Newcastle United vs. Manchester City  0 - 2


Krul: Luck deserted Newcastle

7 May 2012 10:53

Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul believes luck was on Manchester City's side in their 2-0 win at St James' Park on Monday.

The win could prove crucial for City who are now only three points away from the title with a home game against relegation-threatened QPR to come.

Krul admitted Newcastle were outshone by the quality of Yaya Toure, who scored both City's goals in the second half, but said his side had chances to score before the Ivorian's double.

"We are disappointed about today because we had a few opportunities, but it just didn't go our way," Krul told the club's official site.

"We stayed with them for 70 minutes, put them under a bit of pressure in that time and created a few chances as well. It's just a shame we couldn't get the goal, but they've got a fantastic defence.

"Going forward they just had a little bit of quality and luck on their side - it was a great finish from Yaya Toure for the first goal.

"Luck didn't go our way today but we just keep looking at the positive side."

The result ended Newcastle's home-winning streak at four and put a dent in their Champions League qualification hopes with the side now relying on fourth-placed Tottenham, who hold a one-point advantage as well as a superior goal difference, to slip up in the remaining game.


Premier League: Newcastle 0 Manchester City 2

6 May 2012 16:50

A Yaya Toure brace put Manchester City on the verge of their first league title in 44 years, with a 2-0 victory over Newcastle on Sunday.

City were on top throughout but had to fend off multiple dangerous Newcastle counter-attacks, with Joe Hart denying Hatem Ben Arfa in the first half.

David Silva and Gareth Barry had already gone close before the away side finally found the breakthrough when Toure brilliantly curled a shot past Tim Krul after 70 minutes.

The Ivorian midfielder then converted from close range as City took advantage of Newcastle's push for an equaliser, with the win seeing Roberto Mancini's men climb three points clear of Manchester United with the latter to play later on Sunday.

Having established an effective defensive shield in the opening 10 minutes, City slowly began to grow into the game in an attacking sense. The fluid movement of their front four resulted in Samir Nasri threading a pass through to Silva, whose left-footed shot across goal was palmed away by Krul.

Silva turned creator to lay on a pass for Sergio Aguero, who forced another save out of Krul but it was not until close to the half hour mark that Newcastle had their first sight of goal.

Gael Clichy was dispossessed by Ben Arfa, who raced past Joleon Lescott before picking out Demba Ba, but the Senegalese striker shot just over the crossbar from 25 yards.

Ben Arfa then forced an excellent save from Hart on the volley after Ba's blocked effort had ricocheted into his path.

The two chances undoubtedly lifted the home supporters and Newcastle began to show more energy and movement as an attacking force.

City, though, remained threatening and only determined blocks from Fabricio Coloccini and Davide Santon - the latter on the goal line - prevented Barry from opening the scoring with two shots after a Silva cut-back pass.

The second half started much like the first, with Cisse and Ba frustratingly isolated and losing their battle against Lescott and Vincent Kompany. City were beginning to show signs of anxiety themselves, though, as despite their control over the flow of play an opening goal continued to elude them.

Toure pushed up into a more attacking role after Nigel de Jong replaced Nasri just after the hour mark, but it was the Dutch substitute's misplaced touch that handed Newcastle the first chance of the second half.

Gutierrez escaped down the left and, with the help of Ba, worked the ball across the edge of the penalty area to Ben Arfa, who turned Clichy but thumped his shot over the bar from a tight angle.

That is not to say, however, that Mancini's tactical change did not work. With 20 minutes to play and Edin Dzeko thrown into the fray in search of a goal, Toure worked a neat one-two with Aguero before curling a perfectly placed shot into the bottom corner of Krul's goal from 20 yards.

The goal forced Newcastle to open the game up in search of an equaliser and City came close to putting the game to bed less than five minutes after Toure's opener. Dzeko had already blasted wide before Silva picked out Aguero with an exquisitely chipped through ball only for the Argentine to shoot wide with only Krul to beat.

Micah Richards, added to the defence from the bench, had to make a brilliant block to deny substitute Shola Ameobi before City raced up the field where Toure sealed the points and virtually won the Premier League title.

Earlier in the day, Sir Bobby Robson was immortalised by Newcastle, with a statue honouring the former Magpies manager outside the ground.

Sir Bobby's widow Lady Elsie Robson was joined by former players and staff, and she thanked the club for their 'wonderful tribute to her husband.'

The former England manager, who led the Magpies into the Champions League during his five year reign at St James' Park, died in 2009 after a prolonged battle with cancer.


