Newcastle subs: Elliot, Haidara, S.Taylor, Abeid, Obertan, Aarons, Perez.
Newcastle: Krul; Janmaat, Williamson, Coloccini, Dummett; Anita, Colback, Sissoko; Cabella, Gouffran, Riviere.
Before we go any further, the two team line-ups have been announced ahead of kick-off in 25 minutes' time...
Newcastle, meanwhile, have had a busy summer as Alan Pardew looked to spend the money the club received in January for Yohan Cabaye. There is a feeling among supporters and pundits alike that the Magpies could gatecrash the top seven this term if the new signings adapt, and today should serve as a good barometer of those predictions.
With Arsenal and Liverpool both having made winning starts to the campaign, the onus is on City to continue the trend of last year's top four in ending the opening weekend with victories. Post-World Cup fitness has been a worry for Blues supporters, and they will be hoping to see more energy from some of their key players this afternoon.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of the Premier League encounter between Newcastle United and Manchester City. The champions were sluggish as they lost out in the Community Shield against Arsenal seven days ago, and Manuel Pellegrini will be looking for an improvement for his side as they begin the defence of their title. I'm Tom Maston, and I'll be keeping you right up to date with events from St James' Park.
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