Match Analysis: Newcastle United 0-2 Manchester City

Newcastle player Mike Williamson challenges Stevan Jovetic during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Manchester City at St James' Park on August 17, 2014
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Sports Mole takes a closer look at Manchester City's 2-0 win at Newcastle in the Premier League.

Manchester City got the defence of their Premier League title underway on Sunday with a hard-earned 2-0 victory away to Newcastle United.

The champions made the breakthrough on 38 minutes when David Silva linked with Edin Dzeko before firing past Tim Krul.

City then sealed the points in stoppage time as Sergio Aguero came off the bench to find the net with a composed finish.

Here, Sports Mole takes a closer look at the action between the two teams at St James' Park.

Match statistics

Shots: 12
On target: 0
Possession: 45%
Corners: 3
Fouls: 8

Man City
Shots: 13
On target: 5
Possession: 55%
Corners: 3
Fouls: 11

Was the result fair?

It could be argued that Newcastle deserved to come away with a point, though their lack of finishing proved detrimental to their cause in the end. City did not always have things their own way, but they did just about enough to earn the victory.

Newcastle's performance

Alan Pardew can take plenty of encouragement from his team's display as they pushed City hard for much of the 90 minutes. The Magpies showed lots of energy in midfield, with Remy Cabella looking like a constant threat out wide. However, they frequently let themselves down up front thanks to some woeful finishing.

The hosts created a dozen chances, but not a single one of them was on target. Debutant Emmanuel Riviere was the main culprit, shooting wayward on more than one occasion. That said, this was a performance that should have the Geordie faithful excited about the season ahead.

Man City's performance

There is no doubting that this was a sluggish start from the champions, but they managed to get over the line in the end. Manuel Pellegrini's side allowed Newcastle to create far too many opportunities in the final third, while they also struggled to keep the home team at bay at times in the midfield.

However, there was also plenty to be happy with from a City perspective, most notably their ruthlessness in attack. Despite having as many chances as their opponents, it was the visitors who proved to be more clinical by the end of the match. No real drama for the champions, just three well-earned points.

Sports Mole's man of the match

David Silva:

The diminutive Spaniard was at the heart of Manchester City's best attacking moves, pulling the strings in that role behind Edin Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic. He also took his goal well, showing great composure inside the box to fire the ball under Tim Krul. If he performs this season like he did during the last campaign, City will be challenging for a third title in four years.

Biggest gaffe

Remy Cabella's haircut aside, Joe Hart almost gifted Newcastle a goal in the second half when he got nowhere near a cross from the right. Luckily for the City goalkeeper, Paul Dummett headed over the crossbar.

Referee performance

Martin Atkinson did not mess around during what was sometimes a scrappy contest between the teams, brandishing a total of six yellow cards at full time. Other than that, the official put in a solid performance out in the middle, doing his best to let the game flow.

What next?

Newcastle: The Magpies play their first away game of the season on Saturday with a trip to Aston Villa.

Man City: The champions continue the defence of their title next Monday when they welcome Liverpool to the Etihad Stadium.

Man City's Joe Hart in action against Viktoria Plzen during their Champions League group match on November 27, 2013
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