Carlos Tevez keeps Man City’s title bid on track

Posted on by SoccerPunter

Carlos Tevez was Manchester City’s inspiration once again as they moved up into second place in the Premier League table with a 3-1 win away to Newcastle at St James’ Park on Sunday.

Tevez scored twice and set up another for Gareth Barry as Roberto Mancini’s team chalked up their sixth away success of the season.

Newcastle did briefly threaten to upset City when Andy Carroll scored in the second-half, but their fate was effectively sealed within the opening five minutes as City scored twice, with Tevez involved on both occasions.

The Argentina international, who only recently rescinded a transfer request that threatened to throw City into turmoil, created the first when he beat former City player Joey Barton to goalkeeper Tim Krul’s misjudged clearance and then set up Barry for a crisp finish into the far corner.

City’s opener came after just 72 seconds and the next goal arrived with a little over four minutes gone as Tevez stetched to divert a cross from James Milner – a sweet moment for the England international against his former club, whose fans gave him a rough reception.

Newcastle’s defence was opened up twice in quick succession after manager Alan Pardew was confronted with his first difficult decision since taking over from Chris Hughton.

Centre-halves Mike Williamson and Fabricio Coloccini were both available again after suspensions, but only Colccini regained his place as Pardew preferred to keep Steven Taylor alongside the Argentine international.

City, unbeaten in their last eight league games against Newcastle, could afford to leave out players such as Adam Johnson, Mario Balotelli, Jo and Pablo Zabaleta, who have played crucial roles in recent weeks.

So it was a satisfying start for Mancini, although he soon discovered that even two early goals were not sufficient to destroy the spirit of this Newcastle team.

The Magpies should have pulled a goal back after only six minutes when Carroll rose well to meet a cross from Wayne Routledge, but powered it straight at England goalkeeper Joe Hart.

Carroll’s strength in the air also created a first-half opportunity for skipper Kevin Nolan, but he was unable to get a decisive touch when only 10 yards out in the 16th minute.

The chances soon dried up, though, as City showed why they went into the game with the best away record in the Premier League.

Their midfield was industrious, a reshaped defence settled down and Tevez was always a threat.

It was an indication of Newcastle’s resolve that they matched City for the rest of the first half after a dreadful start, although City almost added a third goal when Aleksander Kolarov drove just over the bar.

City looked to be on their way to a routine win until Carroll was left unmarked and headed in Barton’s corner in the 72nd minute.

City were rocking and almost conceded another when Hart failed to reach a cross and Nile Ranger’s header drifted wide.

Then Nolan should have scored just a minute before Tevez had the final word with an 81st minute goal that went in after his shot was deflected off Coloccini.

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