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March 30, 2013
• Etihad Stadium, Manchester
Referee: N. Swarbrick
• Attendance: 47201
C. Tévez 41'
David Silva 45'+
V. Kompany 56'
J. Perch 70' (own goal)
Right folks, that brings a close to our live play-by-play for this afternoon, but stick around on site for all of the best of the post-match reaction from today's games. Thank you for joining us and we'll catch you next time.
The hosts really were a joy to watch at times in the second half after coming through a brief Newcastle revival to showcase their talent with a number of well crafted moves. After United's victory against Sunderland earlier in the day, they were asked for a response and they've delivered one with a one-sided rout.
It finishes Manchester City 4-0 Newcastle at the Etihad Stadium today and the visitors are once again in trouble after back-to-back defeats have seen them slip back into relegation contention.
90' + 2'
Nasri has just been awarded the man of the match award inside the stadium and that looks to be something of a consciously political choice, even though he has been impressive today.
90' + 1'
There's just two minutes of stoppage time before City complete their victory and close the gap at the top of the league to *just* 15 points.
Sissoko skips past a challenge from Zabaleta wide on the right before driving inside and having an optimistic crack from range, but it's high, wide and not so handsome.
City stroking the ball around and they look as if they're really enjoying this as they go in search of a fifth goal. Newcastle look shattered.
Is that a penalty? Very strange as Yaya Toure leaves Gosling for dust before playing a quick one-two with Aguero before being clipped by Taylor and going down. The referee blows his whsitle and calls an offside instead.
The Newcastle goalkeeper has really impressed today with a number of smart stops to keep the scoreline down.
CHANCE! As part-time footballers go, that's not bad as Sinclair tries to curl one into the top right corner from the edge of the box but Elliot claws it away with a superb save.
Oh look, it's that partt-ime footballer Scott Sinclair, who comes on in place of full-time footballer David Silva after the Spaniard picks up a knock forcing Roberto Mancini to hastily ditch his plans to take off Carlos Tevez.
Newcastle waste another decent opening after Cisse plays a good ball on his outside down the right, but Anita is miles offside after making a brainless run way too early.
CHANCE! Gutierrez holds the ball up well with his back to goal after collecting Simpson's cross into the box from the right and rolls it straight to Gosling on the edge of the box, but the former Everton midfielder's strike is weak and right down Hart's throat.
Newcastle enjoying a rare spell of possession in their own half, with City just sitting off them and allowing themselves a breather.
Tevez works it short to Silva, with the mercurial midfielder swinging the ball into the back post and finding Lescott, but after the centre-back nods it across goal, nobody is there to finish it off and a good opportunity goes begging for a fifth.
The tempo has just dropped off a touch which is understandable considering the sheer amount of substitutions in the past ten or so minutes as City win a corner.
Mancini takes off Kompany after his goalscoring display, with Javi Garcia on in his place. The Belgium international having rarely put a foot wrong despite concerns beforehand about his fitness and he earns a standing ovation from the home crowd.
City are content to just knock the ball around at the back at the moment, but they've shown time and time again this afternoon that when they want to step up a gear, they can cause Newcastle all sorts of problems. I wouldn't bet against them grabbing a fifth.
Own Goal James Perch
GOAL! Yaya Toure has grabbed the fourth today, taking his tally to four against Newcastle, playing a one-two with Silva before driving a powerful effort from a narrow angle which beats Elliot at his near post courtesy of a slight deflection from Perch. Game. Set. Match.
Looks like City are preparing to bring on Sergio Aguero off the bench, exactly what you want to see when you're 3-0 down.
Newcastle have now conceded 34 goals away from home in the league this season when you factor in today's score. That's the worst defensive record on the road in the top flight.
Nasri goes down under a late and clumsy challenge from Gutierrez. Cue plenty of 'he's not that sort of player' platitudes being prepared by Pardew.
Another defensive substitution sees Yoan Gouffran replaced by Dan Gosling. Alan Pardew trying to keep the scoreline down to just 3-0 it seems then.
City respond by charging up the field themselves before Tevez sees Yanga-Mbiwa block his powerful drive from just outside the area.
Gutierrez rampages forward down the left and turns Kompany inside out before spotting the run of Sissoko breaking into the box, but the midfielder trips over the ball to bring an embarrassing end to a promising move.
The resulting corner sees Lescott climb high but nod well over stretching for the ball under pressure from Taylor.
CHANCE! Dzeko collects Yaya Toure's good ball and has a powerful effort inside the box from a narrow angle on the right well saved by Elliot as he pushes it over the bar.
Assist Gareth Barry
Goal Vincent Kompany
GOAL! It's harsh on Newcastle after a good start to the second half but returning skipper Vincent Kompany has grabbed his team's third of the afternoon, turning home Barry's vicious effort from the edge of the box.
