MAN CITY 4 NEWCASTLE UTD 0 – Pellegrini sends a chill down spines of City’s rivals

Professor Manuel Pellegrini’s class of 2013 emerged with top marks, but forget any notion of ‘A’ grades, this was a triple ‘F’ showing – fast, fluid and fantastico!

The feel-good factor was flowing – positively oozing – out of every pore at the Etihad Stadium, after City annihilated a bewildered Newcastle United, who were clearly out of their depth within six minutes.

Table-topper - Manuel Pellegrini has started as he means to go on

Table-topper – Manuel Pellegrini has started as he means to go on

That’s all it took for David Silva to open the floodgates with something as common as rocking horse droppings – a headed goal – for a City side regarded as Premier League favourites by many pundits and punters alike.

City boss, Pellegrini, could not have wished for a better start to his reign as the Sky Blues served up a high octane performance, with new signings Fernandinho and Navas debuting with distinction.

Fair to say City’s flying Spaniard has more ‘speed’ than a Moss Side drugs cartel and, as befits a man called Jesus, he knows all about quality crosses. And, when it comes to wide boys, the man from Sevilla is wider than Del Boy and Rodney put together.

Fernandinho, Navas’ new £30m team mate from Brazil, via Shakhtar Donetsk, was instrumental in driving a City side high on industry and intensity. Not only did he use the ball to great effect when in possession, he ensured The Toon didn’t see too much of it, working tirelessly with Yaya Toure in a powerful, productive and potent midfield display.

The Brazilian picked up a yellow card, but that comes with the territory with the silky South American’s all-action play.

The new boys blended harmoniously with the old guard on the field, as those in the stands sensed a real team spirit, sadly absent in Mancini’s side last season.

There was no greater evidence of this assertion than Edin Dzeko – often the fall guy under the fiery Italian’s regime. The Bosnian striker – awarded the Man of the Match honours, despite not scoring, played as if he’d been eating Duracell batteries all summer.

Full of verve and vitality, Dzeko set up the season’s opening goal with his probing pass into Newcastle’s six yard box, only to see it deflected off Toon centre back Steven Taylor and into Silva’s flight path.

The diminutive Spanish playmaker found the ball at perfect nodding height and the ball flew past goalkeeper Tim Krul. An evening that began with rapturous appreciation of fallen City legend, Bert Trautmann, was shaping up to be a marvellous and memorable Monday night.

Silva lining - dynamic Edin Dzeko set up Merlin's opening goal

Silva lining – dynamic Edin Dzeko set up Merlin’s opening goal

Having lauded Jesus, the near 47,000 crowd was then treated to an almost God-like creature, when Sergio Aguero’s heavenly play put City two in front.

Captain Kompany carried the ball from defence passing to Dzeko, whose deft flick fell perfectly into Sergio’s stride pattern. The Argentinian striker, with no pre-season game time, was fresh and incisive as he left Taylor trailing in his wake and fired home from an acute angle.

The finish was reminiscent of his winner at Old Trafford in April – he slowed his pace, deceiving Taylor, as he had done United’s ‘Beaker’ Phil Jones – before accelerating with a quickstep and scoring.

As City’s play had the home fans and neutrals alike purring with joy, The Toon were getting increasingly tetchy on the pitch. Yanga-Mbiwa was booked for a double assault on Dzeko, which also earned the exasperated City strike a yellow card for standing his ground. United’s left back should have been sent-off for a second bookable offence when he downed Navas in the 40th minute.

Sissoko was booked for hacking Aguero down, as was DeBuchy for throwing a ‘strop’ – and the ball – when he didn’t get a throw-in, to which he obviously felt entitled.

Steven Taylor went one better and threw a forearm into Aguero’s head in first half added time and saw red. At least he was spared any further embarrassment at the hands – or rather feet – of City’s attacking riches.

The Magpies had suffered a torrid time and in truth could, and should have conceded three penalties, but for Andre Marriner’s sub-standard refereeing. Zabaleta was up ended, Yaya pushed to the ground and the villainous Taylor had handled in the box.

It was a case of deja vu when the second half began in similar vein. With five minutes gone Yaya added an exquisite third goal with a lovingly caressed, curling free kick from 20 yards out and over the wall, eluding Krul’s grasp.

Samir strike - Nasri's 75th minute goal sent City to the top of PL

Samir strike – Nasri’s 75th minute goal sent City to the top of PL

In the 75th minute City scored the table-topping fourth goal when substitute Samir Nasri, displaying a tenacity often lacking since his move from Arsenal, broke clear and slid the ball past the luckless Krul.

