Football: Pellegrini bridles after bruising City win

NEWCASTLE, United Kingdom - Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini was more concerned by Newcastle United's fouls than the foul-mouthed language of their manager Alan Pardew after an incident-packed encounter at St James' Park.

However, the Football Association (FA) are unlikely to be as forgiving if the report of referee Mike Jones details the obscenities used by Pardew as his side went down 2-0 at St James' Park on Sunday.

Goals from Edin Dzeko and Alvaro Negredo lifted City back to the top of the Premier League table, but they paid a high price as Samir Nasri suffered a knee ligament injury that could rule him out for at least a month.

The major talking point of the match was undoubtedly a 34th-minute disallowed goal by Newcastle's Cheick Tiote and the angry exchanges that followed.

Jones ruled that Yoan Gouffran, clearly standing offside, was interfering with play as he swerved away to let Tiote's fierce strike veer inside the right-hand post.

Pellegrini had no doubt that Jones was correct.

"I don't understand Newcastle's frustration, because it was an offside goal. He (Gouffran) was offside and disturbed Joe Hart," he said.

"I was not surprised by the reaction because they are playing at home, but it's impossible to complain about every decision."

Hart later supplied further evidence to support the official when he claimed to team-mates that he did not go for the ball because he thought that Gouffran was in his way.

Yet nothing they said could alter the opinion of Pardew, whose angry outburst after the decision was picked up by television cameras and could lead to action from the FA.

Pardew later apologised, saying: "I hear it's been picked up and I apologise 100 percent for my comments.

"It was a heat-of-the-moment thing and we had words that we always hear as managers. I've apologised to him and I'm pleased that he has accepted that."

But he remained adamant that the referee's decision was wrong.

"It was getting a little bit heated because that decision was such an injustice," he said.

"For me this is an entertainment business and Cheick hit a goal that Joe Hart was never going to save. The ball went through bodies, but the keeper's vision was not impaired.

"I don't understand it. Even if City's back four was on the edge of the box and four (Newcastle players) were offside, it was such a clean hit that it was going into the corner.

"There was no way he could be in the keeper's view. The referee got it wrong."

Tiote was equally bemused, saying: "I don't understand why it wasn't given. Gouffran was next to the keeper, but he didn't touch the ball.

"That's football, though, and sometimes you need to accept it and go forward. I think we played well and that's the most important thing."

Newcastle responded impressively after Dzeko's eighth-minute opener and Hart had to make several fine saves before Negredo made the game safe in stoppage time.

City have now scored 94 goals in 32 games - more than they managed in the whole of last season.

"Everyone knows about the the amount of goals we score, because we are an attacking team, but it's very important to know how to defend and we defended very well here," Pellegrini said.

"Newcastle made a lot of fouls and deserved a red card for the foul on Nasri. I think it was an unfair kick by the Newcastle player (Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa) and I don't understand why he was not sent off."

Newcastle have now lost four games in a row, but Pardew said: "I thought we were very good in a lot of areas and didn't let City dominate the game.

"We had opportunities and Joe Hart made some great saves. When you play that well, you usually get a result, so credit to City. They played very well to get the win."