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Live Commentary: Manchester City 4-0 Newcastle United - as it happened

Sports Mole's minute-by-minute report of Manchester City's 4-0 win at home to Newcastle United in the Premier League.
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Manchester City knew that Saturday's Premier League encounter with Newcastle United was a must-win game following Manchester United's victory at Sunderland earlier in the day.

It took the champions a while to get going, but goals from Carlos Tevez and David Silva put the hosts in control at half time.

Further strikes from Vincent Kompany and Yaya Toure after the break wrapped up the win as City restored the 15-point gap between themselves and league leaders United.

Read Sports Mole's minute-by-minute report below to find out how the action unfolded at the Etihad Stadium.


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Hello there and welcome to Sports Mole's live text coverage of this afternoon's Premier League clash between Manchester City and Newcastle United at the Etihad Stadium.

As it stands, champions City are 18 points behind leaders Manchester United with Sir Alex Ferguson's side currently leading Sunderland 1-0 at the Stadium of Light. This is a must-win game for the defending champions if ever there was one.

The City team news is in and Vincent Kompany makes his first start for two months...

MAN CITY: Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy; Yaya Toure, Barry, Nasri, Silva; Tevez, Dzeko

The home side make four changes in total as Kompany, Joleon Lescott, Gael Clichy and Yaya Toure are all handed starts by Roberto Mancini.

The return of Kompany is certainly a huge boost for City, but so is the inclusion of Yaya Toure. The midfielder's future has been in some doubt in recent weeks, but he remains an integral part of the champions.

NEWCASTLE: Elliot; Simpson, S Taylor, Yanga-Mbiwa, Gutierrez; Anita, Cabaye; Obertan, Sissoko, Gouffran; Cisse

Today's visitors have something of an injury crisis at the moment as they are forced to make four changes. Jonas Gutierrez will be utilised at full-back for the match, while Danny Simpson and Vurnon Anita also come in. The good news for Newcastle is that Yohan Cabaye is back in the starting XI.

MAN CITY SUBS: Pantilimon, K Toure, Kolarov, Garcia, Milner, Sinclair, Aguero

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NEWCASTLE SUBS: Harper, Good, Perch, Bigirimana, Gosling, Marveaux, Campbell

Manchester United still lead Sunderland 1-0 with around 25 minutes to go at the Stadium of Light and we will bring you any developments from that game.

Anyway, back to this one. The history books make grim reading for Newcastle when it comes to their form on City's patch. The Magpies' last victory came 13 years ago, while their last point came in a 0-0 draw back in 2006.

City picked up a 3-1 victory in this fixture last season on their way to winning the Premier League title.

As for this season, goals from Sergio Aguero, Javi Garcia and Yaya Toure earned the champions a 3-1 triumph at St James' Park back in December.

All in all, it will be a big shock if Newcastle can pull off a result at the Etihad Stadium this afternoon.

That said, City's league form has been patchy as of late. Mancini's men have dropped 10 points from the last 18 on offer, leaving them with a flimsy grasp on their title.

City will be looking to get back to winning ways today after losing 2-0 at Everton two weeks ago. It hasn't been the happiest of international breaks for the Blues, but their players will be desperate to get out on that pitch today and right that wrong.

UPDATE: The full-time whistle has gone at the Stadium of Light and Manchester United have moved 18 points clear of City with a 1-0 win over Sunderland. Robin van Persie got the goal, though it might go down as an own goal by Titus Bramble.

If Manchester City needed to win today's match before that result came through then they REALLY need to win it now.

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Despite United's dominance at the top of the table, they won't be able to officially win the league when they host City at Old Trafford on Monday week. A relief to Blues fans, I'm sure.

So then, how do we see today's match going? Newcastle's recent record against Manchester City suggests that today's hosts will stroll to a comfortable win in this one. Despite City's recent form, the champions should close Manchester United's gap at the top of the table back to 15 points.

The players are just starting to trickle out from their respective changing rooms. This one is just minutes away...

Here come both sets of players then, making their way out of the tunnel to a somewhat subdued Etihad Stadium.

Right then, the pre-match pleasantries are done and it will be City to get us underway...

The home side have looked very comfortable in these opening couple of minutes. Newcastle are sitting pretty deep.

It's been a positive start for City, but they haven't created an proper chances as of yet. Newcastle still happy to defend for now.

CHANCE! The first real opportunity comes City's way as Nasri plays a wonderful ball into the penalty area, but Dzeko, lurking around the six-yard box, just can't get to it.

