NEWCASTLE UNITED 0 vs MANCHESTER CITY 2
NEWCASTLE manager Alan Pardew was forced to apologise for an expletive-laden tirade at opposite number Manuel Pellegrini yesterday as Manchester City reclaimed top spot in the Premier League.
Pardew, 52, was caught on camera calling Pellegrini, 60, a “f****** old ****” in a touchline row that followed the contentious disallowing of Newcastle midfielder Cheick Tiote’s would-be equaliser.
City were leading through Edin Dzeko when referee Mike Jones ruled the offside Yoann Gouffran to be interfering with play, despite not blocking goalkeeper Joe Hart’s sight for Tiote’s first-half strike.
Striker Alvaro Negredo added a second in stoppage time as City moved one point clear of Chelsea.
“I apologise for my comments 100 per cent. It was a heat of the moment thing. We just had words that we always have as managers, to a degree. I have apologised to him and fortunately he has accepted that,” said Pardew.
Pellegrini indicated he had not realised exactly what Pardew had said, adding: “I’m not surprised because I think it’s impossible to complain about every decision of the referee during the match. That was my only problem with Alan, but nothing important.”
Pardew called Jones’s decision to deny Tiote’s goal “wrong”. Pellegrini disagreed and criticised the official for only booking Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa for a tackle that looks to have inflicted a lengthy absence on Samir Nasri.
“There should have been a red card for the foul, Nasri has a serious injury in the knee,” he said. “I can’t understand how he wasn’t sent off. We didn’t have any help from the ref.”
Having struggled on the road early this season, City have now won six and drawn two of their last eight away games, and got off to a fine start on nine minutes when Dzeko rattled in Aleksandar Kolarov’s early cross.
Their lead was preserved by the controversial disallowing of Tiote’s 35th-minute thunderbolt and then later by Joe Hart, the England goalkeeper denying Magpies striker Loic Remy at point-blank range.
Despite Nasri’s injury, the visitors threatened on the break and hit the bar through Fernandinho’s header before James Milner released Negredo to score his 19th of the season – City’s 94th, already one more than they managed in all of last term.