Derby County 1 Manchester City 1
A point gained, probably
Wednesday January 31st 2008 : Richard Rae for GYKO
at Pride Park
Derby County's change of ownership may
have brought them a change of fortune. In the
presence of the of the men who run GSE, the American
sports and entertainment company which completed a
£50m takeover on the club on Monday, the Rams
brought to an end a run of seven straight defeats in
front of their own supporters, a deflected shot,
Manchester City' s extraordinary profligacy in front
of goal, and their own rediscovered appetite for the
fray winning them only their eighth point of the
The only other game GSE founder and chairman Andrew
D. Appleby had seen at Pride Park was the victory
against Newcastle back in September; no doubt Derby
manager Paul Jewell will try to persuade him to
extend his stay to take in a few more matches. The
first thing Appleby saw was Derby do their best to
give the game away moments after it had begun.
Claude Davis' attempted back-pass was woefully short
and gave Darius Vassell plenty of time to beat
County goalkeeper Lewis Price. Not quite believing
his luck, Vassell hurried his shot, pulling it
across Price and beyond the post with Sturridge
waiting unmarked in the middle.
Shortly afterwards an unmarked Vedran Corluka headed
a Martin Petrov corner just over the bar and it
looked like it was going to be yet another of those
nights for County. The Bulgarian's wonderful
volleyed pass gave Vassell another one-on-one but
the striker' s heavy touch gave Price a chance to
make a brave save.
A rare excursion into the City area saw Kenny Miller
volley straight at Joe Hart but City, finding space
for fun in midfield, looked likely to score every
time they went forward. Stephen Ireland' s
cross-shot slid beyond the far post and Vassell' s
clumsy touch resulted in yet another close range
fluff but Derby suddenly proved they were not
entirely toothless when Robert Earnshaw, having
already volleyed athletically over the bar, turned
neatly in the penalty area and curled a shot against
the outside of Hart's left-hand post.
Encouraged, Derby began to look something like a
competitive Premier League team, coming forward with
real purpose. They were still almost comically
vulnerable at the back - only two desperate blocks
by Davis prevented Ireland finishing Petrov' s cross
- but Hossam Ghaly and, to a lesser degree, Robbie
Savage, began making their presence felt in
The momentum established before the break paid off
seconds after the restart. Miller's shot after Ghaly
was tackled looked to be going wide when it struck
Sun Ji Hai, wrong-footing Hart. The goalkeeper
attempted to recover but his dive came too late to
prevent the goal.
With City in danger of losing their heads in the
feverish atmosphere, Sven Goran Eriksson sent on
Elano, and the Brazilian had an immediate impact.
His pass freed Petrov on the left, and the low cross
was poked into the corner by Daniel Sturridge. It
was a vindication of Eriksson' s decision to give
the 18-year-old striker his first senior start at
the expense of Emile Mpenza.
Both sides had chances to win the game, most notably
from Earnshaw and Vassell, and the final quarter was
frantic with both sides pushing forward recklessly
in the search for three points.
Derby: Price, Leacock,
Moore, Davis (Todd 69), Edworthy, Fagan, Savage,
Ghaly, Pearson (Barnes 83), Earnshaw (Villa 88),
Subs Not Used: Hinchliffe, Robert.
Goals: Jihai 47 og.
Man City: Hart, Jihai,
Dunne, Corluka, Ball, Etuhu (Elano 55), Ireland,
Gelson, Petrov, Vassell (Mpenza 79), Sturridge
Subs Not Used: Schmeichel, Hamann.
Goals: Sturridge 63.
Ref: Steve Bennett
Sheffield United 2 Manchester City 1
Powder Puff Blues
January 2008 : Jonathan West for GYKO at Bramall
win at Derby yesterday looked like being the shock
win of the FA Cup's fourth-round weekend, Sheffield
United pipped them this afternoon with a
well-deserved 2-1 victory over Manchester City
Bramall Lane. It was their second triumph over
Premier League opposition this season following the
1-0 success at Bolton in the third round and allowed
home fans to briefly forget their mediocre 14th spot
in the Championship. For City, who have now won only
two of their last 10 in all competitions, the season
suddenly hinges on whether they can qualify for
Europe. On this evidence they will struggle to
qualify for the Manchester Senior Cup.
