Premier League, St James' Park
Sunday, January 12, 2014
NEWCASTLE UNITED 0-2 MANCHESTER CITY
Goals: Dzeko (8'), Negredo (90'+5)
Goals from Edin Dzeko and Alvaro Negredo sent Manchester City back to the top of the Premier League table on Sunday, although it was a far tougher game against Newcastle than the final scoreline may suggest.
City went ahead after just eight minutes after Dzeko expertly turned home Aleksandr Kolarov's low cross, but from that point onwards it was perhaps the home side that edged matters. And there was huge controversy shortly before half-time, when Cheick Tiote's brilliant strike was ruled out, seemingly erroneously, for offside.
City continued to ride their luck at times in the second half, before eventually securing the points deep into injury time as Negredo completed a quick counter-attack.
Here's how Manchester City's starting XI performed during the game.
|Player||HT Rating||FT Rating|
First half comments
Joe Hart: Made a couple of reasonable saves but was only prevented from conceding by the officials.
Pablo Zabaleta: Was occasionally caught out by the likes of Sissoko and Gouffran, but offered his usual valuable outlet going forward.
Vincent Kompany: Made a number of important defensive clearances.
Martin Demichelis: Not as influential as Kompany, but made some key challenges when needed.
Aleksandr Kolarov: Delivered a great ball for Dzeko's opener, and nearly replicated it moments later.
Samir Nasri: One lax pass to Cabaye nearly gifted Newcastle a great opportunity. Not as attentive as he has been in recent times.
Fernandinho: Relatively quiet by his recent high standards.
Yaya Toure: Physically the most dominant player on the pitch.
David Silva: Throughball for Kolarov set the stage for the opener, and he nearly had a goal of his own from a volley shortly before half-time.
Alvaro Negredo: A constant point of concern for Newcastle's defence, although it was his strike partner that actually got the goal.
Edin Dzeko: Made a classic striker's run to poke home the opener.
Second half comments
Joe Hart: Forced into a few crucial saves in the second half—particularly from Remy and Cabaye—that kept his side ahead. Impressive.
Pablo Zabaleta: Not the Argentine's best performance, with a number of poor fouls underlining an uncharacteristically uncertain display.
Vincent Kompany: Continued to dominate defensively in the air and on the deck, and was a key component of the eventual clean sheet.
Martin Demichelis: Continued to provide good support for Kompany.
Aleksandr Kolarov: Continued to provide chances with some good left-foot crosses, and was defensively sound more often than not.
Samir Nasri: The big concern from this match for Pellegrini—the Frenchman seemed to be seriously injured after a horrible tackle from Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa
Fernandinho: Grew in stature as the game went on, especially important after Yaya Toure limped off early in the second half.
Yaya Toure: Forced off early in the second half for Javi Garcia, who did not replicate the Ivorian's impact.
David Silva: Continued to be the cleverest, most deft player on the park—just unfortunate that none of the many chances he created were turned into goals.
Alvaro Negredo: His late strike masked an otherwise sub-standard performance, although he knitted together some of City's counter-attacks expertly.
Edin Dzeko: Withdrawn almost immediately for Jesus Navas, who provided City with extra width.