RIP BERT -Gone but never forgotten - Trautmann the legend

RIP BERT -Gone but never forgotten – Trautmann the legend

The Dutch keeper alone, ensured Alan Pardew’s men were not pummelled further with a string of fine saves – particularly a purely instinctive stop, clawing a Dzeko header to safety from point blank range. If Bert was looking down on proceedings he would have approved of the flying Dutchman’s display between the posts. Better still, he would have enjoyed City’s eighth consecutive win over ‘The Barcodes’.

Bert's applause - the Etihad saluted City legend Trautmann

Bert’s applause – the Etihad saluted City legend Trautmann

The two blots on the evening were an Alvaro Negredo debut goal, incorrectly chalked off for offside when clearly he was onside and, more worryingly, a groin injury to Vincent Kompany in the 70th minute.

With Matija Nastasic already out injured, City’s preferred centre back pairing will be absent in Cardiff on Sunday.

Pellegrini’s options will be to play Joleon Lescott alongside Javi Garcia who came on for Kompany, youngster Dedryk Boyata or, potentially, switch Micah Richards into the centre.

If anything positive can come from Kompany’s absence it would be to highlight the need for another top quality centre back, before the transfer window closes.

With City’s pursuit of Pepe possibly continuing, it is clear Pellegrini wishes to make at least one more signing in defence – an acquisition that could make all the difference, especially in the Champions League campaign.

On the domestic front and the pursuit of PL glory, one look at a City bench that included – Milner, Nasri, Garcia, Negredo and Rodwell – and that’s minus the injured Jovetic – must send shivers down the spines of City’s PL rivals.

Performances like this certainly give the Etihad faithful goosebumps.




By David Walker





Aspiring football writer and keen Newcastle United fan, 17-yearold Adam Dunwoodie guest writes in this special ‘one-off’ #READBUTNEVERRED edition giving his take on City’s 4-0 demolition of his team…


Magpies get the blues

4-0 was a fair score line. City on the attack were quick and creative and our defensive barricade was easily broken down on numerous occasions. If it was not for a Tim Krul save or a Steven Taylor handball we could have lost 5-0 or even 6-0!

Our passing was good and we looked comfortable in possession, much better than last season’s hap-hazard performances. It was our final pass that let us down nearly every single time!

Hatem Ben Arfa was our best player, causing the City defence a few problems, especially with his speed and creativity. He should have scored in the first half but his long range shot sailed fractionally over the bar. We did ‘score’ but it was correctly ruled offside with Yoan Gouffran being about a yard in front of the last defender.

Steven Taylor was rightly sent off after a needless elbow to the head of Sergio Aguero. Why do something so stupid in the middle of the park well away from the danger zone. Pure idiocy! We were 2-0 down at this point but his sending off extinguished any faint hopes of a recovery.

Verdict – City deserved the win, they were much better on the night and it was obvious from very early on they would win because they were far the stronger side. We put up for a fight but it was never going  to be enough. I expect City to go on and challenge for the title, while Newcastle will finish somewhere between 8th and 12th.

 By Adam Dunwoodie






  1. August 21, 2013  7:00 am by Mark Turner Reply

    2 really well written pieces on a truly impressive performance - Thanks to you both.Dzeko looked like a new player in terms of his energy and all round contribution - long may this continue. Navas looked awesome to me and I'll bet most full backs will have sleepless nights ahead of facing him. He provides us with a genuinely different way of hurting opponents and breaking down their defences. Can't wait till Sunday!

    • August 21, 2013  10:40 am by DAVID WALKER Reply

      Very encouraging display and the more expansive style of play is very easy on the eye, with Navas a standout. The pace and movement was so so different from last season and you just get the feeling the players and Pellegrini are as one. Yes, it was a poor and disrupted Newcastle side but a nonehteless exquisite offering from City.

      • August 21, 2013  10:40 am by DAVID WALKER Reply

        * nonetheless!

  2. August 21, 2013  7:03 am by susan richardson Reply

    Thanks David sums it up very nicely! love the rocking horse analogy. I hope Adam is right about his beloved Newcastle! Been there (and worse) got the T shirt.

    • August 21, 2013  10:41 am by DAVID WALKER Reply

      Indeed, the rocking horse poo does nothing for either my roses or rhubarb. I have kept the receipt - it's going back!