United's victory owed much to grit, spirit, an
unexpected cutting edge in attack - they had scored
only six goals in 11 games before this - and a
little to luck. In the 11th minute Jon Stead broke
down the left and crossed into a City penalty area
crowded with defenders and, thanks to the enthusiasm
of the travelling supporters, blue and white
balloons. Inevitably, the ball struck first one,
then another, at which point it deflected just
enough to elude an attempted clearance by Michael
Ball. Waiting behind him was Luton Shelton, who
calmly slotted home.
Good fortune, though, had nothing to do with
United's second goal 15 minutes later. Derek Geary
crossed from the right, Stephen Quinn out jumped
Nedum Onuoha, and when the ball dropped to the
overstretching Richard Dunne, the City captain could
only stab it into the path of Stead. Joe Hart,
stranded on the ground, could do nothing about a
In between, Emile Mpenza wasted a great chance to
head an equaliser, while Elano hit the base of Paddy
Kenny's left post with a typically incisive strike
from the edge of the box. But United always looked
more dangerous on the attack against a City defence
missing the calming presence of the injured Micah
Richards, and it was a surprise when the 18-year-old
Danny Sturridge, on as a substitute for Elano,
rifled home with his left foot three minutes into
the second half in only his third first-team
That gave City hope and for a while they played with
greater purpose. But they have lacked a goals corer
all season - Elano is their leading scorer with just
seven - and their timidity in the final third cost
them once more. United, meanwhile, got stuck in and
counter-attacked with enthusiasm as City, facing up
to the reality of going out, began to lose their
shape and discipline.
It was not the only respect in which they had
themselves to blame. Moments before Shelton put
United in the lead, the referee Alan Wiley - after
liaising with Mark Clattenburg, the fourth official
- had asked Hart to burst the balloons in the City
penalty area while the ball was in the United half.
Sky TV reported that Hart failed to do so, and only
began to burst them once United had scored.
Sven-Goran Eriksson's bubble might just have
suffered the same fate.
Sheff Utd: Kenny,
Geary, Bromby, Morgan, Naysmith, Gillespie, Speed,
Martin, Quinn, Shelton (Tonge 76), Stead (Sharp 49).
Subs Not Used: Hendrie, Kilgallon, Armstrong.
Booked: Martin, Quinn,
Goals: Shelton 12,
Man City: Hart,
Corluka, Onuoha, Dunne, Ball, Elano (Sturridge 46),
Hamann (Ireland 62), Gelson, Petrov, Mpenza
(Geovanni 71), Vassell.
Subs Not Used: Schmeichel, Jihai.
Goals: Sturridge 48.
Ref: Alan Wiley
Manchester City 1 West Ham United 1
Still shot shy
January 2008 : Tom Johnstone for GYKO at the COMSTAD
Eriksson was left frustrated as Manchester City
surrendered further ground in the race for a coveted
European berth after being held at home by a
severely-depleted West Ham side.
Carlton Cole (pictured right) produced a delightful
overhead kick to put the Hammers ahead after eight
minutes before Darius Vassell poked home a
controversial equaliser eight minutes later.
But West Ham always looked more likely to snatch the
points and promising young goalkeeper Joe Hart was
forced to make smart saves to deny Mark Noble and
then Cole in the closing stages.
A chronic lack of firepower seriously undermined
City's efforts and although a UEFA Cup spot remains
a distinct possibility - this point lifted them to
fifth in the Barclays Premier League - dreams of the
Champions League are fading fast.
