Five points to ponder as Man City crash to Newcastle defeat

Manchester City Stand

Defending League Cup champions Manchester City lost 2-0 to Newcastle at the Etihad.

Eliaquim Mangala is struggling, but worth persevering with

At 23, Mangala has more than enough time to become the £30 million player City bought from Porto, the club's fans just have to acknowledge that it may take a season before he steps up to that level. His undoubted potential sees him as one of the best young defenders in Europe, but alongside Martin Demichelis rather than Vincent Kompany, he struggled against Newcastle. The increase in quality, not to mention speed the game is played at, compared to the Portuguese league is huge, but he has one of the best in the business to learn off in Kompany.

City's strike force may need beefing up in January

Sergio Aguero missed large spells of last season with injury, and despite the loss of one of the world's top strikers, City secured the Premier League title largely due to the outstanding performances of Edin Dzeko, and at times Alvaro Negredo. With the Spaniard now departed from the Etihad, Manuel Pellegrini has benefitted from being able to call on Aguero almost at will, which has seen the Argentinian star on the way to scoring 11 goals in 12 games. However, Dzeko, and to an extent Stevan Jovetic, have failed to replicate the quality backup City had last season, with the Bosnian in particular short of form. Unless he or Jovetic hit a purple patch by January, City may have to reinforce the attacking department.

Problems remain with Yaya Toure's form

Newcastle United are normally a side the Ivorian takes great delight in facing, having scored some great goals against the Toon Army in previous seasons. But this time round, he was unable to exert his goalscoring or creative influence on the game, to the extent that Pellegrini replaced him on the hour despite City being behind. He may have had half an eye on the game with Manchester United this weekend, but Toure's form continues to be some way off what he demonstrated last season, which, at 31-years-old, may be a real long term worry.

Frank Lampard's absence on the pitch could be a telling factor for this many slump

Crazy to say it given the riches City have and the quality personal in the squad, but since Lampard was injured against Tottenham a few weeks ago, Pellegrini's side have failed to win in three games. With Toure continuing to struggle, there is no obvious alternative in that midfield role, and Lampard, astonishingly is the club's joint second top scorer. The ability for him to come on for a portion of the game and help with his experience is sorely missed.

This is the worst warm up for the Manchester derby

Louis van Gaal's Manchester United arrive at the Etihad buoyed by their last minute equaliser against Chelsea, and having settled into a patch of pretty strong form, while City are strangely unable to secure wins. Though the games against CSKA and West Ham were away from home, for Newcastle to come to Manchester and score two without reply against a competitive City side will give Pellegrini real cause for concern. It will mean Sunday's lunchtime kick off is set to be a vital game for both sides, and if City were to slip up again, people may start asking questions of the Chilean.

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