By William Wood | In Micah's Say
Manchester City recorded their third win in four Premier League matches courtesy of a 2-1 victory over Newcastle United at the City of Manchester stadium, and Micah Richards gave his views on the hard-fought victory exclusively to MicahRichards.com.
The hosts welcomed to the side new signings Craig Bellamy and Nigel de Jong following their arrivals last week, while the omission of The Magpies’ number-one Shay Given added credence to reports that he could be set for a transfer to City later this week.
Micah once again occupied the right-side of defence after an impressive performance against Wigan Athletic in the side’s last fixture, and it was down that flank that City carved their first opening of the match.
Nice interchange between Craig Bellamy and Brazil international Robinho enabled the latter to play the ball to Shaun Wright-Phillips in the Newcastle penalty area, but the latter’s header was tame and subsequently collected by Steve Harper.
As the visitor’s struggled to get going, Sebastien Bassong’s poor pass eventually reached Stephen Ireland, though the Republic of Ireland international curled the ball straight into the arms of The Magpies’ keeper, while moments later Robinho blasted a free-kick over the bar from 20-yards out.
Mark Hughes’ side were dominant in possession and with 17 minutes on the clock they grabbed the lead, Wayne Bridge doing well down the left before finding Robinho who in turn fed Wright-Phillips, and the England midfielder’s driven effort flew under Harper.
Events took a turn for the worse for Joe Kinnear’s men as Michael Owen hobbled off the field, and at the other end Robinho’s skilful flick almost found Stephen Ireland in the penalty area.
Bellamy and Robinho were linking up well up-front for the home side, and the former retrieved a poor clearance by Steven Taylor before cutting the ball agonisingly behind his teammates from Newcastle’s touchline, thus handing the young defender a reprieve.
Minutes later, Micah linked up to great effect with Robinho and Wright-Phillips down the flank, the ball eventually reaching Bellamy, but the pacey forward’s appeals for a penalty after he fell to the ground were dismissed.
Newcastle had offered little throughout the first 45 minutes, but they emerged from the interval clearly spurred on by Kinnear’s half-time pep talk, though they still struggled to carve open any real chances.
Micah was pressing forward at every opportunity, and a one-two with Ireland almost came off as he charged into Newcastle’s box, but the visiting defence were able to clear as the midfielder’s pass failed to find its target.
Damien Duff, who had been moved up-front alongside youngster Andy Carroll, came within a whisker of levelling for his side as angled the ball past Joe Hart, only to see former Chelsea team-mate Bridge clear the ball from danger.
As the script would have it, City extended their lead with 13 minutes remaining, Bellamy scoring against his former side having achieved the same feat for West Ham, curling the ball beyond Harper after set-up play by Wright-Phillips and Pablo Zabaleta.
However, just as the three points looked secure for the hosts, David Edgar was allowed to coast into the City penalty area and pick out Carroll, and the striker had the simple task of knocking the ball home to hand his side a lifeline.
With the clock ticking away, Hughes brought on Felipe Caicedo, and the youngster helped to wile away the remaining time as City held on for a well-deserved victory.
“The win today was really important, and the fact that it’s back to back wins for us is a massive boost,” Micah said. “I think we’re starting to click as a team and getting the results we deserve.”
“I’m delighted overall, and though I’d have been happier to keep a clean sheet, the three points are three points so I’m really happy.”
Micah lined up well with City’s midfield down the right, while also asserting himself in defence, and the England international was satisfied with his efforts.
“I tried to influence the game both defensively and attacking, and I didn’t think I put a foot wrong, so I was pleased,” he continued.
The 20-year old was also impressed by the performances of Bellamy and de Jong in their first appearance for the club, capping off a brilliant result.
“Both Bellamy and de Jong made really good debuts and Bellamy getting the winner was even more pleasing – they both seem to have settled in really well,” he concluded.