Substitute Adam Johnson was City’s saviour again as his second goal in four days sent City into second place in the Premiership.
The blues dropped the winger and Emmanuel Adebayor to the bench as Roberto Mancini reverted to his much preferred 4-5-1. The visitors started brightly but suffered a major setback within the first few minutes of the game.
Hatem Ben Arfa went down injured following a challenge from Nigel de Jong and the winger received several minutes of treatment on the pitch, before being given oxygen and stretchered off with a suspected broken left leg.
Both teams seemed to cancel each other out following Ben Arfa’s injury but the blues broke the deadlock in rather dubious circumstances in the 18th minute. Caros Tevez looked to get away from Newcastle defender Mike Williamson but fell under a challenge from the defender, who appeared to get a toe on the ball.
The referee though judged it as a penalty and Tevez dusted himself off to smash home the spot kick, but the lead didn’t last long. Jonas Guiterrez crossed but Kolo Toure blocked the ball, only for the Argentine to collect and hammer past Joe Hart in the City goal from just ten yards out.
Newcastle were looking to create an upset and had the better of the half but would also lose their centre half Fabricio Coloccini with a groin injury before half time. City created chances but wasted them as they half time whistle blew and the scores were level.
With Newcastle looking industrious and likely to score, the blues introduced Emmanuel Adebayor to replace Yaya Toure. The Togolese striker looked like he would score his first goal of the season, but was continually beaten by the linesman’s flag.
With the scores still level, Gareth Barry was replaced by Johnson in the 72nd minute and the England winger turned the game. Collecting a pass on the wing, Johnson ran at the Newcastle defence, turned two players inside out and unleashed a low, left foot shot that found the bottom corner of the goal to send City 2-1 up.
Newcastle toiled and had a penalty appeal rejected when Shola Ameobi appeared to have been fouled in the area by Joleon Lescott but, to Lescott’s and the City faithful’s relief, referee Martin Atkinson waved play on.
Newcastle could have snatched a draw close to the end when Williams had a clear header but couldn’t direct it on target.
So a third straight win for City, which sends them up above United and, following Arsenal’s defeat at Stamford Bridge, into second place in the Premiership table.