Manchester City climbed to top of the Premier League with a controversial 2-0 victory over Newcastle United on Sunday.
Edin Dzeko put the visitors ahead early on as City made a bright start, but the game's major talking point came when Newcastle's Cheick Tiote had a goal ruled out for offside 10 minutes before the break.
The Ivorian rifled the ball into the back of the net from just outside the penalty area, before referee Mike Jones appeared to deem Yoan Gouffran to be interfering with play in an offside position.
And as Newcastle pushed for a late equaliser, Alvaro Negredo made sure of the points in stoppage time.
The result is City’s 10th consecutive victory over Newcastle and lifts them a point clear of Chelsea at the summit of the table.
City’s successful day was marred somewhat by an apparent knee injury to Samir Nasri, though, as the France international was hacked down by Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa in the second half and had to be stretchered off.
Alan Pardew made three changes from Newcastle’s last Premier League outing - a 1-0 defeat to West Brom on New Year’s Day - and handed Steven Taylor a first top-flight start since the opening day of the season at City.
The visitors, who have endured a busy schedule of late with matches in the Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup since the turn of the year, stuck with the in-form attacking duo of Negredo and Dzeko in the continued absence of Sergio Aguero.
And Manuel Pellegrini’s men were quick out of the blocks, going ahead in the eighth minute through Dzeko.
Aleksandar Kolarov found the Bosnian with a superb low cross from the left, allowing him to fire into the roof of the net from close range for his 13th goal of the season in all competitions and his second against Newcastle, having netted in City’s League Cup victory at St James’ Park in October.
City continued to dominate as Newcastle struggled to keep hold of possession, with Kolarov sending a dangerous ball across the face of goal and agonisingly out of the reach of an outstretched Negredo, before the Spaniard headed over from a Nasri cross.
But Pardew’s side started to settle as Taylor guided the ball wide of the left-hand post from a corner and Yohan Cabaye blazed over from the tightest of angles.
Tiote had the ball in the back of the City net moments later - drilling home a sensational effort from 20 yards out - but, after consultation with his linesman, referee Mike Jones controversially ruled out the effort for offside to the disbelief of all in black and white.
Joe Hart was called into action shortly before the hour mark as he dived to his right to deny a fizzing Cabaye effort, before getting down well to deny Loic Remy after the French striker was sent clean through on goal.
Fernandinho then hit the crossbar for City, but Negredo had better fortune in stoppage time as he slotted into the back of the net after reacting quickest to Krul's save from his initial effort - the Spaniard's fifth goal in his last three games.
|Coach: A. Pardew|
for V. Anita 73'
for Y. Gouffran 82'
for M. Yanga-Mbiwa 82'
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