Manchester City went top in the Premier League yesterday with a 2-0 win at Newcastle United that could have repercussions for both teams on and off the pitch.
Off it, Newcastle manager Alan Pardew heads those who may face disciplinary action after touchline rows that followed the controversial decision to disallow a goal by Cheick Tiote.
City, meanwhile, face the possibility of losing key player Samir Nasri for a lengthy period after he was taken off on a stretcher with a leg injury following a foul by Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa.
Man City celebrate their goal. Pic/ AFP
Edin Dzeko scored an early goal and Alvaro Negredo added another in stoppage time to give City their 10th successive win against Newcastle.
But the main talking point was referee Mike Jones’ decision to disallow Tiote’s goal because he considered that Yoan Gouffran, who was in an offside position, was interfering with play.
After a corner, the ball was cleared to Tiote, whose fierce first-time shot flew through the crowded goalmouth and inside the far post.
Tiote was already celebrating with Pardew and the rest of the United coaching team when it dawned on them that referee Jones was consulting his assistant Stephen Child.
The fall-out from the contentious verdict was unsavoury as Pardew apparently swore at his City counterpart Manuel Pellegrini and coaches from both clubs went head-to-head in arguments.
Fourth official Martin Atkinson appeared to hear what was said and, although nobody was sent to the stands, there may be consequences once the FA receives a report on the match.
Jones’ decision, and what followed, overshadowed the frantic action of a fiercely contested match.
City extended their unbeaten run to 16 games, but they were indebted to goalkeeper Joe Hart for several fine saves as they came under pressure in the second half.