Manuel Pellegrini surprised Tiote goal row lingering

City's disappointment over Nasri injury offset by Aguero’s return to squad for FA Cup tie

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini’s disappointment at the serious injury sustained by Samir Nasri hjas been offset by the return of star striker Sergio Aguero after eight games out with a calf injury. Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini’s disappointment at the serious injury sustained by Samir Nasri hjas been offset by the return of star striker Sergio Aguero after eight games out with a calf injury. Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters

Wed, Jan 15, 2014, 01:01

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini is surprised by the controversy still surrounding his side’s win at Newcastle on Sunday.

City left St James’ Park with a 2-0 Premier League success but the story might have been different had Cheick Tiote not seen a goal contentiously ruled out.

Tiote thought he had made the score 1-1 with a superb long-range strike, but Yoan Gouffran, who had been stood in an offside position, was adjudged to be interfering with play.

Tiote and Newcastle celebrated vigorously and an argument ensued on the touchline when it became clear referee Mike Jones had not given the goal.

The shot went in after Gouffran ducked out of its way and it is thought Jones believed the Newcastle player was obscuring City goalkeeper Joe Hart’s view.

For Pellegrini there was no doubt Gouffran was offside.

The Chilean said: “I am surprised that someone can say that was not an offside, that’s incredible. At the beginning of the season the rules on offside changed and a lot of teams put players in front of the goalkeeper, allowing him to see the ball but always be standing there. The referees said that was offside.

“If you have three players and one moves and steps aside so the ball doesn’t hit him, I don’t understand how one person can say that’s not offside.

“If that is the rule of offside we will never have a player offside because other teams can make a wall for every free-kick inside the six-yard box, allow the goalkeeper to see the ball and when the kick is taken they move, they jump, they duck, they step aside.”

Of far more concern to Pellegrini, whose team face Blackburn in an FA Cup third-round replay tonight, was the serious knee injury suffered by playmaker Samir Nasri in the game.

Nasri expects to be out for around eight weeks after damaging ligaments following a bad tackle from Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa.

In a second controversial decision of the afternoon, Jones only showed Yanga-Mbiwa a yellow card.

Pellegrini said: “I said after the game it was an unfair kick and he didn’t need to do it. He just tried to make a foul to stop the counter-attack and that is normal but the second kick was unfair and too high also. He didn’t need to do it.

Serious injury
“Of course he (Nasri) is very upset because he has to stop at this moment for six weeks with a serious injury, but these things happen in football.

“It’s important that you can complain because we are not ice men, so of course we have to complain about some decisions but not every decision.

“The referee made a mistake and nothing happened. It was a pity for Samir.”

Jones will not be refereeing in the Premier League over the coming weekend. In the latest list of referee appointments issued by the Premier League, Jones is named as the fourth official at Saturday’s game between Sunderland and Southampton.

Pellegrini is hopeful the France international might be able to return sooner than initially predicted but concedes the 27-year-old will be missed.

The good news for Pellegrini is striker Sergio Aguero is back in the squad for tonight’s game. The Argentinian has missed the last eight games with a calf injury and his return is timely, with midfielder Samir Nasri (knee) facing eight weeks out.

Midfielder Yaya Toure (back) will not be risked while playmaker David Silva has also suffered a knock.