Yaya Toure returned to haunt Newcastle as Manchester City won 3-1 at St James' Park courtesy of one of their best attacking outings of the season in the first half.
Toure scored his third Premier League goal against Newcastle on 78 minutes to bury home hopes after Demba Ba (51) had given Alan Pardew's side fresh belief with City leading 2-0 at half-time. Goals from Sergio Aguero (10) and Javi Garcia (39) had put City in control, but they should have had more from some delightful stuff in the first period.
Toure has scored more goals against Newcastle than any other Premier League club. All three have come in the last two matches at St James' Park, including a key double during their march to the title in the death throes of last term.
City remain six points behind Manchester United after the league leaders completed a 3-1 win over Sunderland later on Saturday.
Newcastle never truly recovered from a slipshod opening to the match when Davide Santon - who endured a forgettable afternoon - was caught ball-watching as Roberto Mancini's side moved ahead on 10 minutes.
Samir Nasri bounded away from the home left-back after a defence-splitting pass by Yaya Toure before crossing for Aguero to tap the ball home.
Aguero ended a run of four Premier League matches without a goal. It was also his first Premier League away goal since September 29 at Fulham.
It was a brilliant move by the Premier League champions and provided a glimpse of what was to come in the rest of the first period as Newcastle struggled to cope with the pace of City's flurries forward.
City benefited from another horrid moment for Santon to move two up. The defender failed to clear Garcia's header while defending a post from a David Silva corner as the ball trickled into the net, much to the disbelief of the other home players.
Newcastle's best moments of the first period came from a series of free-kicks thrown into the visiting area as Joe Hart superbly clawed away efforts by Papiss Cisse on three minutes and Mike Williamson on 26 minutes.
But it was clear Newcastle were a distant second-best to the visiting team as time and time again they were cut open by City's pacy attack, which had no need of Mario Balotelli. The Italian was left at home by Mancini, who said he must work and train harder having hauled him off just after half-time in last weekend's tumultuous Manchester derby.
Tim Krul was forced to block a Carlos Tevez volley on 12 minutes then three minutes later the Argentine striker almost connected with a Nasri ball across the face of the home goal. Nasri also prodded a shot off a post before Williamson made a last-ditch block to deny Aguero as Newcastle continued to mark shadows.
The home side displayed resolve after half-time and were given fresh hope when Ba headed home from a Fabricio Coloccini cross, but could not find the equaliser their fans craved as Cisse drove an effort over when he looked likelier to score from the edge of the box seconds later.
Toure prodded a Pablo Zabaleta cutback into his net to finally secure the win for the delighted visiting fans with 11 minutes remaining after some thoughtful play by SIlva.
The Newcastle fans watched their side slump to a sixth defeat in seven matches, but they will be content with how they responded in the second half - if not with the club's league position.
Newcastle are only two points above third-bottom Wigan in the Premier League standings with Aston Villa moving a point above them into 14th place after their surprise 3-1 win at Liverpool.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Yaya Toure (Manchester City) - Superb for City, particularly when Newcastle recovered after the break. Involved in the first goal, scored the third and was a real powerhouse in midfield for his side.
Newcastle United: Krul 7, Simpson 6, Williamson 5, Coloccini 6, Santon 4, Perch 5, Tiote 5, Anita 6, Gutierrez 6, Cisse 5, Ba 6. Subs: Marveaux 6, Shola Ameobi 6, Ferguson 6
Manchester City: Hart 8, Zabaleta 7, Kolo Toure 8, Nastasic 6, Clichy 7, Garcia 8, Yaya Toure 8, Nasri 7, Silva 7, Tevez 7, Aguero 7. Subs: Lescott 6, Dzeko 6, Kolarov 6
- Sports & Recreation
- Manchester City
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