City end unbeaten Magpies run


Penalties from Mario Balotelli and Sergio Aguero either side of a Micah Richards effort ensured Manchester City ended Newcastle's unbeaten record as they claimed a 3-1 victory at the Etihad Stadium.

The Premier League leaders took a decisive stranglehold on the game in the last five minutes of the opening period when Balotelli drove home following Ryan Taylor's handball and Richards took advantage of a mistake from the Newcastle defender.

Alan Pardew's men fought bravely and should have opened their account in the second-half, only for Hatem Ben Arfa to hit a post before Aguero finished them off. Dan Gosling netted a consolation for the Magpies late on.

City started the encounter with both Aguero and Balotelli up front, while David Silva was rested by Roberto Mancini with one eye on the midweek trip to Naples in the Champions League.

Naturally, City were more than capable of breaking Newcastle down in the absence of their premier playmaker, although were significantly aided in doing so by visting full-back Taylor.

Firstly, the Magpies defender handled a shot from Yaya Toure and Balotelli compentently defeated Tim Krul after the referee had awarded a spot-kick.

Then, moments later, Taylor failed to clear a cross from Samir Nasri; conceding possession to Richards, who made no mistake with the finish.

City enjoyed 70 percent of the ball during the first period and, although Newcastle were able to launch a comback of sorts in the second half, Mancini's side added a third after Ben Afra clambered over Richards in the area.

For all there domination, though, City were unable to keep a clean sheet as Gosling netted for Newcastle in the final minutes of normal time.

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