Ba fires City warning shot

6 May 2012 11:41

Newcastle United striker Demba Ba has fired a warning shot to Manchester City by boasting that his side will bring City's title bid to a halt.

The two sides meet on Sunday at the Sports Direct Arena, with Roberto Mancini’s men looking to secure their position at the top of the Premier League with a win, while Alan Pardew's side are still pushing for a top-four finish and Champions League qualification.

The Senegal international striker told The Sun on Sunday: "We are in no mood to surrender the points with so much at stake.

"City are in for a tough afternoon because we're determined to win the game and boost our chances of Champions League football.

"Nobody can expect to play us at home and have an easy time - regardless of whether they are chasing the title or not."

Following Arsenal's drawn game with Norwich on Saturday, Newcastle will overtake the Gunners with victory over Manchester City.

However, fourth-placed Tottenham are also on 65 points - two below Arsenal - and could edge the Magpies out of third spot on goal difference if they win at Aston Villa and Newcastle beat City.


Pardew: Newcastle fans crucial to City contest

5 May 2012 16:20

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew said they will have an edge over Manchester City in the sides' crucial Premier League clash on Sunday.

Pardew said the Sports Direct Arena crowd can inspire his team to victory against the side that inflicted their first defeat of the season upon them in November.

The Magpies have picked up 35 points since the turn of the year compared to City's 38 and Pardew said that proves Newcastle are one of the top teams in the league, as the North-East club attempts to secure a Champions League spot for next term.

"We have the advantage because we are at home, and our fans make a huge difference to us," Pardew told reporters.

"Forget about individuals, look at the two teams – our team is going to compete with them. I can't pay any greater respect to my side.

"They deserve that respect because they have earned it. That's not about me, or Papiss Cisse, but the team. We have got 35 points this year, City have got 38.

"I would say we have closed that gap (on City), even though in November we were upbeat. Looking from the sidelines then I still felt there was an extra element to their game. Looking at us against Chelsea and Liverpool, I think we have closed that gap.

"This club has come on in leaps and bounds in the last two years. It has been a meteoric rise in form and credibility. We have created a situation where next year is going to be problematic for us.

"We need to make sure, when this season ends, (to work out) where we went wrong and where we went right. We have to correct the bad things and recognise the good ones, and keep doing them to improve because next year will be a difficult season for us."

Pardew said avoiding defeat on Sunday would ensure a full house of results against the 'big five' clubs of the English top flight.

"I look at it closely and we have taken points off Liverpool, Spurs, Arsenal, and Manchester United. Man City are the only ones we have not," the former Southampton and Charlton boss said.

"So on Sunday it is there for us to take points off all the top teams and that would be a great feat for this team. And I think we can do it.

"I would suggest there is a little bit more pressure on them, being as they are away from home and going for the title."


Premier League preview: Newcastle v Manchester City

4 May 2012 22:11

Manchester City head to Sports Direct Arena on Sunday with the Premier League title on the line as well as Newcastle's European ambitions.

City manager Roberto Mancini was in the stands at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday to watch Newcastle's Papiss Cisse's stunning pair of strikes dismantle Chelsea 2-0, pulling them level on points with Tottenham.

Tottenham and Newcastle are level on 65 points, one point behind third-placed Arsenal who are in the box seat to claim automatic qualification for the Champions League.

But despite the result, which effectively rules Chelsea out of qualifying for next season's Champions League via their domestic position, it is Roberto Di Matteo's men who could still deny Newcastle or Tottenham a spot if they defeat Bayern Munich in this year's final on May 19.

For Mancini, the equation is now simple - with a win over Newcastle, and Sunderland on the last day, all but ensuring they will lift the Premier League trophy on May 13.

On the other hand, Alan Pardew's Newcastle have been superb all season and, while Spurs faltered, they have gone on a run of seven wins in eight matches to turn a fourth-placed finish, something few would have dreamed of before the season, into a distinct possibility.

The only recent blip was a 4-0 loss to Wigan at the DW Stadium before the stunning return to form against Chelsea, but that one slip up could cost Newcastle dearly with Spurs still ahead on goal difference - 14 goals better off.

Mancini, meanwhile, sees his side in pole position to win the league with a healthy goal difference over United, despite his claims Sir Alex Ferguson's men are still the 'favourites'.

Ever since Mancini conceded the title to United after a 1-0 defeat to Arsenal saw them slip eight points behind on April 8, City have played with a sense of freedom while their rivals have stuttered.

