Scroll to Photostream above left to view match photos; click on the Statistics tab for match stats. Full report and manager reactions below
Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany was among the scorers as his team recorded their biggest Barclays Premier League win since November. Carlos Tevez, David Silva and Yaya Toure were also on target against a Newcastle United side who remain a little too close to the drop zone for comfort.
On a day when local rivals Manchester United temporarily went 18 points clear at the top of the table, the match started quietly for both sides. It clicked into gear thanks to a rare visitors' attack. Vurnon Anita dropped a superb cross-field pass perfectly into the path of Papiss Cisse, whose first-time effort was well saved at his near post by Joe Hart.
Within minutes Gareth Barry was striding onto Samir Nasri's cut-back, but he fired over. Crucially though, City had built up some momentum and when Gael Clichy squeezed a cross through to the far post, Tevez slid in to turn it home. It was the South American's seventh goal in six games and his 17th overall this season, and the hosts were in no mood to offer Newcastle any way back.
Clichy brought an outstanding save out of Rob Elliot, as did Edin Dzeko, before an intricate bit of passing from Yaya Toure and Samir Nasri offered Silva the chance to reach the corner of the six-yard box, where he buried his shot.
Newcastle began the second period with a sense of purpose. Yohan Cabaye flashed a shot across goal after running onto Cisse's lay-off before the midfielder zipped a shot over from 20 yards. In between, an offside flag rendered Cisse's shot over on the stretch irrelevant.
That flurry was as good as it got for the visitors as City got their third goal through Kompany. The Belgian's last for the Blues was the goal that won the Manchester derby in April 2012 and propelled City on to their first Barclays Premier League title. This goal may not have meant as much to the Etihad crowd, but the Belgian looked delighted to have flicked home an off-target Barry effort that hit two Newcastle men on its way through a crowded penalty box.
It offered the home fans an opportunity to train their thoughts on what could be the first of two successive meetings with United, depending on Monday's FA Cup replay, at Old Trafford on April 8. With 20 minutes left, Toure strode through the Newcastle defence and beat Elliot at his near post with a shot that deflected off James Perch.
Toure's effort was the signal for Sergio Aguero's return from injury, in place of Nasri, which is also good news for City ahead of the derby, when the Blues will look to delay a 20th title for United - which now cannot be won until April 17 at the earliest - for another couple of games.
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini: "We played well, we did a good performance, Newcastle are a good team but we did well. It's impossible we can win the title but it's important that we finish the season well. It's important for every top team to finish the season strong, winning games.
“It’s difficult to play well always, so I’m not frustrated that we haven’t always played as well as we could but I am frustrated because we have had so many injuries, it’s football, so we can’t think about how it would have been different.
“It was good to recover our big players today - Vinnie [Kompany] is important for us, we played without him for 60 days and this was very bad for us, like we lost Yaya for one month for the African Cup of Nations. But I can say today that United deserve to stay at the top and you can say nothing about this.”
Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew: "City had an assurance about them which comes from having no pressure. I don't think they're going to win the league this year and maybe that helped them. With my best team against City I would have struggled but they put out the best team they have in a while. Kompany gives them an assurance that they might have been missing in recent weeks and that made a big difference."
|08 Apr 2013||v Man Utd (A)|
|17 Apr 2013||v Wigan (H)|
|21 Apr 2013||v Tottenham (A)|
|27 Apr 2013||v West Ham (H)|
|04 May 2013||v Swansea (A)|
|07 May 2013||v West Brom (H)|