Eriksson's men won their first nine home league
games this season but have now taken just three
points from their last three outings at the City of
West Ham deserve credit for producing a spirited
response after limping out of the FA Cup at
Eastlands four days earlier.
That they did so without Dean Ashton and Matthew
Etherington - ruled out due to back and knee
injuries respectively - hinted at the depth and
quality of their squad as the Londoners continue
their own push for Europe.
The Hammers were already without the services of
Nolberto Solano, Craig Bellamy, Scott Parker, Bobby
Zamora and Kieron Dyer through injury.
But they were threatening throughout and Cole's
eighth-minute strike was just reward for their early
That it came from a defensive error from City
skipper Richard Dunne - whose standards have rarely
dipped below exemplary this season - raised
The Irishman surrendered possession from inside his
own 18-yard box with a dreadful pass straight to
Noble and he swiftly fed Freddie Ljungberg on the
The Swede whipped in a dangerous cross into the
six-yard box where Cole lurked menacingly.
In one sublime sequence, the towering forward
controlled the ball and displayed formidable
strength to hold off Vedran Corluka before
dispatching a brilliant overhead volley past Hart.
It was the former Chelsea striker's fifth goal of
the season and gave West Ham a platform on which to
build. Ljungberg gave Michael Ball several uneasy
moments down the right flank but City, to their
credit, gradually gained a foothold on proceedings
and drew level in the 16th minute.
It stemmed from a corner from Martin Petrov that
West Ham failed to deal with and the ball was
recycled back to the Bulgarian out wide on the right
Petrov's vicious cross flashed past defenders and
found its way to Vassell who stabbed home his third
goal of the season from three yards out. Vassell
looked suspiciously offside when Petrov delivered
the cross but the goal stood and City were level.
The game became rather scrappy as the half wore on
and West Ham skipper Lucas Neill was shown a yellow
card in the 26th minute for a cynical foul on the
Dunne followed him into the book seven minutes late
for chopping down Luis Boa Morte but it was the
visitors who looked the more threatening in attack.
Cole might have claimed his second six minutes
before the break had he gambled on Neill's teasing
low cross which forced Hart to dive full length to
collect possession. Noble's clever pass released
Cole three minutes before the break but Micah
Richards' pace allowed him to make a vital touch to
avert the danger.
West Ham continued to threaten after the break and a
neat array of inter-passing between Neill and
Ljungberg gave Noble the space to hit a shot over
the crossbar from 16 yards. Boa Morte was then
booked for a ill-judged lunge on Vassell and shortly
before the hour mark Eriksson replaced the former
Aston Villa striker with Gelson Fernandes. West Ham,
however, continued to probe and Mullins drew a smart
save from Hart with a low 20-yard shot and then
fired over from the same distance.
Bianchi, who struggled to make any impact, then
fired straight at a virtually unemployed Robert
Green with a 20-yard volley in the 67th minute.
West Ham thought they had scored a second in the
73rd minute when substitute Julian Faubert bundled
the ball home but the strike was disallowed
following a push by Bowyer on Dunne. They should
have claimed a winner with 13 minutes remaining,
however, when Faubert and Cole combined to give
Noble a shooting chance from 12 yards which drew a
fine save from Hart, who then tipped over a header
from Cole with just seconds remaining.
Man City Hart, Corluka, Dunne, Richards,
Ball,Vassell (Gelson 58), Hamann, Ireland (Geovanni
68), Petrov,Elano (Garrido 78), Bianchi.
Subs Not Used: Isaksson, Onuoha.
Booked: Dunne, Geovanni.
Goals: Vassell 16.
West Ham Green, Neill, Ferdinand, Upson,
McCartney, Ljungberg,Noble, Mullins, Bowyer (Spector
90), Boa Morte (Faubert 71),Cole.
Subs Not Used: Wright, Collins, Reid.
Booked: Neill, Boa Morte, Bowyer, Noble.
Goals: Cole 8.
Ref: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire).
