Alan Pardew - Newcastle United News

Manchester City took a huge stride towards their maiden Premier League title this afternoon, when they overcame the toughest test of their end of season run-in. Two goals from Yaya Toure done the trick for Roberto Mancini’s men, as in-form Newcastle were powerless to resist the excellence of the potential champions.

This clash was being billed as the game which would decide whether the championship went to the red or blue half of Manchester and after over an hour of Geordie stubbornness, it was Toure who scored the goal to ease the nerves in the Citizens’ camp.

The former Barcelona man found space on the edge of the box as he received Sergio Aguero’s pass and beat Tim Krul with a perfectly placed curling effort. The visiting fans in the heavens of St James’ Park exploded with joy as their side found the breakthrough, as they knew it was the goal that means they only have to beat QPR next week to be crowned champions.

City started like would-be champions and dominated possession, probing at Newcastle’s heroic defence as they looked for a breakthrough. As usual though, the Geordies were well drilled and coped with City’s attacking flair and limited them to a few half-chances. Aguero came closest to opening the deadlock, when he wriggled away from a challenge to fire a low shot but Krul was equal to it.

Newcastle responded by forcing Joe Hart into action and asking questions of City’s defence. Vincent Kompany responded to everything the Magpies had though, as he led by example with some magnificent defending. The Belgian was in the right place at the right time to deny Demba Ba, while the volleyed rebound from Ben Arfa was beaten away by Hart.

Moments earlier, Ba had fizzed a left-foot effort just over the crossbar, but failed to end his goal draught that now stands at over 1,000 minutes.

City soon started to come again though, and should have had the opener just before half time. David Silva produced some wonderful wizardry to pull a pass back to the edge of the area, where Gareth Barry unleashed a shot. The effort was brilliantly blocked by Fabricio Coloccini, while the second effort by the England midfielder was turned off the line by Davide Santon.

The warning signs were there for the home side, although it was a managerial masterpiece that ultimately undone the Magpies. After the hour, Samir Nasri was replaced by Nigel De Jong, allowing Toure to play further up the field and support Aguero.

Nine minutes later, the move paid off when the pair combined and Toure curled a delightful effort past the despairing dive of Krul.

In recent seasons, Newcastle may have been tempted to give up the ghost and accept defeat against a side like City, although this hasn’t been the case in their incredible season so far. Instead, Pardew threw on Shane Ferguson on the left of midfield, moved Jonas Gutierrez to left-back and put Shola Ameobi up front with Cisse and Ba.

It was a bold move from Pardew, as he knew his team wouldn’t be as strong defensively. Unfortunately, the move only benefitted City. As Newcastle urged men forward to try and grab an equaliser from a corner, the visitors broke away and outnumbered the Magpies at the back. Some poor defending from Gutierrez allowed Toure to find space inside the 6-yard box and the Ivorian simply beat Krul to give City the much-needed win.

The defeat means City only need one more win – against QPR – to claim their first Premier League trophy in 44 years. Meanwhile, Newcastle need to better Tottenham’s result next week in order to finish 4th, while third-placed Arsenal would need to slip up for the Magpies to hold any chance of stealing a place in the top three.

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  1. Feed the Goat

    Gods own football Club have one hand on the title with the result today, good luck to you guys for a top four finish


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