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Saturday, 24 August, 2002, 13:09 GMT 14:09 UK
Huckerby haunts Magpies
Manchester City's Peter Schmeichel denies Newcastle's Kieron Dyer
Schmeichel had an impressive debut for Man City
Manchester City 1-0 Newcastle United

Manchester City produced a scintillating attacking performance to beat Newcastle as Kevin Keegan's side recorded their first win of the season.

Former Newcastle player Darren Huckerby - who left the club after being sold by the then manager Keegan - got the decisive goal when he headed home after a scramble just before the interval.


Everyone knows Peter Schmeichel is still one of the best goalkeepers in the world
Man City manager Kevin Keegan

As ever City lived dangerously defensively but with Peter Schmeichel making his debut and more importantly some key interventions, Keegan's side held out.

Last weekend, Keegan had lost the battle of former England managers against Leeds as Terry Venables' team romped to a 3-0 win.

  Key moments
37 mins Darren Huckerby heads home to give Man City the lead
78 mins Peter Schmeichel saves superbly from Kieron Dyer

But this time it was Bobby Robson who had to lick his wounds as his team struggled to get to grips with a City side that surged forward at every opportunity.

Newcastle had convincingly beaten West Ham on Monday but Robson's side looked altogether less assured as they struggled to contain City's attacking variety.

Much of that variety last season, as Keegan's side stormed to the First Division title, had been provided by Ali Bernabia, and the former Paris Saint Germain player was once again City's most influential player.

Quick of thought and even fleeter of foot, Bernabia tormented Newcastle with his vision and passing.

The main beneficiary of Bernabia's work was Huckerby and early on the former Newcastle striker was denied twice by Shay Given's alertness and then by Nikos Dabizas, who cleared off the line.

Newcastle's Kieron Dyer tackles Manchester City's Marc-Vivien Foe
Newcastle's main attacking outlet was Kieron Dyer

If City's approach play was a joy to behold, the game's goal could only be described as scrappy.

Shay Given did well to parry Jensen's shot, but as Newcastle scrambled to clear their lines, Huckerby was on hand to nod the ball home.

Huckerby's goal prompted a more vigorous riposte from Newcastle, which was spearheaded by Kieron Dyer.

First after dispossessing Eyal Berkovic the England international released Lomano LuaLua and after Schmeichel had parried the former Colchester striker's shot, Dyer steered his own effort past the post.

That was the first time Schmeichel had really been tested, but soon after his ability to stand up until the last moment proved invaluable when he denied Dyer.

City regrouped and once again Huckerby - roaming across the front line - came close to adding to goal tally.

Jermaine Jenas made a last ditch tackle to deny the City striker and then Given did well to block another Huckerby shot.


Kieron might have had a hat-trick on another day, but Manchester City deserved their win
Newcastle manager Bobby Robson

Immediately after the interval, Distin's misplaced pass let in Dyer, but the England midfielder sent his shot well over the bar.

Just past the hour Schmeichel was again alert when he dived at Jenas' feet to deny the youngster.

And then the former Aston Villa goalkeeper produced the save of the game when he athletically turned round the post Dyer's powerful shot.



Man City: Schmeichel, Sun, Howey, Distin, Wright-Phillips, Foe, Benarbia, Berkovic (Horlock 79), Jensen, Huckerby, Anelka.
Subs Not Used: Nash, Dunne, Tiatto, Goater.

Booked: Distin.

Newcastle: Given, Hughes, Bramble, Dabizas, Bernard (Griffin 57), Solano, Jenas, Dyer, Speed (Viana 73), LuaLua (Ameobi 72), Shearer.
Subs Not Used: Harper, O'Brien.

Booked: Bernard.

Attendance: 34,776

Referee: U Rennie (S Yorkshire).

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's Conor McNamara
"Newcastle's defence looked fragile"
Man City boss Kevin Keegan
"There was some wonderful football"
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