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St James' Park, Newcastle (ATT 52,389) 6th May 2012 - Kick off 13:30 Ref: H Webb

Newcastle Newcastle United vs Manchester City Man City

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Man City 2

Y Toure (70, 89)

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City on brink of glory

Toure double downs Newcastle at St James' Park

Last Updated: 06/05/12 5:50pm

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Manchester City have one hand on the Premier League trophy after Yaya Toure's double fired them to a 2-0 success over Newcastle United at St James' Park.

Man of the match: Yaya Toure. The Ivory Coast midfielder was superb throughout and scored two more priceless goals for his club. Goal of the match: Toure's opener was simply stunning. He exchanged passes with Sergio Aguero before curling a measured finish from the outside of the box beyond the despairing dive of Tim Krul. Moment of the match: Roberto Mancini's decision to send on Nigel de Jong allowed Toure to play in a more advanced role and paid almost immediate dividends. Save of the match: Joe Hart had to be alert in the first half to turn away Hatem Ben Arfa's powerful volley after Gael Clichy had blocked Demba Ba's initial shot. Miss of the match: Sergio Aguero only had Tim Krul to beat after being found by David Silva but rolled his shot inches wide of the post with the score still at 1-0. Talking points: Surely City will now go on and lift the Premier League trophy? Can Newcastle recover and secure a UEFA Champions League berth?

Having climbed to the top of the table on goal difference with Monday's derby victory over Manchester United, Roberto Mancini's men remain above Sir Alex Ferguson's side, who beat Swansea later on Sunday, going into the final weekend.

City now know that they will celebrate their first top-flight crown since 1968 if they can overcome relegation-threatened Queens Park Rangers, and former manager Mark Hughes, at the Etihad Stadium next weekend.

A tense afternoon on Tyneside was settled by two goals from Toure, with the Ivory Coast international given more freedom by the introduction of midfield enforcer Nigel de Jong in place of Samir Nasri in the 61st minute.

The deadlock was broken just nine minutes later as Toure curled home a superb shot from outside the box which gave Tim Krul no chance after exchanging passes with Sergio Aguero, with De Jong also involved in the build-up to the goal.

With the Magpies pushing for an equaliser in their UEFA Champions League chase, City broke from a corner with Toure sweeping the ball home from close range after a neat move involving Aguero, De Jong and Gael Clichy.

City's last triumph 44 years ago came courtesy of a 4-3 win at St James' Park, and this victory could prove almost as pivotal.

Celebrated

Mancini's players celebrated just as lustily as their fans high in the stand behind Krul's goal after the final whistle with the promise of glory tantalisingly close.

With the vast majority of a raucous crowd of 52,389 behind them, the Magpies flew out of the blocks to pin the visitors back inside their own half, although without ever looking like troubling keeper Joe Hart.

But as the half wore on, City's class and guile saw them gradually ease into a position of dominance.

With Carlos Tevez and David Silva targeting right-back James Perch, playing in yet another role with Danny Simpson injured, they threatened to open the scoring on several occasions before the break.

That they did not was testament to Krul and the stubborn refusal of the men in front of him to concede.

Perch and Yohan Cabaye blocked shots from Nasri and Toure in quick succession and Krul produced excellent saves to deny first Silva and then Aguero from close range inside the opening 17 minutes with Mancini's men flexing their muscles.

Newcastle were sinking ever deeper towards their own goalline in an effort to keep City at bay, but from somewhere, they found the strength to first stem the tide, and then turn it in their direction.

Demba Ba, without a goal in 12 games, sent a 29th-minute shot on the turn just over after Hatem Ben Arfa's spring-heeled run down the right and then saw another snapshot blocked by Clichy before Ben Arfa forced a superb diving save from Hart from the rebound.

Ba then headed over from Ben Arfa's 40th-minute cross after good work from Jonas Gutierrez with a breathless contest showing no sign of abating.

However, it took heroic blocks from first Fabricio Coloccini and then Davide Santon to keep out Gareth Barry four minutes before the break.

Peril

Krul's clean sheet was in peril once again within seven minutes of the restart when Perch tripped Tevez after the Argentinian had wriggled away from him, but Toure's free-kick flew harmlessly over the bar.

Such was Newcastle's determination not to concede that winger Gutierrez turned up inside his own penalty area to head Silva's 53rd-minute cross clear, and Krul had to make a smart save from Tevez's snapshot from distance.

But with the pace of Ben Arfa and Cisse worrying City on the break, Newcastle not only managed to keep them out, but to press them back.

Mancini decided the time for change had arrived and with 61 minutes gone, replaced Nasri with De Jong, the man whose tackle last season left Ben Arfa with a double leg fracture, a fact which had obviously not been forgotten by the home fans.

Ben Arfa almost provided the Dutchman with the perfect welcome within three minutes when, after being picked out by Ba, he twisted and turned his way in on goal, only to screw his right-foot shot wide.

De Jong's arrival allowed Toure to push further forward, and the move paid dividends with 20 minutes remaining.

Seconds after Edin Dzeko had replaced Tevez, Toure exchanged passes with Aguero 25 yards out and guided a curling right-foot shot past Krul and into the bottom corner.

It should have been all over within five minutes when Silva played in Aguero over the top, but with just Krul to beat, he side-footed wide.

Cisse might have claimed a point with a close-range header from substitute Shola Ameobi's 79th-minute cross, but for once, he failed to hit the target.

Toure should have made sure six minutes from time, but fell over as he attempted to round Krul, who managed to touch over Aguero's follow-up.

But the powerhouse midfielder wrapped up the points with a minute remaining when he accepted Clichy's pass six yards out and beat Krul to end Newcastle's hopes of a fightback.

Newcastle UnitedTeam StatisticsManchester City
0Goals2
01st Half Goals0
3Shots on Target8
5Shots off Target8
7Blocked Shots5
2Corners6
12Fouls8
1Offsides3
4Yellow Cards3
0Red Cards0
73.9Passing Success82.5
27Tackles20
66.7Tackles Success60
43.7Possession56.3
44.9Territorial Advantage55.1
383Total Passes502
15Total Crosses20
161Lost Balls163
64Recoveries77
441st Half Poss.56
43.42nd Half Poss.56.6

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Table

Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Chelsea 17 42
2 Manchester City 17 39
3 Manchester United 17 32
4 West Ham United 17 31
5 Southampton 17 29
6 Arsenal 17 27
7 Tottenham Hotspur 17 27
8 Swansea City 17 25
9 Newcastle United 17 23
10 Liverpool 17 22
11 Everton 17 21
12 Aston Villa 17 20
13 Stoke City 17 19
14 Sunderland 17 19
15 West Bromwich Albion 17 17
16 Queens Park Rangers 17 17
17 Crystal Palace 17 15
18 Burnley 17 15
19 Hull City 17 13
20 Leicester City 17 10

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