City became the first team to win six consecutive Premier League games this season with a hard-earned 2-0 victory over Newcastle United.
However, Manuel Pellegrini was less than happy with Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa’s tackle on Samir Nasri which brought a premature end to the French playmaker’s afternoon.
The City boss revealed that the early indications are that Nasri will be out for some time with a serious knee injury and the 60-year old was angered that the Newcastle full-back was only shown a yellow card.
He also strongly disagrees with Alan Pardew’s assertion that Chiekh Tiote’s first-half piledriver should have stood.
“Of course it should have been disallowed,” Pellegrini declared.
“It was an offside goal – it’s very simple. The referee made the right decision.
“It should have been a red card for the tackle by Yanga-Mbiwa on Samir Nasri. A direct red card - we didn’t have any extra help from the referee today.
“Nasri has a serious injury with his knee – it was directly a red card.
“Maybe it’s medial ligaments. We’ll see tomorrow what happens with him - Yaya’s had a problem with his back all week and it was worse today during the game.
“Dzeko also has a problem with his calf from another foul by Newcastle.”
Putting the controversial moments to one side, Pellegrini was delighted to leave St James’ Park with all three points, especially considering some of the scalps the Magpies have taken so far this season.
“Newcastle are a very tough team here – ask Man United and Chelsea – they have a direct style with pushing, grabbing and hard tackles,” Manuel asserted.
“We defended very well, we scored two goals and had a lot more chances to score more goals.
“Everyone is talking about the amount of goals we score, we try to attack and be creative but I always say how important it is to defend well.
“Newcastle have a high intensity, to not allow us to play so today we didn’t have the possession but without the ball we had more goals and more clear chances.
“In that sense, we are improving, maybe at the start of the season we would have lost the game but we’re better now and we won.”
Joe Hart was required on a couple of occasions to deny the Magpies with the score only 1-0 to City.
Pellegrini paid tribute to his goalkeeper but also pointed out that his opposite number was equally, if not more busy.
“Joe made a great save from a one v one before we scored the second and I also think the Newcastle keeper had a very good save or two. We had more clear chances that Newcastle in the whole game.
“When I made the decision to play Pantilimon, Joe Hart worked very hard and he’s in a good moment.
“But we shouldn’t forget that their goalkeeper played very well, too. Krul made a couple of very good saves or we could have scored more goals.”
Pellegrini’s Newcastle counterpart Alan Pardew was furious with referee Michael Jones’ decision to disallow Tiote’s goal.
“For me, it’s an entertainment business to a degree – he’s hit a shot that Joe Hart is not going to save and his vision is not impaired,” Pardew raged.
“I don’t understand it. Even if City’s back four on the edge of the box, it’s such a clean hit that Joe’s not going to save it. It was a massive call because in these games, these decisions have to go your way.
“It was probably easier for him to give the goal so I don’t know why he hasn’t.
“We were so frustrated, we put in a hell of a performance –we were up against a great team, we couldn’t have played any better and we’re so disappointed not to be level at half-time.
“I don’t think 2-0 is a fair reflection of the game.”
City v Blackburn
City take on Blackburn in the FA Cup 3rd round replay on Wednesday 15 January – don’t miss the chance to cheer the Blues on as Manuel Pellegrini’s side chases a possible Wembley double. Adult prices start from £15 and Under-16s are just £5. Details here.