London, England, United Kingdom (4E Sports) – David Silva and substitute Sergio Aguero scored in each half as Manchester City started its Premier League title defense on a winning note, blanking Newcastle United, 2-0, Sunday at St. James Park.
Silva broke the scoreless tie just before halftime with a smooth move before Aguero came off the bench and scored in stoppage time for City.
“It’s always important to start the season winning, especially at a place like St James’ Park. It was so important for me to have the attitude from the players right from the beginning to the end of the game,” Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini said,
“We’re not thinking about the start of the season. We were just thinking about Newcastle. Now we can think about Liverpool. All of the teams have to play against all of the other teams home and away,” he added.
Determined to learn the lessons after its failed title defense two years ago, City has ben handed a difficult start with Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea waiting in three of its next four games.
Newcastle had its chances, the best of which fell to Yoan Gouffran in the second half, but could not get back into the match.
“It was frustrating for us. In the second half we pushed on and brought some younger players on. It was a shame we couldn’t get the equalizer before Aguero’s late second for City. I felt that if we got that we could even have gone on to win it,” Newcastle manager Alan Pardew said.
City began well, some crisp passing ending with Edin Dzeko’s poked volley being kept out by goalkeeper Tim Krul following a pass by Stevan Jovetic. That set the tone for a dominant start, Samir Nasri stinging the hands of Krul with a half-volley from range.
Earlier, Newcastle gave tributes both before and during the first half to remember supporters Liam Sweeney and John Alder, who lost their lives in the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash in Ukraine.
In other Premier League match, Daniel Sturridge scored a late goal to lift Liverpool to a 2-1 win over Southampton at Anfield.
Sturridge, who has become Liverpool’s main man in attack after the exit of Luis Suarez, saved the day for the struggling squad with a fine finish from four yards with just 11 minutes to play.
The hosts controlled the first half, but chances were few against a Southampton side playing under manager Ronald Koeman for the first time.