City Silence The Toon
The City Of Manchester Stadium
28/1/09 ... 19:45
Attendance: 42, 280
Craig Bellamy scored on his debut as Manchester City won their second game on the trot to move into the top half of the table.
Manchester City made three changes to the side that beat Wigan narrowly last weekend. Kompany moves into defence along side Onuoha who comes in for the suspended Dunne. De Jong and Bellamy both made their first start for the blues which meant both Elano and Sturridge drop to the bench. Interesting news coming from Newcastle. Shay Given not even in the squad tonight as he has apparently picked up a knee injury?
The match started with standing ovations for Bellamy, De Jong and the controversial Robinho, while boo`s rang out for a certain ex City player. City produced their first chance after four minutes. Robinho`s chip from the left found Wright-Phillips who under pressure from Coloccini managed to head the ball on target but straight at Harper. Ireland also tested Harper`s handling when he curled his effort on goal.
Robinho then found himself with the ball at his feet from a free-kick but his effort flew past the Harper`s right post. Shortly after this however Manchester City did take the lead. Zabaleta forced a throw which Bridge took and found Robinho who facing away from goal fed Wright-Phillips who drilled the ball home.
Michael Owens`s cure then struck again as he brought off due to a knee injury and was replaced by Gutierrez.
Manchester City`s new striker had his first chance in a blue shirt. Bellamy managed to close down Taylor as he tried to clear and broke into the box but his cross back towards Robinho was cut out.
Newcastle was struggling to make an impression in the first half. Only crosses and the odd long ball was all the City defence had to deal with. At the other end Bellamy appealed for a penalty after going to the floor under pressure but the ref waved away his protest.
Newcastle obviously got a rocket of a team talk as they came out rearing to go. Taylor went down in the City box but failed to convince the ref to award a penalty. City then broke down the other end, as Ireland tried a midair back-heel but flew over the bar.
Joey Barton was then forced off with an injury, but Newcastle still pressed for an equaliser. Duff went close on the 68th minute, when he flipped the ball past Hart, but before he could think of celebrating, Wayne Bridge came back and cleared the ball off the line.
However Manchester City blew Newcastle`s hope apart. The Impressive Zabaleta moved down the right and fed Craig Bellamy who made himself some space and produced a shot on the turn that flew straight past the static Harper.
Game over? Surely that would be to simple for City. Bridge who looked good until now managed to lose the ball, which presented Edgar with a simple cross ball for Carroll who could not miss.
City then ran down the clock with changes and that old keep the ball in the corner trick. Newcastle simply couldn`t get the ball off City and the final whistle blew. City could now push on knowing that they will be in the top half come tomorrow.
Final Score: Manchester City 2 Newcastle United 1