A much-changed, 10-man City extended their unbeaten run in the U18 Premier League with an action-packed 2-1 victory over the Magpies at the Newcastle United Academy.
Muric's sending off shortly after the break made it a difficult afternoon for the Blues but they held on for the victory at the home of one of their title rivals.
City were out of the blocks quickly and had been edged out a couple of times before Hardy met an in-swinging corner just before the half hour mark to give his side the lead.
Although not necessarily known for his aerial prowess, Hardy's head was also responsible for City's second a few minutes later after an excellent cross by Luke Bolton.
A rare mistake in the City defence gave Newcastle striker Mackenzie Heaney the chance to get his side back in the match from the penalty spot but Aro Muric was equal to his effort diving low to his right hand side.
Muric went from hero to villain early in the second half as he reacted to a late challenge and was deemed the instigator of a melee in his own area. The Swiss goalkeeper was sent off before being stretchered away from the pitch.
New goalkeeper Pavel Sokol's first job was to pick the ball out of the back of his net as Heaney fired an unstoppable shot past him and gave the hosts a route back into the game.
Youngsters Taylor Richards and Bobby Duncan came on and gave the Blues a new lease of life to see them through the challenging closing moments as Newcastle pressed - but failed - to get the equaliser.
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What it means...
Lee Carsley's side have 20 points from their opening eight games in the U18 Premier League and remain unbeaten.
City travel to Middlesbrough on Saturday 5 November for the latest fixture in the U18 Premier League.
Man of the match...
Will Patching - Patching dominated much of the game from the centre of the park.
Physically imposing at this age group and armed with a complete passing range, the England midfielder was able to provide for his teammates in the first half and see them through the difficult second half.
How they lined up...
A busy week involving both UEFA Youth League and international action meant City were forced to ring the changes.