Brilliant, fluent, irresistible and back to winning ways.
City dragged themselves off the floor following their derby despair to serve notice that the title race is a long way from over.
Yes there was some brittleness and vulnerability at St James’ Park but this was an excellent Blues performance. In short they did what champions do!
After weathering an early storm Sergio Aguero and Javi Garcia put Roberto Mancini’s men two up at the break. Ba pulled one back before Yaya Toure – again thriving in the North East air as he did last season – made the points safe.
If City had been allowed to hand pick opposition after a bruising and hurtful loss to United then Newcastle would have been somewhere near the top of the list.
Not because Alan Pardew’s recently out of form side is sub-standard but simply because since the Blues return to the top flight games against the Toon have proved the most joyous of happy hunting grounds.
Not since 2005 had City surrendered full points in a match against Newcastle, City have now won the last six meetings between the teams and the Geordie Nation has not prevailed in any of the last dozen head-to-heads.
Their last win was in September 2005, when Michael Owen scored the only goal in a 1-0 win at St James' Park!
In addition to all those facts and figures, the Blues started this game with another statistical comfort blanket in which to snuggle – namely that they hadn’t lost two successive EPL games in 26 months. They still haven’t.
The men charged with enhancing that magnificent sequence included Javi Garcia and Sami Nasri and a strike partnership of Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez – amazingly the first time they had begun together in seven matches. Every other time they had started alongside one another in the league the Blues had triumphed.
Newcastle had lost five of their last six matches before this one but any nerves or self-doubt didn’t show and Joe Hart had to make a smart save in the opening ninety minutes as the Blues continued their habit of allowing easy crosses to come into the box.
This time it was Papiss Cisse on the end of it and Hart was down smartly to save. It was the start of a busy period for England’s number one as the Blues struggled for a foothold.
The Toon’s impersonation of a greyhound exiting the traps with its tail on fire fizzled out after just ten minutes when Aguero struck.
What a goal it was for the Blues. Captain Yaya’s sweeping, curling, pass was caressed from the half way line to Samir Nasri whose intelligent cut back was rolled into the net by Aguero. Gorgeous.
Having deflated the home side the Blues could and may be should have put them away in a five minute spell after the goal. Tevez was denied by the legs of Tim Krul and then couldn’t turn in another decent chance at the far post.
Newcastle were cut to ribbons during that mesmerising spell which was as good as anything City had produced all season. Davide Santon on the left of the home defence might have needed tablets for dizziness at the break.
Nasri hit the post after more unstoppable footwork from Silva. The Blues were at their best but not able to add to their tally leaving a horribly nagging feeling at the back of the mind.
That ear worm of doubt continued to wriggle when Nasri limped out of the fray adding to an already over-long injury list. Aleks Kolarov was the replacement as the first half drew towards a close.
But the scintilla of doubt retreated quickly within sixty seconds of the enforced change when Garcia again showed his prowess in the air – as he did at Stoke – nodding in a second in the 38th minute from Silva’s corner.
Concern was, however, back with a vengeance five minutes after the break when Demba Ba headed in for the home side after the Blues offside trap imploded and Hart was left in no-man’s land.
For a while the Toon rocked and City wobbled. The possession needle swung violently the way of the black and whites.
But Ba could only hit the side netting when presented with a chance to level and City struck back through Zabaleta and Kolarov who both produced fine low crosses to keep the home side on the back foot.
Kolarov then became one of a rare breed – a substitute that is subbed. He left the pitch and Edin Dzeko arrived to add more height and weight at both ends of the pitch.
It was a tactical gamble that paid off as Newcastle failed to clear a Zabaleta cross and Toure swept home the clincher.
This was just the tonic that City fans needed.