    • August 21, 2013  4:38 pm by Adam Dunwoodie Reply

      Cheers. Good Luck to your club with the future. I admire City supporters who stayed with their team in the lower divisions. City supporters who stayed and put up through that are now desverving the rewards of sticking with your team. Any City supporter though who only started supporting City once your owners bought you really are a disgrace to football though. I bet the amazing people who read David's blog though always have and will continue to support them through Good times and Bad Times.

      • August 21, 2013  9:04 pm by DAVID WALKER Reply

        Most City fans have been through the thin thin and anorexic times and it's a badge of honour for those who went to the likes of Lincoln City, Wycombe Wanderers and York in the depths of winter. We all know how lucky we were that Sheikh Mansour chose MCFC because we were light years away from being PL Champions before 31st August 2008.

        I'm sure a lot of City fans admire the Toon support - it is by and large passionate and it runs deep.

        Best of luck for the rest of the season - January 11th apart - unless Sky move it or we get you in the Cup.

  3. August 21, 2013  7:03 am by PAUL TURNER Reply

    really good read David, excellent ! why do I feel like a schoolteacher!

    Will RT - @joypaincity

    • August 21, 2013  8:53 pm by David Walker Reply

      Dunno - but where's my apple...sir?

      No, not a Golden Delicious or a Granny Smith - an iPad would do just nicely.

      Cheers Paul

  4. August 21, 2013  8:05 am by MoleRocks Reply

    Another well crafted piece. City showed a real togetherness, I particularly liked the way they were clapping each other on. Milner seemed to have taken Negredo under his wing, if you go off the little slot on CityTV, Milner speaks Spanish. All in all a performance to get excited about. TrustMP? Yes I do!

    • August 21, 2013  10:43 am by DAVID WALKER Reply

      Thanks Carl - Pellegrini really does appear to be the man who has everything. A passion aligned to an inner calm and the ability to deal with player's aspirations and frustrations. Trust Our MP - too damn right.

  5. August 21, 2013  9:04 am by Graham Ward Reply

    What an excellent start to the season, together with a surprise, to me, with the immediate return of Sergio Aguero, who scored one of the gems of the night, alongside Yaya Toure.
    If this quality is displayed for the majority of the season, then City fans will be more than satisfied, and we will be in the mix come May.
    Newcastle looked in disarray, and the lead up to the game couldn't have helped. I hope they get themselves sorted out, as they know their football in that part of the world.
    Good luck for the rest of the season, Adam. Maybe a return to RBNR on the 11th of January, David?

    • August 21, 2013  10:49 am by DAVID WALKER Reply

      I hadn't envisaged Sergio starting either - maybe Alan Pardew was similarly bamboozled - but Aguero delivered a top game for an hour and there is every reason to think we could top our PL-winning goal haul this season.

      Yes, there's no reason why Adam should not pop back whenever we hit Toon...for six (metaphorically speaking) in January.

      Great feedback - GRATITUDE.

      • August 21, 2013  4:28 pm by Adam Dunwoodie Reply

        Yes I would love to write for this website again whenever we play your lot. It was great writing experience. By the way Yaya Toure was not pushed he simply dived. Strongest man on pitch and he falls over like a bag of potatoes. He is meant to be your hardman and midfield general but he often goes down at the slightest of challenges.

        • August 21, 2013  8:56 pm by David Walker Reply

          If you fancy it Adam we can renew our literary dealings early in the New Year, but how very dare you cast a shadow of doubt on young Yaya! The impetuosity of youth - you young whippersnapper - stonewall penalty.

          Hope you enjoyed the experience Adam - keep up the scribing.

          • August 22, 2013  9:00 am by Adam Dunwoodie

            Young on not I know a penalty when I see one and it was a clear dive mate. Your lot would be saying the same if Tiote did exactly what Toure did!

  6. August 21, 2013  10:03 am by Andy Devereux Reply

    Excellent read David summed up the evenings entertainment very well as usual. #TrustOurMP

    • August 21, 2013  10:50 am by DAVID WALKER Reply

      Thanks Andy - so many different angles to explore - tricky trigonometry this MCFC reporting lark!

  7. August 21, 2013  10:20 am by Grant Mills Reply

    Great read again. Captured the essence of the game and all that went with it. Hopefully you ll be writing many more like this during 2013-14.

    • August 21, 2013  10:51 am by DAVID WALKER Reply

      Cheers GM - YES I could get very used to writing about 4-0 MCFC wins - CTWD

  8. August 23, 2013  7:57 am by Nev Artingstall Reply

    Analogies had me chuckling David. Top read as always.

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