A very poor touch to a loose high ball sees Gutierrez turn the ball behind when under no pressure whatsoever. It's been a tough afternoon for the makeshift left-back so far. Fortunately for him, nothing comes of the corner.
City finally get their foot on the ball after Newcastle's busy start to the half and a sustained spell of possession down the right nearly creates an opening for Zabaleta before it fizzles out courtesy of an errant pass from Yaya Toure.
Cabaye finds himself with space ahead of him to drive into and from 35 yards out he has a crack with his left foot that sails over the bar.
Gouffran and Gutierrez combine well on the left and the latter's cross is pinged around the box before Lescott hoofs clear with Anita following up close behind.
This is much better from the visitors, with Anita spotting Cisse's run into the box but on the stretch, the striker fires over from what transpires to be an offside position.
CHANCE! That is liquid football from Newcastle, with Cisse and Cabaye combining brilliantly before the Frenchman unleashes a volley at goal which fizes just wide of the far post.
There are appeals for a penalty by Newcastle after Simpson's ball into the box hits Zabaleta on the chest but nothing is given and rightly so.
Lively start so far, with Dzeko beating Yanga-Mbiwa in the air and then latching onto his own ball before getting caught by Anita and the move breaks down.
The players are back out on the pitch and the second half is underway, with Obertan going off and Perch coming on. That tells you everything about how Pardew is approaching this game now.
Alan Pardew may have to change things up at the break if his side are to stand a chance of forcing their way back into the game, with City looking comfortable even before going two goals up right before the break. Damage limitation may be the order of the hour, though, considering how close they remain to the drop zone.
It's been a strange half for Roberto Mancini's side and has served as a brief snapshot of their campaign so far - initially disjointed and subdued, struggling to break a stubborn opposition down, when it clicks into gear, no matter how briefly, they still pose a huge threat and it would be difficult to say they don't deserve their two-goal lead such has been their dominance.
Newcastle have barely been at the races so far, offering very little in attack and it was only a matter of time before City managed to break them down, but the manner and timing of both goals will have angered Alan Pardew.
45' + 2'
Assist Samir Nasri
45' + 2'
Goal David Silva
45' + 2'
GOAL! Silva grabs the hosts second of the day with an excellent low finish from a narrow angle through the legs of the onrushing Elliot. Exceptional work from Nasri to set up the goal there, after beating to Newcastle men to work the space before playing in the Spaniard.
CHANCE! Yaya Toure goes through the gears before laying it to Nasri, who finds Dzeko in the box, who uses his strength to turn Yanga-Mbiwa and as he opens his body to curl it into the top corner, Elliot pulls off a fabulous save to turn it behind for a corner.
Newcastle are working tirelessly off the ball to try and close down the space, but the zip and intent behind City's forward play has really stepped up a level or two and they look as if they're struggling to cope and the break can't come soon enough.
City have really cranked up the tempo and with it the pressure these past few minutes, with Dzeko going down far too easily in the box looking for a penalty under a challenge from Taylor. Did the striker not learn a thing from his hand in a Liverpool goal earlier this season? Stay on your feet.
Assist Gael Clichy
Goal Carlos Tévez
GOAL! Tevez opens the scoring and City have just cut through the Newcastle back four like a hot knife through butter. Silva works it wide to Clichy and his fantastic low ball across the box sees the Argentine forward poke home at the back post.
CLOSE! City have the ball in the back of the net after upping the tempo just a notch, with Silva poking home from an offside position after finding himself in yards of space after collecting Tevez's cute clipped pass. Looks the correct decision, that.
Elliot gets a talking to from the referee after some quite frankly shameless time-wasting so far today. About time too.
CHANCE! Nasri loses Gutierrez again on the right and flashes a pacy low cross, with Clichy bringing out a smart stop from Elliot at his near post after latching onto it, with the goalkeeper turning away his powerful effort well.
There's just no cutting edge about City today as Yaya Toure lumps another aimless long pass to Tevez, with Taylor climbing well above him to nod out of play.
CHANCE! Dzeko needs to do better here as he flashes a header well wide from a Silva corner, completely unmarked. The ball was perhaps a little too high for him, but he's got to hit the target there.
A rare forward run from Obertan sees him forced down a blind alley but when he plays it back to Simpson, with bodies flooding into the box for the visitors, his cross just hits Clichy and the move breaks down.
Kompany cuts inside on the right before floating in a cross to Dzeko from deep in the Newcastle half which Elliot comes out to collect easily.
Tevez steps up with the free kick once more and goes closer this time, nearly finding the bottom right corner of the Newcastle goal but it drifts just wide.
Yellow Card Yohan Cabaye
City lacking just that little bit of fluidity to their play right now, with no real zip or purpose behind a lot of their passing. Cabaye goes into the book for a filthy challenge on Silva.
