DAVID Silva and Sergio Aguero condemned Newcastle United to an opening weekend defeat in the Premier League.
The pair scored in Manchester City’s 2-0 win at St James’s Park this afternoon.
Silva netted late in the first half after being played in by an Edin Dzeko backheel.
And Aguero scored in added time after coming off the bench.
But the scoreline didn’t tell the whole story, with United having more than matched the champions for much of a game which was punctuated by a series of cynical challenges from Manuel Pellegrini’s side.
Wreaths were laid in the centre circle before the game in memory of United fans John Alder and Liam Sweeney, who lost their lives aboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 last month on their way to follow the team in New Zealand.
Goalkeeper Tim Krul made early saves from Dzeko and Samir Nasri.
But Newcastle, driven on by the powerful Moussa Sissoko, gave as good as they got for much of the half, though they didn’t trouble visiting goalkeeper Joe Hart.
Remy Cabella showed some nice touches, while lone striker Emmaneul Riviere was given a bruising introduction to English football by City captain Vincent Kompany.
Silva’s goal owed everything to a backheel from Dzeko, who cleverly redirected a ball forward from Yaya Toure into his path.
The forward rolled the ball past Krul to open the scoring seven minutes before the break.
United fought back after the break, and manager Alan Pardew threw on wingers Gabriel Obertan and Rolando Aarons, the latter making his Premier League debut aged 18.
Ayoze Perez, Newcastle’s third substitute, had a shot deflected seconds after coming off the bench.
But City substitute Sergio Aguero gave the score a lop-sided look in injury time when he beat Krul at the second attempt.
NEWCASTLE UNITED: Krul; Janmaat, Williamson, Coloccini, Dummett; Anita (Obertan, 63), Colback; Sissoko, Cabella, Gouffran (Aarons, 74); Riviere (Ayoze, 84). Subs not used: Elliot, Haidara, S Taylor, Abeid.
MANCHESTER CITY: Hart, Clichy, Kompany, Demichelis, Kolarov, Fernando, Toure, Nasri (Milner, 78), Silva, Jovetic (Fernandinho, 73), Dzeko (Aguero, 83). Subs not used: Caballero, Boyata, Zabaleta, Navas.
Goals: Silva 38, Aguero 90
Bookings: Silva 34, Demichelis 54, Kolarov 57, Kompany 75, Janmaat 78, Fernando 88
Referee: Martin Atkinson (Bradford)
Attendance: 50,816 (3,150 City)