CHANCE! Another opening falls City's way as Dzeko's shot/cross forces a low save from Elliott. The goalkeeper had to be alert there as Tevez was waiting to pick up any scraps.

A moment of panic there for City with Hart's clearance only finding Sissoko. The Newcastle midfielder tries to pick out Cisse, but he is dispossessed at the vital moment.

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The visitors have rarely threatened here, but City will not want to gift Cisse any chances in attack.

The hosts are starting to crank up the pressure a bit here. They have one corner cleared before Elliott just about deals with a whipped free kick from Nasri.

Hart has to be quick off his line as Cisse chases down Sissoko's long ball. A moment's hesitation there from the goalkeeper and Cisse would have been in. The Senegalese remains a danger in attack as City push forward.

Roberto Mancini is currently prowling the touchline. He doesn't look to enthralled with what he's seen and rightly so. It's not been the best opening 20 minutes.

OFF THE POST! Newcastle nearly take the lead through Cisse with their first chance of the game! A long, diagonal ball finds the striker at the back post and his volley from the most awkward of angles comes back off the woodwork.

MISS! Oh, Gareth Barry. City really should be in the lead, but the midfielder somehow fires over from close range after good work from Nasri down the right side. He had the goal at his mercy. Anyway, this one has livened up a bit now.

The City fans have pepped up slightly since that chance for Barry, but there's still a flat atmosphere inside the Etihad Stadium.

CLOSE! Silva comes to within inches of breaking the deadlock as his free kick curls narrowly wide of Elliott's post. The Newcastle goalkeeper then takes his time with the resulting goal kick (not for the first time this afternoon) and the City fans voice their anger.

City shout handball inside the Newcastle area, but nothing is given. Taylor certainly leaned into Barry's shot, although it would have been harsh if a penalty was awarded. Meanwhile, the visitors break at the other end, only for Obertan to lose possession.

Ten minutes of normal time left to play in this half and it's still goalless between the two sides. The few chances that City have had have been better than Newcastle's, but the visitors continue to look threatening on the break.

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CHANCE! Elliott stands tall and keeps out Clichy's fierce effort at the near post. the goalkeeper then gets a talking to from the referee as he does his time-wasting routine once more.

DISALLOWED GOAL! The Etihad Stadium erupts, but Silva's goal is correctly chalked off for offside. The Spaniard was a good few yards behind the last defender when he picked up the ball in the area and slotted past Elliott.

GOAL! MAN CITY 1-0 NEWCASTLE (Tevez)

This one will count for City as Carlos Tevez pounces in the box from close range! Clichy whipped in a delicious ball from the left side and the Argentine striker was there to beat the defender and slide in to score from all of two yards.

Tevez comes close to getting a second almost instantly as his 25-yard drive flashes wide of the Newcastle goal.

The fourth official indicates a minimum of two minutes additional time at the end of this half...

SAVE! Wonderful reflexes from Elliott to deny Dzeko. The City striker's effort from inside the box was creeping into the top corner, but the goalkeeper got his fingertips to it to push it away.

GOAL! MAN CITY 2-0 NEWCASTLE (Silva)

And that's probably game over. David Silva collects the ball inside the area and he rifles the ball past Elliott on the angle. The Newcastle goalkeeper had no chance of keeping that bullet out.

HALF TIME: MAN CITY 2-0 NEWCASTLE

There goes the half-time whistle and Manchester City have a 2-0 lead over Newcastle United at the break. It wasn't the most convincing display from the champions in that opening 45 minutes, but they deserve their lead.

It took City a while to get going, but two goals at the end of the first half have put them in firm control of this match. Newcastle haven't been passive bystanders by any means though - they've threatened on the break and if they keep things tight at the start of the second half then who knows - but the home side are on course for the three points.

There are five other Premier League fixtures currently being played so here come the half-time scores...

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PREMIER LEAGUE HALF-TIME SCORES:

Arsenal 1-0 Reading
Southampton 2-1 Chelsea
Swansea 0-2 Tottenham
West Ham 2-0 West Brom
Wigan 0-0 Norwich


Today's early kickoff saw Manchester United extend their lead to 18 points with a narrow 1-0 win at Sunderland. Robin van Persie got the goal, although there are some claims that it could go down as a Titus Bramble own goal. Despite United's victory, a win for City today will cut that gap back to 15 points.