Tevez steps up to hit a free kick from a promising position but it's well over and always rising above Elliot's goal.
Yellow Card Vurnon Anita
CHANCE! Oh my word, that is an absolute sitter. Pinball in the Newcastle box, with Elliot getting a good hand to keep out a Dzeko finish in the six yard box sees the ball fall to Barry around eight yards from goal with a simple tap-in, but he blazes his effort over the bar on his favoured left foot. That was a terrible end to a superb move.
CHANCE! Cisse almost opens the scoring against the run of play after pulling off Clichy at the back post before his volley strikes the woodwork. Fantastic pass from Anita, there.
Nasri is floating about on the edge of the box from his starting position on the right and Tevez nearly finds Zabaleta breaking into the box with a great through ball before it just eludes the right-back and flies out of play.
Sissoko is winning almost everything in the air when the ball is pumped forward to him, but there's no support at the moment, with Cisse simply having to guess where the flick-on is heading.
Simpson at right-back, filling in for the injured Debuchy, has looked very rusty so far in what is only his second start since December, as he rolls the ball out of play with a loose touch with little pressure put on him.
Newcastle haven't really offered any sort of threat going forward but their physical approach is matching up well at the moment from a defensive point of view.
Lescott wins a free kick on the left touchline after Cisse clumsily fouls him, but Elliot punches Silva's ball out of the box well and when the ball is played back in, the centre-back is caught in an offside position.
Yaya Toure wriggles around trying to lose Gutierrez just outside the box but wins a corner after collecting Barry's excellent reverse pass behind the back four, but nothing comes of the resulting ball in.
The hosts are struggling to up the tempo at the moment and Newcastle are still doing well to close down the space off the ball.
Weak clearance from Hart sees City put on the back foot with the ball going straight to Cisse, but Kompany goes in strong to win the ball back on Sissoko shortly afterwards. They've missed that sort of bite this season.
Bright start from Nasri so far, as he takes on Gutierrez at left-back before playing it back to Barry, who swings in a decent cross that's nodded away by Taylor.
CHANCE! Elliot does well to get down to Dzeko's low cross into the near post, with Tevez lurking close by.
Cabaye wins a free kick in the centre circle after Silva goes in late on him. Time for the Frenchman to get his foot on the ball here and stop what has been a one-sided start to the game.
Great turn of pace from Silva as he wriggles free from Sissoko sees him play Nasri in behind the back four and his low ball across the box is a beauty, but there's nobody inside the box to tap it home.
The visitors being pushed back deep into their own half as City work the ball forward, with Yaya Toure driving from the middle of midfield before spinning away from Cabaye in customary fashion.
Slow start here, with City just working the ball across the back four and looking to hit Dzeko early with the long ball. Newcastle holding their own.
There appears to be quite a dejected atmosphere inside the stadium today, as you might expect from the 18-point gap that rivals United opened up earlier today.
Nasri is caught offside trying to latch on to a Zabaleta through ball down the right.
And the visitors get us underway at the Etihad.
After Manchester United just beat Sunderland 1-0 to extend their lead to 18 points at the top of the league, can City respond with a victory of their own? Given that Newcastle have won just one game in Manchester since the Premier League began, the odds are firmly on their side.
The players are in the tunnel and we're just moments away from kick-off now.
One man to keep an eye on today is the returning Yaya Toure, who has scored three goals against Newcastle in the past, more than he has against any other side in the top flight.
Newcastle have used 31 players so far this season, which is more than any other side in the top flight, and they have picked up just eight points on their travels this season; only Reading with five have registered fewer.
Time to bring you a few stats as we count down the minutes to the game getting underway - City have dropped seven points in their last seven league games at the Etihad Stadium, having only dropped six in the previous 36.
Meanwhile, Newcastle boss Alan Pardew makes four changes to the side that lost 2-1 to Wigan before the international break, with Danny Simpson, Vrunon Anita, Jonas Gutierrez and Gabriel Obertan all handed starts.
Roberto Mancini makes five changes from the team that tasted defeat against Everton last time out in the league, with Yaya Toure, Vincent Kompany, Samir Nasri, Gael Clichy and Joleon Lescott all brought back into the side.
Newcastle: Elliot; Simpson, S.Taylor, Yanga-Mbiwa, Gutierrez; Anita, Cabaye; Obertan, Sissoko, Gouffran; Cisse. Subs: Harper, Good, Perch, Bigirimana, Gosling, Marveaux, Campbell.
Manchester City: Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy; Barry, Yaya Toure; Silva, Nasri, Tevez; Dzeko. Subs: Pantilimon, Kolo Toure, Kolarov, Sinclair, Garcia, Aguero, Milner.
Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen and welcome to our live play-by-play coverage of the game between Manchester City and Newcastle at the Etihad Stadium, my name is James McManus and I'll be guiding you through events today.
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