City completed a league double over Newcastle in one of the most ill-tempered games of the season, but the win came at a cost.
It looked set to be an open game played in good spirit early on, with end to end action. City took the lead after just 8 minutes when a lovely pass by Silva found Kolarov who sent a perfect cross to the feet of Dzeko, and he didn’t miss.
Around 10 minutes before half-time, the theme of the match changed when a Tiote piledriver was disallowed after originally being given. The question is whether the Newcastle player moving out of the way was enough to justify an offside decision. What do you think?
From then on, it was a nasty and disjointed game. Newcastle fans wouldn’t stop booing while the foul count rose. City struggled to cope with what suddenly had become a cup final for Newcastle, and the half-time whistle was well timed.
Alan Pardew likes to present himself a cool and classy customer off the pitch, but has been involved in a lot of controversies over the years. Calling Pellegrini, a respected coach and gentleman, a “fucking old cunt” exposed him as a spiteful and classless character. Anything but a full apology will reflect poorly on a good club.
City fans would have hoped the 15 minute break at half-time would change things, but Newcastle came back out with the same perceived feeling of injustice and for most of the second half had City struggling.
However, a heroic performance by City’s defence and Joe Hart kept out every cross, every long ball, every attempt on goal. After a rare mix-up between Kompany and Zabaleta, Joe Hart made a world class save to maintain City’s lead. Kompany and Demichelis were excellent together at the back.
As mentioned though, the result came at a cost. Firstly, goal scorer Dzeko went off for Navas in what looked to be a tactical change, but Dzeko was seen with an ice pack on one of his shins. It didn’t seem too serious, thankfully.
Then Yaya Toure seemed to take a blow, possibly to his ribs, and was in great pain forcing him off. With it being an impact injury, this also shouldn’t be too bad
And finally, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa viciously injured Nasri with a horror tackle that should have seen red. Nasri was in agony, with early fears that it could be a knee ligament injury, and he had to be stretchered off. Pellegrini has said it is “very serious”.
That tackle summed up Newcastle’s impression of Wimbledon in the second half. Lots of long balls and crosses, but also some pure thuggery. The outrage at the disallowed goal will continue for days, but expect the fact they should have been down to at least 9 men to be glossed over.
Cabaye should have received a second yellow card and Yanga-Mbiwa’s tackle on Nasri was a clear sending off offence.
City showed great character and mentality to hold off Newcastle and won the game late when Negredo found himself one-on-one with Krul, fluffing his lines at first, but with a dose of luck guiding the rebound into the net.
City have now won 9 and drawn 1 of their last 10 Premier League games since the loss to Sunderland. Crucially, that includes 4 wins and 1 draw on the road, so maybe the “City’s away form” stories can go away now.
Next up is the FA Cup replay against Blackburn. After today’s hard work, Pellegrini will have to make changes even if it risks a classic cupset.
Next weekend we’re back at the Etihad against Cardiff, now under the management of Ole Gunnar Solskjær. Many will be looking beyond that to the Spurs and Chelsea games, but Pellegrini won’t make that mistake and is keeping his players well focused.
Newcastle United: Krul, Yanga-Mbiwa (Haidara 83), Williamson, S.Taylor, Santon, Anita (Cisse 73), Tiote, Sissoko, Cabaye, Gouffran (Ben Arfa 83), Remy
Subs not used: Gosling, Marveaux, Sammy Ameobi, Elliot
Manchester City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Kolarov, Yaya Toure (Garcia 60), Fernandinho, Nasri (Milner 79), Silva, Negredo, Dzeko (Navas 52)
Subs not used: Richards, Lescott, Clichy, Pantilimon
Goals: Dzeko 8, Negredo 90+5
TKA Man of the Match: Vincent Kompany
Stats courtesy of WhoScored: