Sloppy City Pulled Over the Wnning Line By Supersub Johnson

Ieuan BeynonCorrespondent IIIOctober 3, 2010

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 03: Adam Johnson of Manchester City celebrates making it 2-1 during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Newcastle United at the City of Manchester Stadium on October 3, 2010 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Manchester City moved up into second place with a sluggish 2-1 victory over Newcastle at Eastlands on Sunday afternoon.

In a game which will be remembered for the unfortunate leg-break of Hatem Ben Arfa.

City were second best through out and Newcastle deserved to take something from the game.

Jerome Boateng was handed his Premiership debut by boss Roberto Mancini, coming into the side that had defeated Champions Chelsea last weekend, along with Joleon Lescott 

Nigel De Jong was also recalled after being rested for the Europa League fixture against Juventus on Thursday.

Joey Barton returned to his former club, and was welcomed with a chorus of boos, the controversial midfielder brushed it off with a smile to the crowd.

In the sixth minute of the game De Jong went in for a challenge with Ben Arfa and won the ball fairly. Unfortunately, his momentum took him through and caused the injury to the talented Frenchman.

The tackle was not a malicious one and was deemed to be fair by referee Martin Atkinson. De Jong will get a lot of bad press due to this matter, and on this occasion wrongly so.

Wayne Routledge came on to replace Ben Arfa.

Newcastle then began to get on top of their hosts, but the tables were soon turned as referee Atkinson gave a penalty to the home side.

The decision to seemed to be the wrong one, as replays showed he had got his foot to the ball.

Carlos Tevez stepped up and blasted his fifth Premier League goal of the season, narrowly beating 'keeper Tim Krul, who got something on the ball.

With De Jong starting to boss the midfield, and with Newcastle playing such a high line. there looked like only one outcome to this match.

But to their credit Chris Houghton's team responded superbly and were rewarded in the 24th minute, when Argentine international Jonas Gutierrez levelled with a clinical finish.

With their tails up the visitors looked like they would score another before the break. With Gutierrez causing the poor Boateng all sorts of trouble.

Although playing such a high line they were always going to be susceptible to the counter attack.

This was the case towards the end of the half as Gareth Barry was put through by James Milner. But his cross was intercepted when the shot looked a better option.

The second half started much the same way with City failing to make an impact on the game.

Tevez had a shot from the edge of the box, which Krul saved comfortably.

Roberto Mancini was also unimpressed and he made a change 10 minutes into the half. Bringing on Emmanuel Adebayor for the woeful Yaya Toure.

Milner and David Silva started to see more of the ball, but there was no creative spark on the field for City.

Cheik Tiote was having a really good game for Newcastle, the summer signing from Twente looking to break up the play wherever possible.

The frustrated Mancini gambled and took off the tired and ineffective Barry, and replaced him with Adam Johnson.

A scramble inside the Newcastle box nearly saw the home side take the lead, Adebayor having his stab towards goal intercepted.

But then the one true moment of quality in the whole game saw Johnson jinx past left-back Jose Enrique, cut back onto his left foot and steer the ball past the hapless Krul.

You could sense the relief of everybody in  the stadium.

Newcastle again though came back strongly and they were denied what looked a stone wall penalty on 80 minutes.

When Joleon Lescott somehow got away with a blatant trip on Shola Ameobi in the box.

Mancini made his final substitution bringing on Patrick Vieira for the captain Tevez.

The home side held on for the points, but they were far from convincing.

Chris Houghton can feel both proud of his players for such a good display and aggrieved after some poor refereeing decisions.

Final thoughts though go to Hatem Ben Arfa as it was confirmed later he had broken his left leg.


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