Johnson strike gives City three points

Manchester City 2 Newcastle 1

Adam Johnson was an instant hit for Manchester City at Eastlands.

Three minutes after being introduced into a fractious encounter that was scarred at the start when Hatem Ben Arfa suffered a suspected broken leg, Johnson provided a moment of magic to turn the contest his side's way.

Collecting James Milner's square pass, Johnson wriggled between Jose Enrique and Joey Barton before rifling a precise shot past Tim Krul.

It was harsh luck on the Magpies, who responded superbly to the loss of Ben Arfa and debatable penalty from Carlos Tevez and seemed good value for a point once Jonas Gutierrez had levelled.

But Johnson had other ideas as he kept City's multi-million pound bandwagon rolling, even if manager Roberto Mancini continues to insist the Premier League title is out of reach.

The combustible presence of Joey Barton at City for the first time since his acrimonious departure three years ago meant the touchpaper for this encounter would not require much burning.

Barton's crime sheet from his time with the Blues includes sticking a cigar into a young team-mate's eye during a Christmas party and a training ground challenge on Ousmane Dabo which led to some fairly gruesome pictures of the Frenchman coming to light.

Yet the foul which brought this contest to boiling point had nothing to do with the combative midfielder.

De Jong is a successor in more ways than one. Infinitely more talented that Barton but equally fiery in his approach.

That referee Martin Atkinson did not view De Jong's challenge on Ben Arfa to even warrant a foul was a surprise.

In winning the ball, De Jong was taking his opponent as well. Ben Arfa's left leg buckled and, as has happened too often already this season, oxygen was called for as the first stage to treating a break that will rule the young Frenchman out for an extended period.

That Newcastle should then fall behind to a debatable penalty only fuelled their sense of grievance.

Mike Williamson was adamant he took the ball as he slid in on Tevez.

He was coming from the back as well though and once Atkinson deemed it a penalty, the shock then was that when the red card seemed automatic, he produced a yellow instead.

Tevez exacted further punishment though, drilling the spot-kick into the middle of the Newcastle net.

The way things had gone, it seemed the visitors would collapse.

Instead, their response was admirable, made even more so as Chris Hughton had to call for the 36-year-old legs of Sol Campbell after Fabricio Coloccini had suffered a groin injury.

By then the Magpies were level thanks to Gutierrez's moment of inspiration.

Vincent Kompany must have thought he had done well when he made an acrobatic half-cleared on Gutierrez's cross.

Instead, he was merely teeing up the Argentina star, who failed to score during that disastrous first Premier League season at St James' Park, but did so brilliantly here, controlling the loose ball before rasping a shot beyond Joe Hart.

Although Newcastle could never claim to be dominating, it said much for their efforts that Roberto Mancini turned to Emmanuel Adebayor for some inspiration just 10 minutes after the restart.

Yaya Toure had set Tevez up for an angled effort which brought an excellent save from Krul but it was part of a minimal contribution from the Ivorian, who was the man sacrificed for Adebayor's greater attacking power.

The African's impact was disappointing though, certainly compared to that of Johnson, who was celebrating within three minutes of his introduction for Gareth Barry.

Mancini has delivered a number of warnings to the winger recently, which he insists are merely reminders of what it takes to reach the top but, as they have come with the addition slap of being left out, hint at something more concrete.

Newcastle were convinced they should have been presented with the opportunity to level from the spot when Joleon Lescott took down Shola Ameobi with a rather rash challenge.

Atkinson thought otherwise and when Mike Williamson headed Barton's corner over from close range, the Magpies' last chance of stealing a point disappeared with it.

News
Russell Brand was in typically combative form during his promotional interview with Newsnight's Evan Davis
peopleReports that Brand could stand for Mayor on an 'anti-politics' ticket
News
The clocks go forward an hour at 1am on Sunday 30 March
news
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor finds himself in a forest version of London in Doctor Who episode 'In the Forest of the Night'
TVReview: Is the Doctor ever going stop frowning? Apparently not.
News
Voluminous silk drawers were worn by Queen Victoria
newsThe silk underwear is part of a growing trade in celebrity smalls
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
footballMatch report: Real fight back to ruin Argentinian's debut
News
Candidates with surnames that start with an A have an electoral advantage
newsVoters are biased towards names with letters near start of alphabet
Arts and Entertainment
Isis with Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville)
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jay James
TVReview: Performances were stale and cheesier than a chunk of Blue Stilton left out for a month
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker