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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 January 2008, 21:43 GMT
Newcastle 0-2 Man City
By Chris Bevan

City celebrate after Gelson scores their second goal
City celebrate after Gelson scores their second goal
Manchester City moved up to fourth in the table after beating Newcastle for their first away Premier League win since the opening day of the season.

Newcastle had the best early chances with Joe Hart saving from Habib Beye, Charles N'Zogbia and Obafemi Martins.

But City took the lead with Elano's precise shot into the bottom corner.

Hart had to deny Michael Owen, who ran clear immediately after coming off the bench, but Gelson Fernandes rounded off a neat move to seal victory for City.

Just as in their defeat against Chelsea on Saturday, Newcastle could claim they deserved better from this match but, again, that will not help Magpies boss Sam Allardyce who, despite the reassurances of club owner Mike Ashley, will remain under pressure until his side start winning.


City had also been without a win in their previous three games, but the trio of draws they managed points to a growing resilience, even when they are not in full flow.

Led by the impressive Richard Dunne, Sven-Goran Eriksson's defended well again in the early stages here, and were grateful to Hart when their back-line was breached.

Hart did well to keep out Beye's header from N'Zogbia's corner and then recovered to block a follow-up shot from the Senegal defender.

The England Under-21 keeper also got across well to keep out Martins' shot and kept out N'Zogbia's shot after a mazy run had taken him into the box.

Apart from Dunne, the best outfield players on the park were both left-sided with N'Zogbia and City's Martin Petrov causing havoc.

Petrov brought a flying save from Shay Given after cutting in from the flank as City came into the game for the first time but it was still something of a surprise when the visitors took the lead just before half-time.

Darius Vassell and Stephen Ireland combined to create space on the edge of the area for Elano and he finished superbly, curling his shot past Given's despairing dive.

Allardyce's response was to bring on Owen at half-time and the substitution almost paid off instantly.

Man City captain Richard Dunne was again in impressive form
Man City captain Richard Dunne was again in impressive form

N'Zogbia's pass split the City defence and found Owen on the edge of the area but he could not find a way past Hart, who stretched out a leg to deflect the ball wide.

It was a great chance that should have been the start of some concerted pressure by the home side but instead they floundered.

City were still being forced to defend but Hart was more of a spectator now following his earlier heroics and an equaliser looked unlikely.

Instead it was City who wrapped things up with Gelson's goal on 76 minutes.

Vedran Corluka pumped the ball up to Kelvin Etuhu and he laid it off for the Swiss midfielder to smash the ball past Given.

That was the cue for Newcastle's fans to begin to leave St James' Park and, although Nicky Butt did force another flying save from Hart, there was nothing in the closing minutes to make them return to their seats.

After three successive defeats, the Magpies' next game is a tough looking trip to Stoke in the FA Cup on Saturday and Allardyce will be aware he is running out of time to show he is the right man for the Newcastle hot-seat.

  • Newcastle boss Sam Allardyce:
    "The pressure mounts because we have lost a game that we should not have done.

    "A team like Newcastle should not lose three on a trot and it is a low moment.

    "But we have to believe that, with the way we played against City, we will get out of this slump and we will start on Saturday against Stoke in the FA Cup."

  • Manchester City manager Sven-Goran Eriksson:
    "We played very well defensively and on the counter-attack too.

    "We scored two very good goals - both were beautifully set up.

    "Of course I am very happy - it has been a long time since we last won a game away from home and it is a very nice way to start 2008.

    Newcastle: Given, Beye, Taylor, Cacapa, N'Zogbia, Milner, Butt, Faye (Emre 73), Duff (Jose Enrique 64), Viduka, Martins (Owen 46).
    Subs Not Used: Harper, Rozehnal.

    Man City: Hart, Onuoha, Richards, Dunne, Ball, Ireland (Gelson 75), Hamann, Elano (Etuhu 71), Corluka, Petrov, Vassell (Bianchi 88).
    Subs Not Used: Isaksson, Garrido.

    Booked: Elano, Vassell, Gelson.

    Goals: Elano 38, Gelson 76.

    Att: 50,956

    Ref: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire).

    BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Manchester City's Richard Dunne 7.34 (on 90 minutes).

  • Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.

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