Newcastle United turned in one of their poorest performances of the season as they were crushed by Premier League champions Manchester City. Goals from Carlos Tevez, David Silva, Vincent Kompany and an own goal from James Perch have now thrust Newcastle closer to the vicious relegation battle they once thought they were clear of. Other results going against them now leave the Magpies lying in 15th in the table with seven games remaining and the upcoming games against Fulham and Sunderland will be pivotal in their disappointing season. The Geordies could perhaps be forgiven for not going into this game in great hope, having never previously won at the Etihad Stadium. Alan Shearer netted the winner when Newcastle last overturned the Citizens—at Maine Road in 2001— but there was to be no repeat of that once Roberto Mancini’s men eased through the gears this afternoon. Newcastle manager Alan Pardew must take some, if not most, of the responsibility for the loss this afternoon as his team and tactic selection was woefully below par. Gabriel Obertan was picked ahead of in-form Sylvain Marveaux on the wing and was part of a side that attempted to park the proverbial bus in front of Joe Hart in the City goal. The size of Pardew’s misjudgement was apparent as his side went into half-time 2-0 down and barely having registered any meaningful attacks in the first 45 minutes. He responded by taking Obertan off and replacing him with Perch, who later turned a Yaya Toure shot into his own net. Pardew’s instructions to try and frustrate City initially started well, with the home side unable to break down the masses of black and white shirts in front of them. Newcastle even voyaged forward and almost opened the scoring too, when Papiss Cisse unleashed a volley that beat Hart, only to clip the outside of the post on the way wide. From then on though, City flexed their muscles and the visitors had no answer. Gareth Barry should have broken the deadlock when he blazed over the bar from close range when it looked easier to score but Mancini didn’t have to wait much longer for his side to take the lead. Gael Clichy – who had earlier been denied by a wonderful Rob Elliot save – was the provider, collecting a perfect pass from Silva on the left before crossing for Tevez to divert home. With the Geordie banks finally breached, City capitalised on Newcastle trying to regroup and doubled their lead three minutes later. This time Silva was the scorer, following up after Samir Nasri had dribbled into the Newcastle area and finishing low past Elliot. The Magpies were spared any further punishment by the half-time whistle and Pardew reshuffled his side with Perch replacing Obertan and Jonas Gutierrez pushing up onto the wing. A change in philosophy was to come too, as Newcastle started on the front foot in an attempt to get themselves a foothold in the game. Their French imports were doing everything they could to instigate something, although after a neat one-two with Moussa Sissoko, Yohan Cabaye’s shot flew just wide. Sissoko himself also went close on a couple of occasions and was trying his best to inspire the lacklustre bunch around him, but after skinning Joleon Lescott on numerous occasions, was unable to find the support needed to give his side a lifeline. Eventually, Newcastle’s mini revival subsided and City regained their dominance and soon had a third. Barry’s shot was deflected into the path of Kompany, who marked his return to the City side with a neat backheel past Elliot. The goal effectively ended the game as a contest and when Yaya Toure’s shot was deflected past Elliot by the unfortunate Perch, it capped a desperately poor day for Newcastle.