Man City show 'humility and hunger' in Newcastle triumph
Goals for David Silva and Sergio Aguero see off the Magpies as champions start with a win
Newcastle 0 Manchester City 2. Manchester City began the defence of their Premier League title with a regulation 2-0 victory away at Newcastle. After the comprehensive defeat to Arsenal in last week's Community Shield, the Sky Blues needed to bounce back and they did just that with their tenth consecutive league victory over the Magpies. A goal in each half from David Silva and Sergio Aguero eased City to three points, and put a smile on the face of manager Manuel Pellegrini: "It was very important for us to start winning this season," said the Chilean. "We played with hunger and were humble, which is exactly what I wanted to see."
Attributing last week's lacklustre display to post-World Cup fatigue, Pellegrini added: "It's normal that the guys who were at the World Cup were tired. That's why it was so important that we had the attitude to play the way we played without the ball – running hard to get it back."
In truth Pellegrini would have learned little about the character of his team in a match in which City barely broke into a sweat. Silva put them one up on 38 minutes when he stroked the ball home after a brilliant back-heel by Edin Dzeko that flummoxed two Newcastle defenders.
The second half was a tame affair though Newcastle came close to grabbing an undeserved equaliser when substitute striker Ayoze Perez – on for Emmanuel Riviere – created some space in the City area only to see his goal bound shot deflect wide off the impressive Fernando.
City then made sure of the win in stoppage time when Aguero fired home after his initial shot had been blocked by Tim Krul. Newcastle manager Alan Pardew was later left to rue Perez's miss, saying: "I felt if we had got an equaliser we could have gone on to win because we looked fitter and stronger." Asked if the result would spur him on to a last minute splurge in the transfer market, he replied: "We'll carry on monitoring the transfer market but we've definitely got a bigger squad and more options [than last season]."
Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko was named man of the match for his contribution and the big Bosnian declared himself pleased with the result: "In the end it was a well-deserved win," he said. "First games can be tough but we did it. We have our first three points and we have to look game to game."
City's next encounter is a home clash against Liverpool – who opened their campaign with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Southampton at Anfield – and Pellegrini said his boys will only get better in the coming weeks and months. "We will continue with the same attitude, continue working the way we worked pre-season, we will be recovering players every week, which helps... If we want to keep winning titles, if we want to improve on what we did last year, the attitude is so important from the start until the end."