Man City beats Newcastle 3-1 in Premier League

BY foxsports • November 19, 2011

Manchester City stands as the last unbeaten team in the Premier League after a 3-1 victory over Newcastle on Saturday handed the Magpies their first loss of the season.

Mario Balotelli's first-half penalty was followed by a goal from Micah Richards three minutes later, both the result of errors from defender Ryan Taylor.

Sergio Aguero slotted in another penalty to put the Premier League leaders 3-0 ahead before Dan Gosling's late consolation for a Newcastle side that started the day in third place.

The victory leaves City with a record of 11 wins and one draw from their opening 12 games, the day after the club announced a record loss of 194.9 million pounds for its previous fiscal year.

That marks the best start to a season in Premier League history, with City also having scored 42 goals so far.

''I hope we continue like this,'' City manager Roberto Mancini said. ''But I think in the 26 games we have left, we will reach a time when we lose a game, I'm sure of it.

''As players, as a team, we are very strong now but the season is long and there will be difficult moments ahead. For this reason, it's important we know we can score goals and win games in a row.''

City was required to withstand a couple of bright moments from Newcastle, who had arrived in Manchester with the best defensive record in the top division, but effectively killed off the game with two goals in four minutes just before the interval.

Hatem Ben Arfa's decisive 33rd minute pass played Demba Ba through on goal but the Newcastle forward succeeded only in drawing a fine reaction save from the City goalkeeper Joe Hart.

That miss looked costly after 40 minutes when Balotelli's goalbound shot struck the arm of Ryan Taylor. Balotelli showed great composure in rolling a nonchalant penalty kick into the bottom right-hand corner of the Newcastle net, his sixth goal of the season.

Four minutes later, Ryan Taylor was again culpable when he failed to control Samir Nasri's pass, laying the ball into the path of Richards who delivered an impressive left-foot finish that doubled City's lead.

Nasri and Aguero continued to create major problems for the visitors but Newcastle should have reduced the deficit on the hour when a mistake by Joleon Lescott let in Ben Arfa whose tremendous shot beat Hart but not the left-hand post, the ball rebounding to safety.

Aguero continued to be in the thick of the action, forcing goalkeeper Tim Krul into one brave block and Hart did likewise in keeping out a shot from Danny Guthrie who had been allowed too much space in the City area.

But the outcome of the game was put beyond all doubt in the 71st minute when David Silva's pass sent Richards sprinting into the area only for the impressive full-back to be hauled down by Ben Arfa.

With Balotelli having been replaced by Silva, the task of penalty taker passed to Aguero who beat Krul with another calm and collected spot kick.

Newcastle continued to show self-belief, however, and claimed a deserved last-minute consolation goal when James Perch's pass was deflected into the path of Ba by Lescott. After Hart blocked the initial attempt, Gosling rolled the ball into the vacant goal.

''City are the best side we have played by some distance, they are very very powerful,'' Newcastle manager Alan Pardew said. ''We're a good side and how we are going to evolve, how we are going to deal with the disappointment of this is still unknown.''

City now turn their attentions to Tuesday's important Champions League group qualifying game against Napoli in his homeland.

''My feeling is good about the Napoli game because I think our team has improved a lot in the Champions League,'' Mancini said. ''But I know what we will find in Naples and Napoli this season are playing very, very well at home.

''If we want to win in Naples we will have to play better than this, in the Premier League.''

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