Manchester City 3-1 Newcastle
Manchester City extended their lead at the top of the Premier League table by handing Newcastle their first league defeat of the season.
A penalty either side of half-time and a strike by marauding full-back Micah Richards saw City pierce the league's meanest defence three times and maintain their own unbeaten run.
Italian striker Mario Balotelli scored from the spot on 41 minutes after Ryan Taylor handled, and Richards seized on the Newcastle full-back's error to double the lead before half-time.
Richards was also instrumental in the final City goal, Sergio Aguero scoring from the spot on 72 minutes, after Richards was brought down by Hatem Ben Arfa.
Dan Gosling got a late consolation for the visitors and, before Aguero struck the third, Ben Arfa hit a post but Alan Pardew's side can have little complaint about the result.
Roberto Mancini Manchester City manager
“My feeling is good. Before the game, we knew this would be a difficult game. I love Micah Richards as a guy and a player. I'd like it if he plays always like he did today ”
However, until the three-minute period before half-time when City struck twice, Newcastle were as resolute as their defensive record this season suggests, and Manchester City spent most of the first half tentatively probing without making a telling impression.
City had been limited to Aguero's rising shot while Tim Krul did excellently to stop Balotelli's close-range header, but with David Silva rested there was little speed or invention to City's attacks.
And they were almost made to pay just before the half-hour when Joe Hart saved Demba Ba's shot after clever link-up play with Ben Arfa.
Ben Arfa, making his first league start of the season at the stadium where he broke his leg just over a year ago, showed some clever touches.
But the visitors' defensive solidity came to an end with Ryan Taylor's disastrous intervention as half-time neared.
Steven Taylor managed to stop Aguero's shot but when the ball bounced to Toure, his follow-up was blocked by Ryan Taylor's outstretched arm. Balotelli made no mistake from the spot.
The Italian produced another distinctive celebration, walking towards keeper Krul stern-faced and with his arms folded across his chest.
Alan Pardew Newcastle manager
“We were a little bit too deep in the first half. We had two great chances to take the lead. But they are a powerful side, make no mistake”
Balotelli allowed himself a smile minutes later when Ryan Taylor failed to collect Samir Nasri's through-ball and Richards was on hand to steal in and score from 10 yards.
That settled the home supporters, who had been growing increasingly frustrated, and with a two-goal cushion City began to allow Newcastle more of the ball.
That presented its own danger, though, with Ben Arfa hitting the post on the hour after Vincent Kompany had gifted him possession.
Still, City threatened on the break and, although Hart did well to paw away Danny Guthrie's angled shot, they made the game safe on 72 minutes.
Another overlapping run by Richards was brought to an end when Ben Arfa fouled him in the box and Aguero stepped up to tuck the penalty away for his 11th goal of the season.
It sent the Etihad Stadium into raptures as the fans broke into choruses of "We'll score when we want".
And although Gosling tucked away a late goal on the break, even Newcastle found it hard to argue with that.
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Live Text Commentary
Full Time The referee blows his whistle to end the game.90:00 +3:28
Micah Richards challenges Demba Ba unfairly and gives away a free kick. Ryan Taylor takes the direct free kick.90:00 +3:12
Samir Nasri takes a shot. Blocked by Steven Taylor.90:00 +2:32
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on David Silva by Fabricio Coloccini. David Silva restarts play with the free kick.90:00 +0:38
Adam Johnson produces a cross.90:00
Foul by James Perch on Samir Nasri, free kick awarded. Nigel De Jong takes the free kick.88:12
Assist on the goal came from Demba Ba.88:12 Goal scored
Goal! - Dan Gosling - Man City 3 - 1 Newcastle Goal scored by Dan Gosling from inside the penalty area low into the middle of the goal. Man City 3-1 Newcastle.87:44
Jonas Gutierrez fouled by Micah Richards, the ref awards a free kick. Ryan Taylor takes the direct free kick.87:43
Demba Ba takes a shot. Save by Joe Hart.85:18
The ball is crossed by Danny Simpson, clearance made by Vincent Kompany.84:33 Substitution
Substitution Yohan Cabaye leaves the field to be replaced by James Perch.83:45 Substitution
Substitution (Man City) makes a substitution, with Gareth Barry coming on for Gnegneri Toure Yaya.80:56
Corner taken by Adam Johnson from the right by-line, Header by Gnegneri Toure Yaya from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the goal.80:42
Adam Johnson produces a cross, Steven Taylor manages to make a clearance.80:08
The referee blows for offside against Samir Nasri. Indirect free kick taken by Steven Taylor.79:46
The assistant referee flags for offside against Samir Nasri. Danny Guthrie takes the free kick.78:16 Substitution
Substitution Sammy Ameobi leaves the field to be replaced by Dan Gosling.74:43 Substitution
Substitution Peter Lovenkrands replaces Hatem Ben Arfa.74:43 Substitution
Substitution Adam Johnson on for Sergio Aguero.
