One of the big problems with Newcastle being able to maintain their great run was always going to be depth. A side like Manchester City can effectively put out two squads, all capable of beating any team in the league. Comfortably.
Manchester United are superb at rotating players to get best use out of everyone, and the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham all have contingency plans should someone important go down for a few weeks.
At Newcastle however, most of their success was owed to a few very good players.
But even with Chiek Tiote out (where last season his absence proved almost catastrophic), Leon Best gone and Demba Ba not looking at his peak, the Magpies still looked competitive for most of the game.
Danny Guthrie, Hatem Ben Arfa and Sammy Ameobi all look good, Davide Santon can come in for Ryan Taylor should the need arise, Shane Ferguson has experience at fullback and even Shola Ameobi is a viable choice at striker (albeit not one the Toon Army will be too optimistic about in the long run).
As far as depth goes, that still won't compete with the top four, but I don't think it's an issue that will be as big a problem as some pundits are calling it.