Pardew forced to apologise for foul-mouthed rant at Pellegrini
Victory takes former champions back to top of table but Nasri injury tempers joy
Newcastle head coach Alan Pardew (centre) is stopped from arguing with Manchester City head coach Manuel Pellegrini (right) at St James’ Park
Alan Pardew was forced to apologise to Manuel Pellegrini for calling Manchester City’s manager “a f***king old c***” during City’s 2-0 win on a bad-tempered, highly contentious afternoon on Tyneside.
The victory took City to the top of the Premier League while Newcastle suffered a somewhat harsh fourth successive defeat, but Pellegrini’s pleasure was dampened by a serious knee injury sustained by Samir Nasri following a nasty tackle from Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa.
The Newcastle United manager claimed he swore at his counterpart after being provoked by the Chilean. But Pardew’s mood was already blackened by Cheik Tiote’s stunning “equaliser”, following Edin Dzeko’s opener, being disallowed for an offside against Yoan Gouffran.
Although Gouffran could, technically, have been deemed to be interfering with play, namely blocking Joe Hart’s vision, Pardew felt this was a pedantic application of a technicality that was made irrelevant by the ferocity of a tremendous shot from outside the area that Hart would never have saved.
“Cheik’s scored a goal that Joe Hart’s not going to reach,” Pardew claimed. “It was such a clean hit it was going in the top corner. Hart’s vision was not impaired by Yoan. He [Mike Jones] got that wrong and it’s a massive call. He’s gone on a real tiny technicality here and I think he’s wrong. To make a call like that, a player has to be clearly interfering.
“When I spoke to the referee he actually thought it had got deflected, which it hadn’t. It was a clean strike. It’s hard, it all happened so quickly, but a call like that is going to affect the game. It was all getting a little bit heated. It affected the players.”
Pellegrini saw things rather differently. “The referee was correct,” he said, referring to Tiote’s disallowed goal before expressing dismay that Yanga-Mbiwa had merely been booked for his challenge on 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 . . . It was a very tough game with a lot of pushing and grabbing.”
It was left to James Milner, a second-half substitute, to express Hart’s viewpoint. “It was an amazing strike but what Harty says was that although the lad [Gouffran] wasn’t blocking his view of the ball he was standing where he was going to dive, so Harty couldn’t really make a dive.
“Harty also said he wasn’t sure if he would have got it anyway, but Gouffran was in his way. If someone is in your way you are not going to dive on them. Maybe he wasn’t interfering, but it is such a hard one to get right. I can see both sides. It was an amazing strike and it was unfortunate for them, but it’s the grey area of the offside rule.”
When television cameras clearly picked up Pardew’s foul-mouthed rebuke to Pellegrini after the pair became embroiled in a technical-area altercation, there seemed no shades of grey.
“I hear my comments were picked up and I apologise,” said Pardew. “In the heat of the moment we had words as we managers always have.”
When questioned if such rudeness really is that commonplace on the touchline, Newcastle’s manager changed tack. “No it isn’t,” he conceded. “But I have apologised to him. And fortunately he’s accepted.”
Pellegrini, who saw Alvaro Negredo score his side’s second goal in stoppage time, was magnanimous. “Nothing’s broken,” he said. “It was nothing important. It’s not a problem. I was surprised he was complaining at every decision . . . but it’s a very big result for us at a very difficult stadium. Chelsea and Manchester United know how difficult it is to play against Newcastle.”
He felt Yanga-Mbiwa was too physical and Pardew agreed. “Mapou was a bit rash in the challenge,” he said. “He’s not like that, though; I hope Nasri is okay.”