For match photos, scroll to 'Photostream' above left. Click on the statistics tab for match stats. Reaction below. Post-match press conferences to come.
Manuel Pellegrini's tenure at Manchester City got off to a dream start with a resounding 4-0 triumph over 10-man Newcastle United in the Barclays Premier League. Victory sends City to the top the table after the first weekend of the Barclays Premier League as the 2011-12 champions produced a masterclass at the Etihad Stadium.
David Silva opened the scoring with a header inside 10 minutes before Sergio Aguero extended the advantage with a neat finish from a wide angle. It got worse for Newcastle when Steven Taylor received his marching orders in first-half injury-time for striking the back of Aguero's head during an aerial challenge.
City's dominance continued after half-time as Yaya Toure marked his 100th Barclays Premier League appearance with a sublime curling free-kick and Samir Nasri completed the rout with 15 minutes remaining. Fernandinho, who arrived from Shakhtar Donetsk in the close season, was handed a competitive City debut along with Spain winger Jesus Navas. But Alvaro Negredo, who joined with Navas from Sevilla, was only among the substitutes.
Newcastle were without loan signing Loic Remy due to a calf injury and Yohan Cabaye.
City started the game with plenty of intent and the early pressure led to the breakthrough in just the sixth minute. Silva played in Edin Dzeko to the left of the penalty area and his low cross was deflected straight into the path of the Spaniard, who had continued his run to head beyond Tim Krul.
Newcastle thought they had found a quick response when Hatem Ben Arfa jinked his way to the edge of the area before playing a sublime through-ball to Yoan Gouffran who fired beyond Joe Hart. Gouffran's celebrations, though, were curtailed by the offside flag.
City claimed a penalty when Dzeko's perfectly weighted pass was collected by Toure deep in the box and he fell under pressure from Mathieu Debuchy but referee Andre Marriner saw nothing wrong.
In the 22nd minute, City doubled their lead. Vincent Kompany supplied Dzeko and he showed great vision to play a backheel into Aguero's path. The Argentina forward drove at Taylor on to his right foot before firing expertly across Krul into the far corner.
Newcastle's situation worsened when Jonas Gutierrez departed with what looked like a hamstring injury. Tayor's evening was brought to a premature end when he was shown a straight red card for striking the back of Aguero's head with his arm.
City picked up where they left off in the second half and Dzeko was again thwarted by Krul, who produced a superb athletic save to keep out the Bosnian's point-blank header. But the third arrived in the 50th minute. Aguero won a free-kick left of centre and Toure curled his effort into the top corner.
The one sour note for City came with 20 minutes remaining when captain Kompany was replaced by Javi Garcia when the centre-back injured himself sliding for a challenge on Sammy Ameobi. But it did not affect City's fluency and Nasri, a substitute for Ageuro, made it four when he pounced on a loose ball in the 75th minute before coolly slotting beyond Krul.
Negredo came on to replace Silva with 10 minutes remaining and had the ball in the net only to be ruled offside, but it made no difference as City secured three comfortable points.
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini: “The most pleasing aspect was the way the team played for 90 minutes, from the beginning the attitude was aggressive and we continued to play that way for the whole match. It’s a very good start but I was very confident that the team would play well, we worked very hard during pre-season, we were trying another style of football and maybe we must continue to improve but for the first match, it was good.
“I trust Edin Dzeko. It was a pity he didn’t score because he had a lot of chances and he played very well. We knew with the ball that he’s a very good player but he played very well without the ball tonight. He had some important chances and he deserved to score today.
“I spoke to him when I first arrived and I told him that he will do very well for us. I am sure we are now going to see the Edin Dzeko that City bought from Wolfsburg two years ago.
VIDEO: Manuel Pellegrini post-match press conference to come
Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew: "I have to say I thought we gave a good account of ourselves up until the sending-off. We'd threatened their goal, but the sending-off made it a really difficult night for us and you don't want that on the first day.
"It was a silly challenge from Tayls, it was out of character for him, and then we had to work and grind in the second half, which we did. I just thought it was a silly action, and I can't really defend him on it, if I'm honest. I know he's a proper fella and he wouldn't mean to be malicious to the guy.
"I don't think we've got too much to be concerned about. We need to put a team out that's a lot more offensive at home, and we won't have that kind of opposition, although West Ham are in good shape. It's one out of 38 games, and it's important we try and win the two home games that are coming up."
VIDEO: Alan Pardew post-match press conference to come
|25 Aug 2013||v Cardiff (A)|
|31 Aug 2013||v Hull (H)|
|14 Sep 2013||v Stoke (A)|
|22 Sep 2013||v Man Utd (H)|
|28 Sep 2013||v Aston Villa (A)|
|05 Oct 2013||v Everton (H)|