Newcastle’s unbeaten Premier League record has gone after league leaders Manchester City were too strong for Alan Pardew’s spirited side. Mario Balotelli and Sergio Aguero scored penalties either side of Micah Richards’ first goal of the season to maintain City’s five point lead at the summit of the table. The Magpies by no means embarrassed themselves and could have even got a point from Mancini’s men, with Hatem Ben Arfa hitting a post and Demba Ba forcing Joe Hart into a decent save. However it was City’s superb attacking options, even without the rested David Silva, that proved too much for the league’s tightest defence, with Balotelli and Samir Nasri causing problems all afternoon. Ryan Taylor has been the hero of much of Newcastle’s early-season success but today he was more of a villain. With the Geordies’ coping well with City’s attacks, Steven Taylor pulled out a trademark block to deny Aguero. The rebound fell to Yaya Toure and when the Ivorian smashed a shot towards Tim Krul’s goal, Ryan Taylor’s outstretched arm was in the way, leaving Chris Foy with no option but to point to the spot. Balotelli stepped up to convert his eighth goal of the season. Taylor’s afternoon got even worse just three minutes later when he missed a crucial interception and allowed the marauding Micah Richards to slot home from 10 yards. City were cruising, but Newcastle never gave up trying. The spirit to fight back was evident of Newcastle’s new-found confidence but ultimately they failed to cause the home side any serious problems. The richest source of attacking threat they held was through Hatem Ben Arfa, starting his first competitive game for Newcastle since the Magpies last played the Citizens. Ben Arfa came closest to giving his side a much-needed lifeline when he was gifted possession by Vincent Kompany. However, the France international could only smash his shot off the post with Hart scrambling. The chance proved to be Newcastle’s last, when Micah Richards again burst forward before being brought down by the afore-mentioned Ben Arfa. With Balotelli having been replaced moments earlier, it was down to Aguero to do the business from the spot, something he had no problem in doing. As City pushed on for a fourth, Dan Gosling was able to strike on the counter to at least ensure Newcastle took something from the Etihad Stadium, albeit no points.