Manchester City 2 Newcastle United 1

Last updated : 29 January 2009 By Footymad Previewer
Goals by Shaun Wright-Phillips and Craig Bellamy, on his debut, earned City their third successive League win at Eastlands.

But, in typical City fashion, it was far from a straightforward success after Andrew Carroll scored an 81st-minute goal for Newcastle to ensure a nerve-jangling finish.

City held out and, rather than being embroiled in a relegation dogfight, they are suddenly starting to look upwards as opposed to down.

While City, who also handed a debut to Dutch midfield player Nigel de Jong, are beginning to look a far more solid unit, it is an altogether different story for Newcastle.

Joe Kinnear's injury-ravaged side - Michael Owen limped off to add to their woes - remain perilously close to the foot of the table after winning only two of their last 12 League games.

City dictated the opening quarter-of-an-hour, creating four clear-cut chances, although none troubled Newcastle keeper Steve Harper, who replaced Shay Given, who is set to leave St James's Park.

But they produced a magical move to make the breakthrough in the 17th minute.

Wayne Bridge fired over a low cross from the left and Brazilian Robinho threaded a pass into the path of Wright-Phillips, who slotted an angled shot through the legs of Harper.

Newcastle's hopes of finding a way back into the game were dealt a massive blow not long after when Owen limped out of the game.

City remained the more dangerous side going forward but lacked a cutting-edge in front of goal.

Newcastle claimed a penalty just short of the hour when Steven Taylor appeared to be shoved off the ball by City right-back Micah Richards.

Damien Duff then fired a dangerous ball across the face of goal, only for left-back Bridge to make an important clearance.

After surviving those moments of anxiety, City sealed the victory in the 77th minute through Bellamy. The £14million capture from West Ham received a pass from Pablo Zabaleta and produced a neat turn before firing a shot low to the left of Harper.

It was just as well City scored that goal as Newcastle halved the deficit four minutes later when David Edgar dispossessed Bridge and crossed for Carroll to score from a couple of yards out.