Manchester City break Newcastle unbeaten record

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Manchester City continued their incredible start to the Premier League season with a 3-1 victory over previously unbeaten Newcastle at Eastlands.

The victory gave Roberto Mancini’s side their 11th win from their opening 12 EPL games. With City only dropping points in a draw at Fulham, Mancini’s men have now made the best start to a campaign in English Premier League history.

First half goals from Mario Balotelli and Micah Richards, both the result of errors by defender Ryan Taylor, and a second half penalty from Sergio Aguero also took City’s goals tally to an impressive 42 from their dozen league matches, before a consolation for substitute Dan Gosling. City were required to survive a couple of first half scares from an able Newcastle side but they had the points secured before the interval with two goals in four minutes.

Only five minutes of the half remained when Balotelli’s goalbound shot struck the arm of Taylor and referee Chris Foy correctly pointed to the spot.

Balotelli himself strode up and nonchalantly rolled the penalty into the bottom right hand corner of the Newcastle net for his sixth league goal of the campaign.

That may have been harsh on the visitors, who had impressed to that point, but Newcastle only had themselves to blame when City doubled the lead.

Samir Nasri and Yaya Toure exchanged passes in midfield before the former slipped a pass towards Richards.

Taylor was again to blame as failed to make the clearance and only succeeded in bouncing the ball against the City full-back, who showed great poise to fire an unstoppable left-foot finish past Tim Krul.

City had taken their time to hit their stride against a Newcastle defence which came into the game with the best record in the Premier League.

They might have breached the Magpies’ defences at the midpoint of the first half when Toure fed Aguero, who turned sharply only to shoot high over the bar.

Then Gael Clichy’s left-wing cross was met by a Richards’ header that forced Ryan Taylor and Fabricio Coloccini into emergency clearing duties.

Just before the half-hour it looked like City would take the lead as Balotelli’s six-yard header, from James Milner cross, forced Krul into a fingertip save over his cross-bar.

But the visitors showed the confidence and self-belief that their own impressive opening to the campaign has generated and a telling pass from Hatem Ben Arfa played in Demba Ba whose shot drew a superb save from Joe Hart.

Shortly afterwards, Yohan Cabaye’s corner found the head of Ba, who should have done better with an effort he steered the wrong side of the post, a miss that would prove especially costly as City’s goals soon followed.

The pressure from the home team continued after the restart, a great pass from Nasri sending Aguero sprinting to the by-line where he pulled the ball back across goal, forcing Steven Taylor into a desperate clearance.

Any chance of an unlikely fightback was removed on 71 minutes when the impressive Richards cut powerfully into the Newcastle area from a David Silva pass on the right wing and was brought down by Ben Arfa.

With Balotelli having been substituted, Aguero was handed the task of beating Krul from the penalty spot, one he easily accepted.

Gosling converted into an open goal in the final minute after Hart had saved from Ba following a deflected through ball from James Perch.

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