Sunday, 31 March 2013

Match Reflection: Manchester City 4 - 0 Newcastle

David Silva scores City's second of the game.

"Kaptain" Kompany returns as City record comfortable win

By Aaron Leggott

Roberto Mancini might have conceded the Premier League title, but his players aren't ready to give up on a strong finish to the season just yet.

Goals from Carlos Tevez, David Silva, Vincent Kompany and Yaya Toure ensured City strolled to victory at the Etihad Stadium yesterday.

And despite a couple of testing efforts from the visitors at the start of the second half, they were deservedly beaten and worries of relegation are increasingly looming upon the Magpies.
From the teams picked by either manager, you could see the intentions from as early as kick off. Newcastle, with a deep 4-5-1 formation, were intent on stopping an attacking City line-up which featured Silva, Tevez, Samir Nasri and Edin Dzeko. 

The first real chance of the game came from Newcastle though, as a lofted cross from Vernon Anita found Pappiss Cisse on the far post, whose volley from a tight angle hit the post and went out for a goal kick.

But, with City's domination of possession, it was no surprise that the Blues got going midway through the first half. Some neat footwork from Samir Nasri to pull away from Jonas Gutierrez and Yoann Gouffran in the corner was enough for City to test Rob Elliot in the Newcastle goal, as the Frenchman rolled the ball to Dzeko. 

The Bosnian's effort though was tame, and Elliot diverted the ball into the path of Gareth Barry, who missed an open goal from just yards out.

This was a performance that wouldn't have been out of place with the City of last season and they eventually took the lead with just five minutes before the break, as a low cross from Gael Clichy found Tevez unmarked at the far post and the Argentinian poked home to grab his tenth league goal of the season.

Dzeko forced Elliot into a fine save just two minutes later and on the brink of half time, Silva doubled City's advantage and put any Newcastle resistance to bed after he finished off a fine move to fire the ball under Elliot and into the goal. 

Newcastle nearly found themselves back in the game just after the break though, as Yohan Cabaye played a neat one-two with Moussa Sissoko, before striking the ball just past Joe Hart's post.

Cisse had another chance minutes later, but fluffed his chance and was made to pay, as Kompany scored his first goal of the season with a neat back heel from a corner to make it 3-0.

In reality, this was a spineless performance from a Newcastle team who should be fighting for their lives with the possibility of relegation looming, so it was a surprise to see them give up so easily at the Etihad. 

And after Yaya Toure's strike deflected off James Perch to give City a four goal advantage on 70 minutes, it was game over. The rest of the game was a formality and apart from a curling Scott Sinclair effort, City were happy with the scoreline and performance on a mild Spring day in Manchester.

Watch the highlights from the 4-0 win below (from Dailymotion)

My thoughts

This performance echoed similarities to a game around this point last season when we beat West Brom after the defeat on Easter Sunday at Arsenal. 

In fact, it was the same scoreline and in both occasions, we were a team playing without the pressure or demand that a title challenge brings.

I was especially impressed with Samir Nasri's performance yesterday. He has come under a lot of criticism recently (and deservedly so) but he had a great game yesterday and was warranted with the MoTM award by the club. 

The return of Kompany was a big boost as well and he will be vital in the run in. With three big games coming up (the Manchester Derby, an FA Cup semi final and then Tottenham away) we need our best players to be in top form. This means Kompany, Yaya, Silva and Aguero - who also made his return from injury yesterday.

Kompany celebrates scoring his first league goal this season
From: MCFC Facebook

I am quietly optimistic about our chances in the next few games, and hopefully we can produce a run in similar to the one last season. Obviously, any hopes of winning the league have all but vanished with United only needing 3 wins and a draw from eight games, but second place and the FA Cup would still be classed as a successful season for me.


                             City                                                                                    Newcastle
                             63%                                   Possession                                     37%
                            19 (11)                             Shots (on target)                                 5 (1)
                               9                                        Corners                                          2
                               6                                         Fouls                                            8

                                                                   Match stats

Player ratings

HART: Didn't have much to do during the game apart from saving a Cisse shot straight after the third goal. Will be happy with yet another clean sheet though.

TSBV rating: 7/10

ZABALETA: Got forward well, and defended well against the pace of both Gabriel Obertan and Gouffran. 

TSBV rating: 7/10

KOMPANY: Class as per usual. Returned after eight weeks out (as well as playing for Belgium in the week) yet delivered a calm performance. Cisse (once again) never got a sniff against the Belgian. Glad to see him get his first goal for City this season as well. 

TSBV rating: 8/10

LESCOTT: Didn't really have much to do but like Kompany, he dealt with the threat of Cisse well. Only worry was at 0-0 when Cisse hit the post. But, Lescott looked solid and hopefully he stays on at City, even if it's only for one more year

TSBV rating: 7/10

CLICHY: I think we missed Clichy a lot in our last game against Everton and this was proven today. His assist for the first goal was top quality, and his ability to both get forward as well as get back to help his team defend is brilliant to watch. Personally an unsung hero for me.   

TSBV rating: 8/10

BARRY: Missed a sitter at 0-0 but we all know that goals isn't Barry's forte. His real strength is his ability to add some steel to the defensive side to our game and he proved this once again. Whilst I am a big fan of Cabaye, he is nowhere near the level of Barry. 

You also have to commend Barry for how he dealt with the physical presence of Sissoko, who has caused a number of teams a lot of problems since joining Alan Pardew's side in January     

TSBV rating: 8/10

YAYA TOURE: His goal was rather fortunate but he once again gave the opposition's defence nightmares with his darting runs. The Newcastle back line couldn't get anywhere near him as he helped to put City 4-0 ahead.       

TSBV rating: 7/10

NASRI: He was given MoTM by the club and I'd have to agree with these sentiments. He was a constant threat throughout the game and hopefully this performance will give Nasri a lot of confidence.

I wouldn't start him against United, but his agility and passes today were a joy to behold. A solid performance by the French playmaker.

TSBV rating: 9.5/10

SILVA: Silva was in a similar vein of form to Nasri yesterday and deserved his goal. His trickery and ability to slice a defence open in seconds is something football fans love to see, and I hope David stays at City for a long time.    

TSBV rating: 9/10

DZEKO: Well, he couldn't have played any more badly then he did in Merseyside a couple of weeks back and in fairness he delivered a strong display. Was unlucky not to score before half time and showed the desire that was missing at Goodison Park.    

TSBV rating: 7/10

TEVEZ: His energy just causes nightmares for the defence. Deserved his goal and hopefully will start against United a week tomorrow.     

TSBV rating: 8/10


SINCLAIR: Scott was unlucky not to get his first goal for City with a curling effort that was tipped away well by Elliot.

TSBV rating: 6/10

AGUERO: Game was all but over when Sergio came on but it will be good for him to get some game time.    

TSBV rating: 6/10

GARCIA: Similarly to Aguero, the game was finished as Garcia entered the fray. He slotted into central defence in place of Kompany and wasn't threatened at all.    

TSBV rating: 6/10

Remember to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

You can also follow Aaron on Twitter: @aaron_leggott

(c) The Sky Blue View 2013

1 comment:

  1. Colin Is The King31 March 2013 at 18:00

    The two quick goals just before half time killed the game off, not that, as you say, Newcastle had provided a threat on City's goal, Cisse's effort apart.

    A good confidence boost for the games ahead.