Manchester City 1 West Ham 0
Another game, Another shot
Wednesday 16th January 2008 :
Jonathan Green for GYKO at the
The FA Cup presents Manchester City with their best
chance of ending a 32-year wait for silverware. West
Ham were eventually overcome courtesy of that
rarity, an Elano header pictured below, and
Sven-Goran Eriksson's side now have to negotiate a
trip to Sheffield United.
As a previous City manager re-entered employment,
the current incumbent, perhaps in sympathy with
Kevin Keegan's principles or, more plausibly,
reacting to a failure to score in three of their
four previous games, showed an attacking intent.
Eriksson's selection involved the addition of
Stephen Ireland to his creative contingent.
They boasted a surfeit of what, in earlier eras,
might have been described as inside-forwards, in
Elano, Ireland and Nery Castillo. Some tidy
interplay in the midfield was a consequence, along
with a shortage of bodies in the penalty box. City
were reduced to two playmakers, however, when the
home debutant Castillo's contribution was curtailed
by Lucas Neill, whose forceful challenge left the
Mexican with a suspected dislocated shoulder.
While others converged on the centre of the pitch,
Martin Petrov maintained his station on the left
touchline. Indeed, City can be lopsided, such is
their emphasis on the winger. He supplied what they
thought was an opportunity, though Darius Vassell
was penalised for tripping Anton Ferdinand as both
chased the Bulgarian's pass.
Yet while City probed, West Ham, hitherto
unambitious, fashioned the first chance. Dean Ashton
had scored both goals when the Londoners won their
quarter-final two seasons ago and he provided a
reminder of his threat. When Luis Boa Morte curled a
cross in and the stretching striker connected with a
volley that rebounded back off Joe Hart, the City
goalkeeper seeming to know little about his save.
Hart's fortune continued as Boa Morte, restored to
the starting line-up for the first time in two
months, misplaced two shots. After the England
Under-21 goalkeeper had advanced to the edge of his
area to block from Ashton, the Portuguese miscued
the subsequent rebound well wide.
City's striking change had been the introduction of
Rolando Bianchi for the unfortunate Castillo, but
the Italian was unable to capitalise on either the
Mexican's misfortune or Petrov's service. When one
whipped, low cross was parried by Green into his
path, Bianchi scuffed a shot wastefully wide. It was
no surprise, therefore, when Petrov played a pivotal
part in the winner. His chipped cross was headed
against the post by Bianchi and Elano plunged
forward to evade Ferdinand's boot and convert the
Hart, Corluka, Richards, Dunne, Ball, Hamann,
Ireland, Elano, Castillo (Bianchi 34), Petrov,
Vassell (Gelson 81).
Subs Not Used: Schmeichel, Onuoha, Garrido.
Goals: Elano 73.
West Ham: Green, Neill, Ferdinand, Upson,
McCartney, Ljungberg (Faubert 62), Bowyer, Noble,
Etherington, Boa Morte (Cole 70), Ashton.
Subs Not Used: Wright, Mullins, Spector.
Booked: Boa Morte.
Ref: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear).
Everton 1 Manchester City 0
One shot City lose again
January 2008 : Steve James for GYKO at Goodison Park
David Moyes celebrated 10 years as a manager as
Everton edged closer to their Champions League dream
with a 1-0 win over Manchester City. But the
ambitious Everton boss had to thank defender Joleon
Lescott for a first-half close range stab, his sixth
goal of the season, and a defiant rearguard action
from a defence stretched to the limits by Manchester
City's increasingly desperate attacks.
This was a compelling clash between two sides with
similar aspirations, and Everton just shaded it.
And with Liverpool only drawing at Middlesbrough,
the Anfield side are clinging onto fourth spot on
goal difference, with Everton breathing down their
Everton welcomed back Mikel Arteta from suspension,
but were without Joseph Yobo, Ayegbeni Yakubu and
Steven Pienaar, who are all away on African Nations
Leon Osman and Andrew Johnson were both injured, and
that saw Nuno Valente and Victor Anichebe also
returning following the Carling Cup semi-final first
leg defeat in midweek at Chelsea.
