Man City closer to league title
Yaya Toure helped move Manchester City to within touching distance of the Premier League title as his brace downed Newcastle.
The Toon were proving a tough nut to crack until the classy Ivorian bent a shot into the far corner with 20 minutes to go.
City then missed a host of chances as Alan Pardew went in search of an equaliser, before Toure netted his second from close range to settle matters.
Roberto Mancini’s men now just need to beat QPR at the Etihad Stadium on the last day of the season to be crowned champions.
Toon goalkeeper Tim Krul had a scare in the warm-up when he appeared to injure his wrist, but the Dutchman was fit to start for the Magpies.
City were the first to settle and carved out an opening after 11 minutes when Samir Nasri played in David Silva, who flashed a low shot towards goal that Krul saved well.
With 17 minutes gone the visitors were again on the attack, Silva surging forward and playing in Sergio Aguero, who checked inside James Perch to get the ball onto his right foot but saw his low effort held by the diving Krul.
The Newcastle goalkeeper then got himself into trouble when he rushed from his area to try and get to the ball ahead of Aguero, but when the Argentinian got there first, Krul was relived to see his defence clear the danger.
Newcastle offered a reminder of their threat just before the half-hour when Hatem Ben Arfa counter-attacked down the right and passed inside for Demba Ba, who fired just over.
Howard Webb was brandishing the cards around freely as he cautioned Gareth Barry and Cheick Tiote in quick succession.
The hosts had two glorious chances in the 34th minute when Jonas Gutierrez played in Ba, whose shot was blocked by Gael Clichy before Ben Arfa’s follow-up on the volley was superbly parried by Joe Hart.
Perch became the third player to enter referee Howard Webb’s notebook in the first 45 minutes for a trip on Tevez.
Six minutes from the break Ba headed over from Ben Arfa’s cross, but moments later it was City left wondering how they had not taken the lead.
Barry saw his low shot from Silva’s pull-back blocked by Coloccini, and when the ball fell to the England international a second time his drilled effort was blocked on the line by Davide Santon.
Tevez fired wide for City in the 54th minute after the visitors had laboured to work an opening under pressure from the dogged Magpies defence.
The Argy star then bounced an effort into the arms of Krul from distance as clear-cut chances remained at a premium.
The game became stretched as the half wore on, and after a period of City pressure the hosts broke quickly with the impressive Ben Arfa flashing an effort over the bar.
With 21 minutes remaining, City manager Roberto Mancini threw on Edin Dzeko for Tevez to force the opening goal, and within seconds the Bosnian was involved in the move that led to the visitors taking the lead.
After a patient build-up involving Dzeko and fellow substitute Nigel De Jong, the ball eventually came to Aguero and his lay off to Toure was finished in emphatic fashion by the midfielder, who curled a low effort beyond Krul from 20 yards.
Alan Pardew went for it by throwing on Shane Ferguson, Shola Ameobi and Ryan Taylor but his side should have been out of it as City missed a string of chances.
First, Aguero sprinted clean through only to slot narrowly wide before Toure exploited a gap in the Toon defence but fell over his feet with the goal gaping.
However, with a few minutes to go, Toure made sure of the points as he finished neatly from close range. - www.thesun.co.uk