Tough Week For Kinnear!

Last updated : 26 January 2009 By Footy Mad - Editor

Tuesday 27th January 2009

Portsmouth v Aston Villa 20.00

Sunderland v Fulham 19.45

Tottenham v Stoke City 20.00

West Brom v Man Utd 19.45

Wednesday 28th January 2009

Blackburn v Bolton 20.00

Chelsea v Middlesbrough 19.45

Everton v Arsenal 20.00

Man City v Newcastle 19.45

West Ham v Hull City 20.00

Wigan Athletic v Liverpool 19.45

Saturday 31st January 2009

Arsenal v West Ham 15.00

Aston Villa v Wigan Athletic 15.00

Bolton v Tottenham 15.00

Fulham v Portsmouth 15.00

Hull City v West Brom 15.00

Middlesbrough v Blackburn 15.00

Stoke City v Man City 12.45

Sunday 01st February 2009

Liverpool v Chelsea 16.00

Newcastle v Sunderland 13.30

Monday 02nd February 2009

Man Utd v Everton 20.00



MAN CITY: Hart, Corluka (Onuoha 57), Dunne, Richards, Garrido, Ireland, Johnson (Ball 86), Hamann, Petrov, Mpenza, Elano (Geovanni 89).
Subs Not Used: Schmeichel, Samaras.

NEWCASTLE: Given, Beye, Rozehnal, Taylor (Faye 84), N'Zogbia, Smith, Geremi (Jose Enrique 76), Butt, Martins, Viduka (Emre 88), Milner.
Subs Not Used: Harper, Pattison.
Elano led Newcastle a merry dance at Eastlands as Manchester City roared back to record a fourth successive Premier League home win.

The Brazilian midfielder had already established himself as a clear man-of-the-match with an inspired display of cultured passing in a pulsating contest when he strode up to rocket home the 86th-minute free-kick which guaranteed Sven-Goran Eriksson's men their victory.

Eriksson has steadfastly refused to set any targets for his team despite their amazing start to the campaign.

But on this evidence they look viable top six contenders, even if their chances of matching Manchester United and Arsenal, whom they joined at the top of the table, no matter how briefly, are slender.

Certainly, after two years of drab fare under Stuart Pearce, City are not complaining and it should not be long before the empty seats which have become such a regular feature of recent home games are filled.

Although Eriksson's men had recorded single-goal victories in all their previous home games this season, it always seemed unlikely that run would continue against a Newcastle side packed with talent, even without Michael Owen, but without an away clean sheet in 10 months.

The return of Shay Given was a big call by Magpies boss Sam Allardyce given how well Stephen Harper has been doing but the Republic of Ireland star justified the decision with a string of excellent saves, most notably to deny Elano and Ireland either side of the two first-half goals.

Sven-Goran Eriksson certainly swooped under the radar when he splashed out £8million of Thaksin Shinawatra's cash on the 26-year-old Elano, who had been strutting his stuff in relative obscurity at Shakhtar Donetsk.

A international regular for Brazil, Elano has a touch of class well beyond the norm. His vision and touch are a delight to see and his promptings kept Newcastle's defence on their toes.

Aside from the inspired volley which brought an equally impressive response from Given, Elano also sent Ireland scurrying away twice, spotting off-the-ball runs that had gone completely unnoticed by beleaguered Magpies left-back Charles N'Zogbia.

On the first occasion, Ireland kept his nerve and rolled a cross to the far post which invited Petrov's clinical finish.

The second should really have seen City snatch an interval lead but Given stood strong and blocked his fellow countryman's effort with his chest.

Without doubt, Given was the busier keeper but England Under-21 international Joe Hart, preferred to Kasper Schmeichel by Eriksson, was hardly unemployed.

The £800,000 signing from Shrewsbury could so easily have been embarrassed when a poor first touch left the ball rolling agonisingly along the line as he was momentarily stranded the other side of his post.

Hart kept his cool in admirable fashion and was able to clear, which was just as well as by that stage he had already been beaten by Martins.

Micah Richards has barely put a foot wrong during his astonishing rise to international stardom over the past 18 month.

But the City defender found himself on the wrong side of Martins as Geremi lifted a hopeful pass to the edge of the box and the half yard of space was all the Nigerian required to control, then finish in sublime fashion.

Richards had earlier escaped a rash challenge on James Milner, which could easily have presented Newcastle with a penalty, so it seems the 19-year-old is not infallible after all.

Both Eriksson and Allardyce would have wanted to make a flying start to the second period but only the Swede got his wish as City seized the initiative within 90 seconds of the re-start.

N'Zogbia's unhappy day continued with an aimless header towards the touchline which Petrov was on to in a flash, outpacing Steven Taylor down the left flank before delivering a pin-point cross.

With N'Zogbia still out of position, Mpenza was totally unmarked as he stooped to finish.

Newcastle gradually increased the pace as they hunted an equaliser but the major threat was on their goal.

It took a just-legal challenge by Habib Beye on Richards to deny the youngster a clear run on goal. Then, when City countered once more, Richards stepped inside Jose Enrique but scuffed his shot badly.

Mpenza volleyed Ireland's cross wide, then had a shot blocked by Rozenhal as a frenetic contest reached a suitably frantic finish, with Elano providing the fitting ending.