Manchester City, who had not won a league game at
Goodison Park for 16 years, had Elano back - having
missed the FA Cup draw at West Ham - with Stephen
Ireland dropping to the bench. On-loan Nery Castillo
made his league debut up front. And Eriksson's side
employed the system, involving two holding players
and just one man up front, that has served them so
well in an impressive season.
It relies on quick breaks using the skill of Elano
and pace of Martin Petrov, but there was precious
little room for them to work on.
Everton pressed forward, with space and time hard to
find. Their approach play too slow to make much of
an impression. Tim Cahill was booked for an early a
high tackle on Dietmar Hamann, and the game began to
liven up. Everton were at last more positive, and
direct, and Joleon Lescott saw a header blocked,
while Anichebe saw a header clear the bar.
And the Toffees' first move of any genuine pace
almost produced a goal. Arteta's cross was turned
into Cahill's path by Anichebe and Joe Hart made a
good save low down to his left. The ball cannoned
back to Cahill, and this time he lifted his effort
over the bar.
But that encouraged Everton, and on 31 minutes they
were ahead. City failed to clear an Arteta corner
properly, and when the ball was relayed back to the
Spaniard on the right, his low ball to the near post
was turned past Hart by Lescott. There was a hint of
offside, but not enough for prolonged protests.
City then had to be more adventurous, and Elano -
moved to a more central midfield role from the
right-flank - saw a free-kick deflected over the top
as City came out of their shell looking to get back
into the game.
Hamann was then, although it looked as if he had
clearly played the ball in a challenge on Valente.
There was far more urgency about City in the second
period, and one surging run from his own half by
Petrov almost opened up Everton, but for Lescott's
City then sent on Gelson Fernandes and Rolando
Bianchi for Hamann and Castillo, a far more
attacking approach, while Everton responded with
James Vaughan taking over from McFadden.
Lee Carsley was then booked for a high tackle on
Vedran Corluka on 61 minutes.
But on 68 minutes Ireland came on for Darius
Vassell, City concerned that they had started to
concede too much midfield space, such was the
delicate balance of the match.
Everton's young strikers Vaughan and Anichebe gave
City's defence a tough time, the home side more
direct. City, with Elano making little impact, were
struggling to create anything really dangerous.
A Cahill header flew over for Everton, but despite
City having an increasing amount of possession, they
were battering at a defiant wall of blue shirts.
Leighton Baines took over from Anichebe in injury
time, Everton needing to just hang on now for a
critical victory. Tim Howard saved well at his near
post from a fierce Petrov drive, City's first on
target, and then from a Bianchi header. And Everton
Everton Howard, Hibbert, Jagielka, Lescott,
Nuno Valente, Arteta, Carsley, Neville, McFadden
(Vaughan 60), Cahill,Anichebe (Baines 90).
Subs Not Used: Ruddy, Gravesen, Stubbs.
Booked: Cahill, Carsley.
Goals: Lescott 31.
Man City Hart, Onuoha, Richards, Dunne, Ball,
Corluka, Hamann (Gelson 56), Petrov, Elano, Castillo
(Bianchi 57),Vassell (Ireland 69).
Subs Not Used: Isaksson, Garrido.
Ref: Mark Halsey (Lancashire).
Ham United 0 Manchester City 0
Back to the COMSTAD
January 2007 : Victor Harris for GYKO at Upton Park
Joe Hart and Robert Green won the day to leave West
Ham and Manchester City facing an Eastlands replay
on Wednesday week. With both sides leaving their
shooting boots back in the dressing rooms, the
gritty goalkeepers repelled everything that was
thrown at them to the frustration of the sell-out
Fourth-placed City had already won at Upton Park on
the opening day of the season and, following
Wednesday night's victory at Newcastle United,
Sven-Goran Eriksson made just one enforced switch as
the unwell Elano made way for Mexican debutant Nery
Injuries had taken their toll on Alan Curbishley's
squad over Christmas and, after losing at
table-topping Arsenal on New Year's Day, the Hammers
boss made two changes. The injured Freddie Ljungberg
was replaced by Matthew Etherington, while Dean
Ashton returned in place of Jonathan Spector.
