Newcastle stun Arsenal

LONDON — Andy Carroll finally made headlines for the right reasons as the striker gave Newcastle a shock 1-0 victory over Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

By (AFP)

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Published: Sun 7 Nov 2010, 11:41 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 4:30 AM

Mario Balotelli eased the pressure on Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini by scoring twice before being sent off in Sunday’s 2-0 win against West Bromwich Albion.

Carroll, who along with team-mate Kevin Nolan had been the subject of lurid newspaper allegations about his private life hours before kick-off, rose superbly to claim the only goal of the game moments before the interval.

That was enough to ensure Newcastle claimed a third successive league victory, while Arsenal’s title challenge was dented by their second defeat in six home league games.

The Gunners failed to offer enough of an attacking threat despite dominating long periods of possession and a miserable afternoon was summed up by the dismissal of Laurent Koscielny in added time.

Yet while Arsenal laboured in front of goal, Carroll’s predatory instincts stood out and will no doubt have caught the eye of England coach Fabio Capello.

“Andy’s still learning the game, he’s getting better,” Newcastle boss Chris Hughton told Sky Sports.

“He’s had his ups and downs and he gets bullied at times, all of these things, but he’s certainly going in the right direction.”

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, whose private life was also subject to newspaper allegations over the weekend, added: “It was a big disappointment because our performance was not good enough. But I think we were unlucky because they had one shot on target and we lost 1-0.”

City win

Balotelli netted twice in six minutes in the first half at The Hawthorns before he made a rapid transformation from hero to villain with a straight red card in the second half for a reckless kick at Youssouf Mulumbu, who was also later sent off.

That dismissal provided evidence of why Balotelli’s high-maintenance reputation has dogged his career and Mancini was clearly furious, despite his obvious relief at a first win in four games ahead of their crunch encounter with Manchester United on Wednesday.

City’s desperately needed victory inflicted West Brom’s first home defeat in the league since January and there were signs that Mancini can indeed challenge for the title with his expensively assembled squad.

In Italian striker Balotelli, he clearly has a maverick talent but one that will test his patience countless times again this season.

Defeat in the Europa League to Lech Poznan in midweek did little to soften the spotlight on Mancini, who is expected to challenge for the title after a massive close-season spending spree.

Three defeats in succession is not the kind of streak City’s billionaire owners had in mind when they appointed Mancini and it was crucial that the nosedive was halted as quickly as possible to avoid patience snapping in the boardroom.

A poor turnout from the visiting fans appeared to suggest the faith in Mancini is dwindling. And the opening quarter of an hour was hardly an improvement from their last visit to the Black Country, when they were embarrassed by Wolves.

But once Balotelli stopped picking fights with opponents and concentrating on his reported 180,000 pounds a week wages, City were ahead after 20 minutes.

City were more menacing thanks to the return of Carlos Tevez and his cross from the right found Balotelli at the far post and he bundled the ball over the line. —



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