If City could hand-pick opponents to promote a feel-good factor then surely Newcastle would be atop the list.
Just as this month’s challengers Everton are a constant thorn in the Blues’ ambitions, so the Magpies occupy the other end of the scale.
Roberto Mancini’s men entered the fray at the Etihad on a 12-match unbeaten run (ten of those wins) against the Geordies.
Thirteen might be unlucky for some but it rarely threatened to be so for a City side that was boosted by the return of Skipper Vincent Kompany, midfield king pin Yaya Toure and the attacking talents of Sergio Aguero though the latter started on the bench.
Kompany partnered the recalled Joleon Lescott at the heart of the back four, Yaya was alongside a freshened up Gareth Barry in midfield but Aguero had to wait to resume his all-Argentine strike partnership with Carlos Tevez
The result of the changes was that the champions were barely recognisable from the supine, pliant and outplayed side that crashed to defeat at Goodison Park in its last outing – a defeat that prompted Mancini to publicly declare the title race done and dusted for this season.
That may well be the case but everyone at the Etihad is determined that the campaign will end in a tidal wave of winning whether that yields silverware or not.
Certainly the quest for 11 straight victories that would at the very least guarantee FA Cup success, and most likely second place in the Barclays Premier League, began in most promising fashion.
Tevez put the Blues ahead in the 40th minute and from then on the odds were heavily stacked against the nervy visitors who are still looking over their shoulders at the increasingly congested dog fight to avoid leaving the Premier League just at the time when new television riches are about to pour in.
The second goal, a minute into first half stoppage time, was the killer for the Toon. David Silva struck from a tight angle to give keeper Rob Elliot no chance.
Earlier City had made all the running but not found the net. Elliot saved well from Edin Dzeko, Barry blasted over from close range and Silva had a ‘goal’ ruled out for off-side.
Once they take the lead though City are amongst the most formidable of frontrunners having only dropped four points all season from a winning position and having built a two-goal cushion they were never going to be caught.
However, just to make sure, the champions doubled their tally after the break though neither strike had the hallmark of quality assigned to those in opening forty-five minutes.
First captain Kompany deflected home Barry’s long-range effort and then Yaya Toure’s shot from an impossible angle clipped Newcastle substitute James Perch on its way into the net. For now the Ivory Coast star will claim it but the dubious goals panel will doubtless have the final say.
There were chances to make it five but Elliot remained defiant most notably from substitute Scott Sinclair.