Manchester City 4 – Newcastle United 0: Sky Blues dominate at the Etihad (Video)

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It didn’t take long for Manchester City to confirm their title contenders’ credentials, with the Sky Blues laying siege to visiting Newcastle from the match’s opening kickoff. Within six minutes, the former champions were on the scoresheet, their first goal en route to a 4-0 victory at the Etihad Stadium.

David Silva opened the scoring from seven yards out, heading home a deflected cross from Edin Dzeko. The Bosnia striker also played a key role on City’s second goal, his 22nd minute backheel for Sergio Aguero allowing the Argentine to open his 2013-14 account.

Near halftime, Newcastle were reduced to 10 men, Steven Taylor having been shown a straight red card after his left forearm hit Aguero in the back of the head. By that time, the Magpies were also without Jonas Gutierrez, the Argentine winger leaving injured near the end of the first half.

Early in the second, Yaya Touré’s direct kick from 22 yards out put City up 3-0, and with Newcastle playing down a man, the Citizens appeared set to post an embarrassing number. But their next goal didn’t come until the 75th minute, with Samir Nasri finally adding to City’s goal total. Taking advantage of Mathieu Debuchy before finishing inside Krul’s left post, City’s second half substitute made it 4-0.

At full-time, Manchester City had outshot the Magpies 19 to 5, putting 11 shots on goal to Newcastle’s one while holding 62 percent of the game’s possession.

source: ReutersThe news wasn’t all good for City, who were forced to remove captain Vincent Kompany after he emerged from a 69th minute challenge grasping his left groin. The Belgian international was immediately replaced by Javi Garcia.

With lopsided result leaves City first after week one, their +4 goal difference besting rival Manchester United for the Premier League’s top spot. The result also leaves Newcastle in 20th place, goal difference leaving them one spot behind Swansea City.

Lineups

Manchester City: Joe HartPablo ZabaletaVincent Kompany (Javi Garcia 71′), Joleon LescottGael Clichy; Jesus Navas, Fernandinho, Yaya Toure, David Silva (Alvaro Negredo 80′); Sergio Aguero (Samir Nasri 61′), Edin Dzeko; Unused: Costel Pantilimon; Jack Rodwell; James Milner; Aleksandr Kolarov

Newcastle United: Tim KrulMathieu DebuchySteven Taylor, Fabriccio Coloccini, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa; Moussa Sissoko, Cheick Tiote; Yoan Gouffran (Paul Dummett (45+4′), Hatem Ben Arfa (Sammy Ameobi 65′), Jonas Gutierrez (Vurnon Anita 43′); Papiss Cisse; Unused: Robert Elliot; Sylvain Marveaux; Gabriel Obertan; Shola Ameobi.

Podolski goes out with super goal; Germany tops England

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The highlight of Wednesday’s international friendly docket was Lukas Podolski‘s final match for Germany, and the former Arsenal man did not disappoint his crowd.

But first, Canada plays its first match since unveiling new coach Octavio Zambrano.

[ MORE: Zlatan still bitter with Guardiola ]

Scotland 1-1 Canada

Zambrano saw plenty to like from his new side, as Canada went ahead early with a goal from former Scottish youth Fraser Aird. Toronto-born, the ex-Rangers and current Falkirk man got his first Canadian goal against the team he represented at U-17 and U-19 levels.

Norwich City’s Steven Naismith redirected Tom Cairney‘s shot to make it 1-1 before the break, but Scotland never found its way back into Canada’s net.

Germany 1-0 England

Lukas Podolski scored his 49th international goal in his final cap for Germany, and it was spectacular.

Joe Hart didn’t stand a chance.

The match saw big stops from both ‘keepers, as Hart thwarted Leroy Sane on a second half break after Marc-Andre Ter Stegen defied Dele Alli in the opening 45.

Podolski subbed off in the 84th minute to wild applause, but it must sting slightly to know you finished an illustrious career one goal short of a nice, round 50. We guess he’ll have to rest on his millions and millions of earnings and loads of on-field honors.

Elsewhere
Vietnam 1-1 Chinese Taipei
Philippines 0-0 Malaysia
Cyprus 3-1 Kazakhstan
Yemen 0-1 Palestine
Cambodia 2-3 India

McClean to wear No. 5 in honor of deceased ex-teammate

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James McClean is a colorful personality who doesn’t shy away from strong opinions — he once called Jurgen Klopp “a bit of an idiot” — and the West Brom man is using the big stage of World Cup qualifying to proudly honor a deceased ex-teammate.

McClean has long before friends with Derry City captain Ryan McBride, who shockingly died hours after leading his side to a league win this weekend. Given his age (27), few saw it coming even after McBride admitted to feeling ill after the match.

[ MORE: Zlatan still bitter with Guardiola ]

McBride and McClean played together at Derry, and the latter was excused from Republic of Ireland training to attend funeral services this week.

He’s still expected to play a role in Ireland’s World Cup qualifier against Wales on Friday, and McClean will don the No. 5 of McBride. Irish defender Richard Keogh usually wears the number and agreed to the change.

NASL side to broadcast all its matches on Twitter

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It’s fair to expect the San Francisco Deltas to be trendsetters in tech given their location and pedigree, and the first-year NASL club is doing just that.

The Deltas announced Wednesday that all of their home matches will be broadcast live on Twitter — in English, Spanish, and Portuguese — making them the first North American pro club to broadcast all of their matches on social media.

[ MORE: Zlatan still bitter with Guardiola ]

Twitter senior executive Josh McFarland had previously named as one of the investors in the Deltas, which makes the announcement even more natural. Other investors include tech execs from around the Silicon Valley.

Zlatan: Guardiola falling out “still drives me”

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Time heals all wounds, but Zlatan Ibrahimovic can still feel the scars from his falling out with Pep Guardiola.

The megawatt personalities saw their relationship deteriorate at Barcelona, with Ibrahimovic loaned to AC Milan one year after scoring 21 goals in 45 matches for Guardiola and the Blaugranas.

[ MORE: How will U.S. line up vs Honduras? ]

Ibrahimovic never played for Barca again, and now has a chance to stare down Man City’s Guardiola in a Manchester Derby which could alter the Top Four fortunes of both sides. And he’s still powered by Pep.

From The Guardian, quoting a Sky Sports Italia interview:

“The problem wasn’t with me, it was with him, and he never came to terms with it. I don’t know what his problem was with me. It is something that drives me, gives me adrenaline and extra motivation. It is normal after what has happened. I’m using it as a positive, not negative.”

United visits City at the Etihad Stadium on April 27, and Ibrahimovic will be extra motivated (if that’s possible for the Swede, who seemingly would be fired up to beat someone in arcade bubble hockey).