Captain Vincent Kompany's lone header in a historic 1-0 win over United at the Etihad Stadium could prove the turning point for City, who have forked out millions to end their cross-city rival's dominance as well as their own 44-year league title drought.

The key men for the respective sides could be Cisse, who has scored a remarkable 13 goals in 12 games since his move from Bundesliga side Freiburg, and for City Carlos Tevez, whose return from exile has culminated in four-straight wins after his first start back against West Bromwich Albion on April 11.

Both have tough matches to fulfil their respective aspirations, with City heading to Sunderland in what could be the title-decider, and Newcastle facing a tricky trip to Everton on the final day.


Pardew plays down top four hopes

4 May 2012 20:31

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew says his team are still 'outsiders' to finish in the top four because of their tough last two matches.

Pardew's men have won seven of their last eight outings to sit just a point behind third-placed Arsenal.
They sit fifth in the table, level on points with Spurs, who hold fourth by account of goal difference.

Speaking ahead of their huge clash against English Premier League leaders Manchester City, Pardew said it would be difficult for his team to break into the qualifying places for the Champions League.

"I think we are still the outsiders (to finish in the top four) purely because of the fixtures we have got, and the fixtures that Arsenal and Spurs have got," Pardew said on Friday.

"We could win both games and still not get into the Champions League, which would hurt.

"But we are going to try and do that and hopefully Arsenal or Spurs slip up somewhere. Everybody has got tough games in the Premier League, there are no give me games in this division."

Newcastle meet Everton on the last day of the season, while Arsenal take on Norwich and West Bromwich Albion in their last two matches.

Tottenham face Aston Villa and Fulham.

In-form striker Papiss Cisse, who struck a brilliant double in Newcastle's 2-0 win over Chelsea on Wednesday, has netted 13 goals in 12 appearances for the club since joining in January.

Pardew warned Manchester City the Senegal international could be what stands between them and winning the title.

"I am pleased that we have him now rather than at the end of the season because we certainly wouldn't be where we are now without him," Pardew said.

"It was great to secure his services and he has been a massive asset for us. Our team has evolved a little bit around him, and we play some decent football, and it gives him the opportunity to finish.

"He is at the spearhead of most of our attacks, and he doesn't miss often. So he is going to be a real threat to Manchester City, and he could decide the title."


Mancini: ´We have done nothing yet´

4 May 2012 15:51

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini claims his side's match against Newcastle United will be more difficult than Monday's derby.

City claimed a narrow 1-0 victory against cross-town rivals Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium in a fixture billed as a potential title decider.

The win allowed Mancini's team to go top of the table on goal difference, putting them in pole position to claim their first Premier League title, but the Italian insisted that City still have plenty to do.

"Newcastle will be our hardest game - harder than United," Mancini said. "It is strange but it is like this.

"They have had a fantastic season and are playing to get into the Champions League. Their manager is one of the best managers here and it will be a tough game.

"It is another Champions League final on Sunday. We have two - Newcastle and QPR. We have to keep a big concentration until May 13."

Mancini hoped City's ascent back to top spot would not affect their performances in the final two games of the season.

Comfortable victories against Wolves, Norwich City and West Brom put City in a position to leapfrog United, their Manchester rivals having dropped points against Everton and Wigan.

"We have done nothing yet," Mancini said. "We are at the top but we need to win two games.

"We need to play well and we need to score if we want to win. They will get six points.

"We are happy for the crowd but it is important our supporters do not think it is finished. We need to be very calm.

"We need to concentrate on the next game, work well, recover. The message is to keep calm, like one and two weeks ago. Nothing has changed."

Carlos Tevez, meanwhile, has returned to the City set-up and combined to good effect with Sergio Aguero in recent matches, leading Mancini to admit that the Argentine forward could still be playing at the Etihad Stadium next season.

Mancini's relationship with Tevez seemed irreparable during the 28-year-old's mid-season spell away from the club but they now seem to have patched up their differences.

"Why not?" Mancini replied when asked if Tevez could stay. "He has a contract, he is a good player.

"But now our concentration should be on Newcastle."

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +64 89
2 38 +56 89
3 38 +25 70
4 38 +25 69
5 38 +5 65
6 38 +19 64
7 38 +10 56
8 38 +7 52
9 38 -3 52
10 38 -7 47
11 38 -7 47
12 38 -14 47
13 38 -1 45
14 38 -17 45
15 38 -20 43
16 38 -16 38
17 38 -23 37
18 38 -31 36
19 38 -30 31
20 38 -42 25
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