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BBC Sport's John Murray
"This is the sort of result Man City had to produce"
 real 14k

Man City boss Joe Royle
"I'm aware that people will say Newcastle didn't play well"
 real 14k

Saturday, 24 February, 2001, 14:42 GMT
Man City ruin Shearer comeback
Danny Granville Shola Ameobi and Tony Grant
Man City had not won a Premiership match since Dec 6
Newcastle 0-1 Manchester City

Manchester City snatched a vital three points at St James' Park to record their first Premiership win for 11 weeks.

Shaun Goater's lone strike, his seventh of the season, overshadowed the return of former England captain Alan Shearer from a two-month lay-off.

Shearer was starved of any meaningful chance to score.

But the fact he lasted 90 minutes will at least give Bobby Robson some crumb of comfort.


We're a broken outfit - I'm not running a football club I'm just solving injury problems to try and get a team out on the pitch
  Newcastle boss Bobby Robson

Instead it was City who stole the headlines and they now close the gap on fellow relegation-battlers Middlesbrough to just one point.

Shearer muscled and bustled his way around the Manchester City box in his usual manner but looked as sluggish off the mark as one might expect.

With his lay-offs and positional sense he showed the touches of class which saw him score 39 goals last season before his knee problem returned.

But his sole sniff of a goal, a far-post header, was from too acute an angle to really trouble England hopeful Nicky Weaver.

  Match action
10 mins: Hughes just does enough to prevent Goater from slotting a Kanchelskis cross
14 mins: Wayne Quinn fires a left-footed free-kick into the side-netting
19 mins: Ameobi's shot is well-held after good work down the Newcastle right flank
21 mins: A vintage Shearer header is too close to Weaver
29 mins: Kanchelskis holds the ball up well but Tiatto blasts his drive over the bar
38 mins: Shearer sets up Gallacher but he fluffs the shot
42 mins: Haaland fails to hit the target from ten yards
53 mins: Huckerby has a penalty claim turned down
59 mins: Acuna races in to meet a Shearer cross but heads just over
63 mins: Goater gives City the lead
70 mins: Barton, Glass and Lua-Lua replace Acuna, Ameobi and Gallacher

Shearer's simple, teasing cross on the hour mark produced Newcastle's best opportunity.

Acuna arrived at pace to meet it at the far post but it flew off his head over the bar while he crashed into the woodwork.

St James' Park's other golden boy, Kieron Dyer, looked a handful in the opening half but he was overshadowed by City's own pint-sized dynamo, Danny Tiatto.

The former Stoke wing-back was playing in a more advanced role than usual but he gave City a needed bite in midfield.

Tiatto's muscle was matched by the creativity of Andrei Kanchelskis.

He had set up a decent City chance as early as the 10th minute, Goater sliding in to meet his low cross under pressure from Aaron Hughes.

And the pairing teamed up again to give City the lead in the 60th minute.

Kanchelskis latched onto a loose ball on the half-way line and threaded a perfectly weighted pass forward for Goater.


I think we're too good to go down - I don't think we're amongst the worst three in the division but only results will prove me right
  Man City boss Joe Royle

The Bermudan striker was onto it in a flash, picking his spot in the far-left corner of Shay Given's net.

It was his first goal since City's last Premiership victory, a 5-0 demolition of Everton in the first week of December.

Huckerby had a chance to put the game beyond Newcastle's reach five minutes later but it trickled two yards wide from eight yards out.

In the final seconds substitute Warren Barton could have equalised but his shot was deflected over the bar.


Newcastle: Given, Goma, Griffin, Hughes, Acuna, Dyer, Quinn, Solano, Ameobi, Shearer, Gallacher. Subs: Harper, Barton, Glass, Cordone, Lua-Lua.

Man City: Weaver, Wiekens, Dunne, Howey, Tiatto, Granville, Grant, Kanchelskis, Haaland, Huckerby, Goater. Subs: Nash, Charvet, Prior, Whitley, Ostenstad.

Referee: R Harris (Oxford)

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