Newcastle United vs Manchester City match report: David Silva and Sergio Aguero get the champions off to winning start

Newcastle United 0 Manchester City 2

St James' Park

The champions of England will have more memorable days than these over the next nine months, and Manuel Pellegrini’s team will have to play better over the course of the season if they are to fulfil all the targets that their ambitious masters in Abu Dhabi have in mind. But if this was Manchester City simply getting started, they will be formidable once they hit their stride.

Newcastle vs Man City - as it happened

Sergio Aguero, on as a substitute, closed the argument in injury-time with a second goal for Pellegrini’s side as Newcastle pressed for an equaliser. There are 37 games left and tomorrow night, Chelsea, most people’s idea of City’s nearest contenders have their first match of the season. Yet, three points away at St James’ Park is no bad first day launch-pad for any team.

The threat that there was in Newcastle’s new-look team was gradually extinguished by City who look now like the kind of side - and the kind of club - that are comfortable in their position at the head of the elite. When there was danger, Vincent Kompany and Martin Demichelis were superb, especially a block late on by the City captain when the Newcastle substitute Ayoze Perez had a sight of goal.

In the Premier League era, the champions have never lost on the first day of the following season, and from the moment that David Silva scored his team’s first on 38 minutes it never looked as if City were in any danger of defeat. That was not to say that Newcastle were poor, they had two periods at the start and then at the end of the second half when they created chances but it takes a lot to place City under the kind of pressure that might break them.

Pellegrini selected Joe Hart in goal ahead of Willy Caballero, and there were not many moments when the City goalkeeper found himself tested. The new signing Fernando, £12m from Porto, looked accomplished in midfield, another giant to go alongside Yaya Toure. Some of Newcastle’s new signings showed some promise too, but it gets no harder than trying to break down the reigning champions.

 

Newcastle had four newly-acquired players in their starting XI and St James’ Park was given its first opportunity to admire the swooping undulations of Remy Cabella’s quiff-mohican. The signing from Montpellier was the pick of the new boys, along with Jack Colback, a local lad on his competitive debut having crossed the divide from Sunderland. The chance Cabella created for Moussa Sissoko in the 90th-minute was arguably the best for the home side.

That was before Aguero’s goal. City’s first had arrived seven minutes before the break and spoiling all the momentum that Alan Pardew’s team had built up to that point. Their two supporters killed in the MH-17 flight, John Alder and Liam Sweeney, were remembered with a touching pre-match presentation to the families from both captains and representatives of Sunderland. Then the silence came to an end, the flowers were removed and the roar signalled another nine months in the tumultuous life of Newcastle.

In spite of the changes to Pardew’s side, they looked quite well-organised with Vurnon Anita working in front of the defence and Colback and the impressive Sissoko operating in the centre. Cabella looked like he was capable of all sorts of trickery but he kept it low-key in the first half, his best moment a ball through the City defence for Emmanuel Riviere to run onto.

The striker signed from Monaco failed to hit the target on that occasion, amid a first half where not much he attempted worked out. There was one excellent touch to kill the ball on the right side and, having given himself a run at goal, he elected for a daft strike from too far out. It ended up the kind of shot goalkeepers need only trap with their foot.

Sergio Aguero makes it 2-0 to Manchester City Sergio Aguero makes it 2-0 to Manchester City As or City, they created an excellent opening for Edin Dzeko on four minutes from Stevan Jovetic’s pass but he seemed unprepared and hit his shot straight at Tim Krul. They had to wait more than 30 minutes for the next decent opening. This was made by Toure’s ball forward and a fine back heel first time from Dzeko which afforded Silva two touches with his left foot – one to control and one to shoot past Krul.

Newcastle had opportunities through Yoan Gouffran and a Cabella shot that went over the bar at the start of the second half. At the end they came strong again, but it was Aguero who prevailed, holding off Fabricio Coloccini once to hit a left foot shot and then, when Krul saved, to pick himself up and score the rebound first time with his right. The challenge is now for Chelsea to match them tomorrow night.

Newcastle (4-1-4-1): Krul; Janmaat, Williamson, Coloccini, Dummett; Anita (Obertan, 63); Gouffran (Aarons, 74), Sissoko, Colback, Cabella; Riviere (Perez, 84).

Substitutes not used: Elliot (gk), Haidara, Taylor, Abeid.

Manchester City (4-2-3-1): Hart; Clichy, Kompany, Demichelis, Kolarov; Fernando, Toure; Nasri (Milner, 78), Dzeko (Aguero, 82), Silva; Jovetic (Fernandinho, 72).

Substitutes not used: Zabaleta, Caballero (gk), Navas, Boyata.

Referee: M Atkinson

Booked: Newcastle Janmaat. Manchester City Silva, Demichelis, Kolarov, Kompany, Fernando

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Life and Style
techApple has just launched its latest mobile operating software – so what should you do first?
Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC
tv

Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason

Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Actor and director Zach Braff
tv

Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Arts and Entertainment
tv

Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife
film

Matt Smith is set to join cast of the Jane Austen classic - with a twist

Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmWhat makes the little man tick?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Sport
Cesc Fabregas celebrates his first Chelsea goal
footballChelsea vs Schalke match report
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes hobby look 'dysfunctional'
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

News
i100
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

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week