Both sets of players are out for the second half and it looks like we have a change for Newcastle as James Perch comes on for Gabriel Obertan.

Not a bad start to the second half for Newcastle as they pish forward early. There's a handball shout as the ball strikes Zabaleta, but the referee correctly waves play on.

CHANCE! Great opportunity for Newcastle to get back in this one. The ball breaks for Cabaye in the area and his first-time effort flashes narrowly wide.

WHOOSH! Cabaye tries his luck again from about 30 yards, but the ball flies well over the crossbar. However, the Magpies are looking like a different side to the one in the first half.

While Elliott was taking his sweet time over goal kicks in the opening 45 minutes, he's doing anything but that now. The Newcastle goalkeeper is getting on with things at a brisk pace as his side find themselves 2-0 down.

GOAL! MAN CITY 3-0 NEWCASTLE (Kompany)

Vincent Kompany marks his return to the City side with a goal and an opportunistic one at that. Barry's shot from 25 yards looks to be going well wide, but the skipper is there to divert the ball into the net. It's a long way back for Newcastle now.

You have to hand it to the Newcastle fans. Their side trails 3-0 but they're still in fine voice, shirts off and all.

Wonderful play from Yaya Toure as he shrugs off a couple of defenders before finding Tevez. The striker tries an ambitious drive from about 30 yards, which is blocked.

Newcastle make their second switch as Dan Gosling replaces Yoan Gouffran.

Both sides are very much going through the motions now. If anything, Newcastle will want to avoid conceding any more because it could become embarrassing.

GOAL! MAN CITY 4-0 NEWCASTLE (Yaya Toure)

Sheer brute force from Yaya Toure as he powers into the penalty are before smashing the ball past Elliott at his near post.

SUBSTITUTION: City make their first swap of the afternoon with Sergio Aguero replacing Samir Nasri. Not a bad state of affairs if you can bring the Argentine on when you're 4-0 up.

SUBSTITUTIONS: Here comes a second change for City as Javi Garcia comes on for Vincent Kompany. Meanwhile, Yohan Cabaye is off for Gael Bigirimana.

A big cheer from the Manchester City fans as Joleon Lescott shows some rare skills in the final third of the pitch against a couple of Newcastle defenders. The centre-back had the feet of a ballerina for a moment there.

SAVE! Hart is called into a rare save as he gets down low to hold onto Gosling's effort. Newcastle had men queuing up in the area there, but it was the midfielder who decided to have a crack at goal.

SAVE! Hart is called into a rare save as he gets down low to hold onto Gosling's effort. Newcastle had men queuing up in the area there, but it was the midfielder who decided to have a crack at goal.

City make their final change with David Silva coming off for Scott Sinclair. The Spaniard looks to have taken a knock on his ankle and Roberto Mancini does not want to risk him for the final seven minutes.

SAVE! Sinclair nearly makes an instant impact as his curler forces Elliott into an acrobatic save. What an introduction that would have been for the winger.

City want a penalty as Yaya Toure is tripped on the edge of the area, but the referee gives offside instead. Toure made a typically marauding run towards goal before the ball fell to Dzeko in the offside position. A bit of a strange decision considering the foul came before Dzeko got the ball.

There will be two minutes of added time...

FULL TIME: MAN CITY 4-0 NEWCASTLE

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The full-time whistle goes and Manchester City have cut Manchester United's lead at the top of the table back to 15 points with a 4-0 win over Newcastle United. It took the champions a while to get going, but once they did it was a comfortable victory against the struggling Magpies.

Anyway, that's all from me for now but don't forget that you can keep up to date with all of the day's football action, reaction and analysis right here on Sports Mole. Thanks for joining us and goodbye!

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Manchester City's Carlos Tevez celebrates scoring his hat trick in his side's FA Cup match with Barnsley on March 9, 2013
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Chelsea97112332022
2Liverpool96302762121
3Manchester CityMan City96212041620
4West Ham UnitedWest Ham95221610617
5Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton943299015
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs9504913-415
7Manchester UnitedMan Utd94231615114
8Everton94231514114
9Leicester CityLeicester94231515014
10Arsenal94231013-314
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves941499013
12Brentford9333119212
13Aston Villa93151315-210
14Watford93151217-510
15Crystal Palace91621114-39
16Southampton9153812-48
17Leeds UnitedLeeds9144816-87
18Burnley9045715-84
19Newcastle UnitedNewcastle90451120-94
20Norwich CityNorwich9027223-212

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