Having played four games inside the past fortnight,
both sides were showing similar signs of a festive
hangover as Matthew Upson, Etherington and Ashton
sent half-hearted efforts well wide.
Meanwhile at the other end, Stephen Ireland's
hopeful lob cleared the target and man-of-the-match
Martin Petrov pursued referee Rob Styles after his
penalty appeal was waved away.
The tie finally burst into life midway through the
half when Green diverted Ireland's rising eight-yard
shot high into the chilly East End skies after
Petrov strode deep into home territory.
At the other end, Hart showed equal prowess when he
clawed away Etherington's sizzling 12-yarder from
the foot of his right-hand upright and, shortly
afterwards, the in-form City keeper then fisted away
Mark Noble's 18-yard free-kick from his near post.
As the half drew to a close, Castillo almost marked
his debut with a goal but, with Anton Ferdinand
snapping at his heels, he spooned Petrov's dangerous
low cross into the six-yard box high over the bar to
keep it all-square at the interval.
Curbishley replaced skipper Lucas Neill with Spector
for the start of a second half that soon saw Green
race out to bravely pluck the ball off Vedran
Corluka's toes, before Ireland again forced him to
divert aside an angled rocket that was then hacked
With the game heading for an inevitable replay, both
managers shuffled their packs as substitutes Kelvin
Etuhu, Gelson Fernandes, Rolando Bianchi, Kyel Reid
and Lee Bowyer all entered the proceedings for the
But after Micah Richards saw his diving header
blocked and Petrov tickled the bar with a deft chip,
Hart earned his side a deserved replay when he
tipped Ashton's close-range header over the top.
Manchester City boss Sven-Goran Eriksson said: "I
think we were unlucky. We will have (luck) it at
home, hopefully. "Everything is still open. I hoped
to win this game but a draw is okay for me. "It was
a good performance and we defended very well for 90
minutes. "We tried to create occasions to score and
maybe we should have scored in the first half."
West Ham United: Robert Green, John Paintsil,
George McCartney, Lucas Neill (Jonathan Spector 45),
Anton Ferdinand, Matthew Upson, Hayden Mullins (Lee
Bowyer 75), Matthew Etherington (Kyle Reid 69), Mark
Noble, Dean Ashton, Carlton Cole,
Subs not used: James Collins, Richard Wright
Manchester City: Joe Hart, Nedum Onuoha,
Micah Richards, Vedran Corluka, Michael Ball,
Richard Dunne, Stephen Ireland (Kelvin Etuhu 66),
Martin Petrov, Dietmar Hamann, Castillo (Gelson
Fernandes 72), Darius Vassell (Rolando Bianchi 79),
Subs not used: Kasper Schmeichel, Javier Garrido
Booked: Vedran Corluka 90, Dietmar Hamann 90
Newcastle United 0 Manchester City 2
First win this year!
January 2008 : Damian Spellman for GYKO at St James
Beleaguered Newcastle manager Sam Allardyce was
plunged deeper into trouble as Manchester City ended
their wait for a Premier League win on the road at
the worst possible moment for the former Bolton
The 53-year-old, who had seen his side take just one
point from the previous nine despite facing
struggling Derby at home and Wigan at the JJB
Stadium, dominated for long periods, but simply
could not make the pressure tell as City staged a
classic smash and grab raid.
Even the returning Michael Owen could not turn the
tide as he passed up a glorious opportunity to
equalise within 35 seconds of his introduction as a
By contrast, Sven-Goran Eriksson's side produced two
top-quality finishes from Elano and substitute
Gelson Fernandes to kill off a game which gave them
their first win in the league away from home since
the opening day of the season.