The assist for the goal came from Micah Richards.71:03 Goal scored
Goal! - Sergio Aguero - Man City 3 - 0 Newcastle Penalty taken right-footed by Sergio Aguero and scored. Man City 3-0 Newcastle.70:17
Hatem Ben Arfa concedes a Penalty for a foul on Micah Richards.68:12 Substitution
Substitution Mario Balotelli leaves the field to be replaced by David Silva.68:12
The assistant referee flags for offside against Demba Ba. Free kick taken by Joe Hart.66:50
James Milner takes a outswinging corner. A cross is delivered by Samir Nasri.66:45
James Milner sends in a cross, Ryan Taylor gets a block in.66:15
The official flags Gael Clichy offside. Tim Krul takes the indirect free kick.65:55
Danny Guthrie takes a shot. Save by Joe Hart.65:11
Free kick awarded for a foul by Mario Balotelli on Danny Guthrie. Ryan Taylor takes the direct free kick.64:37
The offside flag is raised against Sergio Aguero. Indirect free kick taken by Tim Krul.63:54
The ball is crossed by Danny Simpson.61:37
Sergio Aguero takes a shot. Save by Tim Krul.59:54
Corner taken right-footed by Yohan Cabaye, Effort on goal by Fabricio Coloccini from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the target.59:33
Effort from just inside the area by Hatem Ben Arfa strikes the post.57:55
Corner taken right-footed by Yohan Cabaye, clearance by Micah Richards.57:46
A cross is delivered by Sammy Ameobi, blocked by Gael Clichy.55:08
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Demba Ba by Vincent Kompany. Demba Ba takes the direct free kick.52:36
Danny Simpson crosses the ball, clearance made by Vincent Kompany.51:32
Corner taken right-footed by James Milner from the left by-line, clearance made by Steven Taylor.51:24
A cross is delivered by Gnegneri Toure Yaya, Fabricio Coloccini gets a block in.47:46
Jonas Gutierrez gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Sergio Aguero. Vincent Kompany restarts play with the free kick.46:50
Ryan Taylor fouled by Micah Richards, the ref awards a free kick. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Ryan Taylor, Joe Hart makes a save.45:40
Yohan Cabaye takes a outswinging corner to the near post, clearance made by Micah Richards.45:01
The referee blows his whistle to start the second half.45:00 +2:03 Half time
Half Time The players leave the pitch at half time.45:00 +1:03
Free kick awarded for a foul by Mario Balotelli on Jonas Gutierrez. Free kick taken by Tim Krul.45:00 +0:34
Foul by Fabricio Coloccini on Sergio Aguero, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by James Milner.44:49
Shot from 20 yards by Sammy Ameobi. Joe Hart makes a save.43:34
Assist by Sergio Aguero.43:34 Goal scored
Goal! - Micah Richards - Man City 2 - 0 Newcastle A goal is scored by Micah Richards from inside the area to the top right corner of the goal. Man City 2-0 Newcastle.41:51
Danny Simpson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Mario Balotelli. Gnegneri Toure Yaya restarts play with the free kick.40:53
Assist by Gnegneri Toure Yaya.40:53 Goal scored
Goal! - Mario Balotelli - Man City 1 - 0 Newcastle Penalty taken right-footed by Mario Balotelli and scored. Man City 1-0 Newcastle.40:00
Gnegneri Toure Yaya takes a shot. Ryan Taylor gets a block in. Ryan Taylor is adjudged to have handled the ball.37:02
Corner taken by Yohan Cabaye from the right by-line, Header from close in by Demba Ba misses to the left of the goal.36:55
The ball is swung over by Danny Simpson, blocked by Gael Clichy.35:26
Unfair challenge on Ryan Taylor by Gnegneri Toure Yaya results in a free kick. Strike comes in from Ryan Taylor from the free kick.34:27
Sergio Aguero is ruled offside. Tim Krul takes the indirect free kick.33:22
Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Yohan Cabaye from the right by-line, clearance by Micah Richards.33:13
Demba Ba takes a shot. Save by Joe Hart.32:27
Yohan Cabaye fouled by James Milner, the ref awards a free kick. Ryan Taylor takes the free kick.30:08
Mario Balotelli takes a shot. Blocked by Steven Taylor.29:16
James Milner sends in a cross.28:44
Corner taken by James Milner played to the near post, clearance made by Ryan Taylor.28:28
James Milner delivers the ball, Mario Balotelli takes a shot. Tim Krul makes a save.27:09
Nigel De Jong has a drilled shot. Blocked by Steven Taylor.26:42
The ball is delivered by Gael Clichy, Micah Richards takes a shot. Blocked by Fabricio Coloccini.25:17
Sammy Ameobi takes a shot. Joe Hart makes a save.24:48
Gnegneri Toure Yaya challenges Ryan Taylor unfairly and gives away a free kick. Ryan Taylor takes the free kick.20:24
Sergio Aguero produces a left-footed shot from just outside the area that goes harmlessly over the bar.19:03
A cross is delivered by James Milner.17:09
Micah Richards gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jonas Gutierrez. Tim Krul restarts play with the free kick.13:21
Free kick awarded for a foul by Joleon Lescott on Danny Simpson. Free kick taken by Tim Krul.8:51
James Milner takes a shot. Blocked by Steven Taylor.8:29
The ball is delivered by Micah Richards, Fabricio Coloccini gets a block in.5:08
The referee gives a free kick against Sergio Aguero for handball. Free kick taken by Tim Krul.4:37
Ryan Taylor concedes a free kick for a foul on Micah Richards. Free kick taken by Samir Nasri.4:16
James Milner takes a shot. Fabricio Coloccini gets a block in.0:00
The game begins.
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