Newcastle United’s Premier League season got off to the worst possible start this evening, as they were swept aside by a classy Manchester City side at the Etihad Stadium.

The 4-0 result truly reflects the gulf in class and confidence of the two sides, as goals from David Silva, Sergio Aguero, Yaya Toure and Samir Nasri battered the visitors into submission.

Steven Taylor was sent off before half-time for Newcastle, as the problems piled up for Alan Pardew just 90 minutes into the new season.

Jonas Gutierrez also went off injured, while Pardew’s team selection was affected by the loss of Yohan Cabaye, after the midfielder was left out of the squad surrounding speculation that Arsenal are interested in signing him.

The Newcastle manager opted for a 4-4-2 formation, with Hatem Ben Arfa and Gutierrez on the wings, while Yoan Gouffran partnered Papiss Cisse up front. Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa filled in at left-back before Taylor was sent off, as Davide Santon missed out.

In the build up to the game, Pardew pointed out that it was important for teams visiting the top sides to get off to a solid start and not allow the stronger side to get into their stride quickly. So, to die hard Newcastle fans at least, it was hardly surprising when the Magpies fell behind after five minutes.

A typically slick City move made ground down the left wing before a deflected cross bounced kindly for Silva, who applied the finish with a simple header. In truth, it could have been the third goal Newcastle conceded, after Tim Krul had brilliantly denied Aguero and Edin Dzeko in the opening minutes.

The visitors tried to settle after conceding and some slick passing encouraged the travelling Toon Army, but in truth they were no match for the home side. Ben Arfa consistently had the beating of Gael Clichy down the City left and a long shot from the former Marseille man was the closest Newcastle came in the first half.

City’s second came when a fine tackle by Vincent Kompany preceded a neat Dzeko flick on, before Aguero held off Taylor and fired in a superb low shot.

A number of bookings then littered the rest of the half before Taylor’s evening ended prematurely. The centre back swung an arm that clipped the back of Aguero’s head, sending the striker tumbling to the floor just metres from referee Andre Marriner, who promptly sent him off.

Facing a second half with ten men, the Geordies’ resistance was then broken for a third time when Toure curled in a fine free kick.

With only one man up front thanks to the sending off, Newcastle couldn’t build any momentum on the rare occasions they had the ball and with City’s quality, looked like they could fall further behind at any moment.

The fourth came when substitute Samir Nasri was too quick for Mathieu Debuchy and then evaded a poor tackle from the Frenchman, allowing for a neat finish past Krul.

More City dominance followed but a combination of fine saves by Krul and below par finishing ensured the score stayed at four, despite new signing Alvaro Negredo finding the net but being denied, perhaps wrongfully, by the offside flag.

Overall, Newcastle’s worst nightmare came to reality tonight as everything went wrong for them. In truth, there were genuine title challengers in action but unfortunately for the Toon, they weren’t wearing black and white.

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  1. swaprocker

    my only thought is that we may be more balanced with guiterez out and taylor banned for three matches!! I would def play dummett LB and santon LM


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