That the Magpies should have emerged with something
to show for their efforts will be little consolation
to fans who have seen the season go from bad to
worse, and despite chairman Chris Mort's assertion
that owner Mike Ashley is not actively looking for a
new manager, Allardyce's future looks bleak if the
current run continues.
Newcastle face a tricky trip to Coca-Cola
Championship Stoke in the FA Cup third round on
Sunday, and a poor result there will heap the
pressure on Allardyce, who will lose four men to the
African Nations Cup during the next few days.
To make matters yet worse there were boos from the
bulk of a crowd of 50,956 on the final whistle.
Allardyce has not known whether to laugh or cry for
much of him time at St James' Park to date, and as
he headed for the dressing room at half-time, rarely
had those conflicting emotions hit so hard.
City arrived on Tyneside with Darius Vassell
operating as a lone striker and content to try to
hit the Magpies on the break as they looked for
their first league win away from Eastlands since the
opening day of the season.
Visiting keeper Joe Hart knew little about the
fifth-minute Habib Beye header which flew his way,
and only his excellent positioning kept the Senegal
international's close-range effort out. Abdoulaye
Faye tested him twice from distance and Obafemi
Martins blasted a fierce effort his way.
However, the Nigerian was guilty of not making the
most of a series of openings as the visitors found
themselves pinned back, and he was not alone with
Charles N'Zogbia scuffing another effort at Hart and
then sending a low cross too far ahead of the
unmarked Mark Viduka.
Eriksson's side had started to show flashes of their
ability to hit teams on the counter, and it took a
good save from Shay Given to deny Martin Petrov when
he fired in an angled drive from the left on 31
However, having earlier survived a potentially
catastrophic back-pass by Claudio Cacapa which
Stephen Ireland squandered, the Geordies were hit
seven minutes before the break.
There was much to admire about Vassell's lay-off to
Elano and the aplomb with which the Brazilian curled
the ball beyond Given and into the bottom corner,
but Allardyce could only shake his head and appeal
to the heavens as another game started to slip away.
He decided to replace Martins with Owen at the
break, and the change almost had the desired effect
with less than a minute gone. N'Zogbia picked out
the £17million man's run and he was on the ball in a
flash, only to see Hart superbly block his
right-foot shot with his leg.
Newcastle were starting to re-establish their
momentum, although were struggling to open the
visitors up, with N'Zogbia's speculative 35-yard
effort symptomatic of their problems.
As the home side's desperation grew, central
defender Cacapa twice found himself in advanced
positions down the left, but was unable to make the
most of either opportunity.
However, Micah Richards had to make a vital block to
deny Viduka a near-post tap-in from N'Zogbia's
Allardyce, who had earlier replaced the tiring Duff
with Jose Enrique, sent on Emre for Faye with 17
minutes remaining, but the game was effectively over
before they had broken sweat.
City replacements Kelvin Etuhu and and Gelson
combined for the latter to fire past Given and
shatter Allardyce's hopes of a fightback as another
bad night at St James' ended to a chorus of
disapproval from the home fans as Blue Moon echoed
round the fast emptying stands as the City fans
celebrated in style for this was the first league
double over Newcastle since City won the league in
Newcastle Given, Beye, Taylor, Cacapa, N'Zogbia,
Milner, Butt,Faye (Emre 73), Duff (Jose Enrique 64),
Viduka,Martins (Owen 46).
Subs Not Used: Harper, Rozehnal.
Man City Hart, Onuoha, Richards, Dunne, Ball,
Ireland (Gelson 75), Hamann, Elano (Etuhu 71),
Corluka, Petrov, Vassell (Bianchi 88).
Subs Not Used: Isaksson, Garrido.
Booked: Elano, Vassell, Gelson.
Goals: Elano 38, Gelson 76.
Ref: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire).