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Premier League

Newcastle 0 Manchester City 2: Alan Pardew forced to apologise as abuse is picked up on television

The Newcastle manager appeared to make reference to the age of his City counterpart

At 60, Manuel Pellegrini is hardly over the hill. Yet Alan Pardew was forced to issue an apology for an ageist – and offensive – barb as passions spilled over at St James’ Park.

Pardew is just eight years the junior of his Manchester City counterpart, who was the subject of his ire after the Chilean pointed out that the Newcastle United manager was rather too over-enthusiastic in his attempts to influence referee Mike Jones in a game where the visitors benefited from a hugely disputed ruling from the officials.

Adopting a rather sheepish tone when realising his overly industrial language – “shut your noise you f****** old c***” – had been picked up on TV as the pair came together towards the end of the first half and as they made their way to the tunnel at half-time, Pardew said: “I have apologised for that particular word.

“You know, we always tease each other and have words. What he said to me is going to remain private, but it didn’t merit my response, to be honest. I hear that what I said has been picked up a bit and I apologise for my comments. It was a heat-of-the-moment thing, words that we always have as managers, to a degree. I’ve apologised to him and I’m fortunate that he’s accepted.

“I was frustrated today, and I think most Newcastle fans were, but I did not complain at every decision.”

When told of Pardew’s exact words, Pellegrini insisted: “It’s nothing important. I don’t know what he said. I know some managers think they will get an advantage if they always complain about decisions.

“It’s impossible to complain at every decision during the match. I know they are playing at home and they have advantage in that sense but it is impossible to complain about every decision, that’s why I had a problem with Alan.”

Naturally, the rival dugouts differed in their view of the contest’s pivotal moment, Cheick Tioté’s stunning though disallowed first-half strike.

Yoan Gouffran was clearly offside and interfering with play as Tioté’s long-range effort found the net, a ruling Pardew took issue with in the wake of a fourth consecutive defeat. He said: “I’m frustrated. The disallowed goal set the tone for the game because we felt a huge injustice. It was a great moment for this club to get a goal like that so if you’re going to chalk it off you’ve got to make sure you’ve got the point right. I’ve been to see the referee and my point was, did he think Gouffran was interfering with Joe Hart?

“He said, ‘he was in the six yard box’. I get that, the guy was recovering from an offside position but he didn’t want anything to do with the play. He was not interfering with Hart’s vision, but City players were. It’s a real technical matter he’s talking about here. To chalk off a goal of that quality takes some doing.

“It set the tone for the rest of the game. I thought it was a clean goal and didn’t even think there was any doubt. The decision is an injustice.”

Pellegrini was, if nothing else, straight to the point: “The player was in an offside position when Tioté kicked the ball. It was a valid decision.”

The City manager elaborated somewhat more on what he felt should have been a red card for Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa. The Newcastle defender escaped with a caution for a horrendous second-half lunge at Samir Nasri that saw the City midfielder leaving St James’ Park in a knee brace.

“His injury is very serious,” Pellegrini said. “It was a very unfair kick from the Newcastle player. It was a red card and I don’t understand why he was not sent off. Nasri has a problem with his medial ligaments in his knee. We will see on Monday how serious it is, but I think it’s a serious injury.”

Pardew said: “Mapou didn’t want him to get away and he was a bit rash in the challenge, but he’s not like that. I hope Nasri’s OK.”

The City striker Sergio Aguero could make his return from injury in Wednesday’s FA Cup third-round replay against Blackburn Rovers he said last night.