In what proved to be a highly entertaining Boxing Day encounter, Manchester City saw off a resilient Newcastle side after a goal from Gareth Barry and Carlos Tevez inside the opening five minutes of play. Newcastle will surely feel hard-done by after dominating the remaining eighty-five minutes of play, far outnumbering their ridiculously-paid counterparts in terms of possession and shots, but once again Carlos Tevez proved that without him, his current team would be sitting comfortably in mid-table mediocrity.
A bad clearance by Newcastle shot-stopper, one of his first major gaffs since deputizing in Steve Harper’s absence now for the past three months, allowed Carlos Tevez to play in Gareth Barry deep into the home side’s penalty area where he cool slid the ball past the onrushing Krul.
And If a second minute goal wasn’t enough to slap the Newcastle defence into action, all-the-while quickly quelling any forlorn hopes a comeback, then James Milner’s quick cross from a defensive mix-up was enough after Tevez proceeded to volley home into the top left corner.
But any notion that Alan Pardew was lacking any sufficient tactical know-how was put to bed by the end of the first half which had seen his Newcastle troops battle back and come agonizingly close to an equalizer, Vincent Kompany again proving that his price tag was well-worth as other notable high-earners, in particular Joleon Lescott who seemed to be off pace the entire evening.
Newcastle started the second half a bit slower than the previous ended, but quickly began to build momentum as their defence’s high-line proved to limit Manchester’s game into a handful of quick plays on the break. Routeledge, who had started the game on the right-wing for the home side, contributed well in the first-half but was replaced on the hour mark after a series of great runs down the flank, only for his infamous lob-cross to continually fail to elude Joe Hart.
And once again Ranger’s cameo role proved potentially pivitol as his speed and physical strength was once again too much for any of City’s back four to deal with. Andy Carroll, after seemingly knocking down nearly every header hurled his way, finally was able to make the break-through in the seventy-second after Kevin Nolan had done a good job blocking Joe Hart’s sight, while the Manchester keeper was seemingly hell-bent on a decision in his favor as he stuck to his guns and did his best to get noticed by the officials as the ball hopped over the line.
Newcastle’s dominance was not to come to fruition though as Carlos Tevez’s twice deflected shot was enough to steal the spoils in what was one of the most entertaining, open matches of the year at St. James’ Park.
Newcastle take the long journey down to White Hart Lane on Tuesday for a similar 15:00 GMT kickoff, while Manchester hosts Aston Villa on the same day, also at an old-fashioned 15:00 GMT kickoff time.
What were your thoughts on the match? Do you think Newcastle deserved something out of this game? Let us know…