Man City 4 Newcastle 0: Mancini switches focus to second-place finish
Man City 4 Newcastle 0: Roberto Mancini says the Citizens have left it too late to retain their title after beating the Magpies in style
Roberto Mancini admitted Manchester City have left it too late to retain their Premier League title after an emphatic win against Newcastle United at the Etihad Stadium.
Carlos Tevez edged the home side into the lead in the 40th minute after the Argentine beat Danny Simpson to a loose ball and poked his finish past stranded goalkeeper Rob Elliot.
Any chance of the Magpies mounting an improbable comeback was extinguished in first-half stoppage time as Samir Nasri and David Silva combined, with the Spaniard finishing a slick City move.
Skipper Vincent Kompany, who was criticised by Mancini for representing Belgium on Tuesday night, added a third before Yaya Toure netted his fourth in three games against the Magpies to seal the win.
With Manchester United beating Sunderland in Saturday’s early kick-off, City reduced the Red Devils’ lead back to 15 points – but Mancini concedes that the title is no longer a realistic target.
“It was a good performance,” Mancini told BBC Sport. “It was not easy because Newcastle are a good team but we played very well. Maybe it is too late [for the title].
“We had a lot of chances to score and I am happy. It was important, after Everton, to start winning again quickly.
“Samir Nasri played very well and if we play like this we won’t have a problem in the last couple of months of the season. It’s important to get second place and to win the FA Cup semi-final next week.”
Meanwhile, Newcastle manager Alan Pardew criticised the Magpies for failing to test the defending Premier League champions after a lacklustre performance.
“They played with no pressure about them. There was a relaxation around their quality players, but we did not squeeze them enough,” said Pardew.
“We were not tight enough or aggressive enough.
He added: “We need two victories at least, and maybe a third, to get ourselves a strong position. We are missing some big players at the moment, but we are hoping a few players will be back for Thursday’s Europa league game.”