After a bit of a shocker with Yohan Cabaye sitting the game out after the reported bid by Arsenal for his services, the Toon jogged on the pitch with a bit of an odd lineup. The back line for the Toon quickly showed itself to be a problem as Manchester City nearly scored in the first two minutes of play.
If not for some fantastic work by Tim Krul, the Magpies could have been quickly down 2-0, but a goal was finally conceded with a header from David Silve fed from Edin Dzeko to give City the 1-0, and would easily could have been 3-0, lead six minutes in.
The Toon settled down and nearly equalized after a nice feed from Hatem Ben Arfa to Yoan Gouffran, but as the ball hit the back of the net Gouffran was called for offside. The Toon had another good chance with a free kick outside the box, but the Ben Arfa cross was quickly headed away and the threat neutralized.
It was a rough start, but the Magpies settled down and played more in control and limited City's chances midway through the half, having a couple of their own. That was until the 21 minute mark when Sergio Aguero made a great run down the middle of the field to pick up the back heel from Dzeko and rifled the shot off the far post just past Krul's outstretched hands.
While the matchup with City's attack was always going to be an issue, the Toon's back line played like a sieve the whole first half. It didn't help that Steven Taylor got sent off with a red card after clubbing Aguero near the end of the half.
Overall through the first half it was a piss poor effort by the Magpies. The passes were off the mark, too many bad turnovers, and even the service inside the box was way off the mark not even giving players a chance at a shot on goal. If they want to save some face in the second half, they'll need to do something. I don't know what.
Jonas Gutierrez seemed to pick up a knock and was subbed for Vernon Anita and Gouffran was replaced by Paul Dummett in extra time after Taylor was sent off. Moussa Sissoko, Matheiu Debuchy and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa picked up yellow cards in the first half.