Alan Pardew's apparent headbutt on David Meyler soured an otherwise fine day for Newcastle United as they won 4-1 at Hull City on Saturday.
Pardew's men produced a fine performance to secure their first league win over Hull since 1990, a result that keeps the Yorkshire club in the relegation mix.
But it is Pardew's antics that will grab the headlines after he clashed with Hull midfielder Meyler in a sideline confrontation between the pair.
The Newcastle boss is likely to face disciplinary action in the aftermath of the result, having avoided a charge for a touchline row with Manuel Pellegrini in January.
Moussa Sissoko converted from Mathieu Debuchy's cross to give Newcastle the lead, which was doubled by in-form striker Loic Remy in the closing stages of the first half.
Hull pulled one back through Curtis Davies, only for Sissoko and Vurnon Anita to make sure of the points, though Pardew grabbed the headlines for all the wrong reasons.
Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa was named in the Newcastle defence in the absence of captain Fabricio Coloccini, and it was the visitors who made the better start to proceedings, Yoan Gouffran firing narrowly wide early on with a drive from the edge of the area.
Hull would have taken the lead inside nine minutes if not for the reflexes of Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul, who produced a fine double save to deny Alex Bruce 's header and Shane Long's close-range follow-up.
The Dutchman's heroics were rewarded less than 30 seconds later when Sissoko turned Debuchy's low right-wing cross into the top corner with an emphatic finish.
The hosts almost responded immediately as Long headed just over the crossbar from Liam Rosenior's delivery and Nikica Jelavic wasted a similar opportunity.
Hull continued to create the better chances but were denied by the woodwork after 35 minutes when Jelavic's curling free-kick was deflected against the bar, before Ahmed Elmohamady nodded Long's magnificent cross wide of the mark.
And Hull were made to pay for their profligacy three minutes prior to the interval, Remy capitalising on a horrendous backpass from Figueroa by rounding goalkeeper Allan McGregor and slotting into the empty net.
Steve Bruce's side were quick out of the blocks in the second half and instantly pulled one back following the restart as Davies headed home Huddlestone's inswinging free-kick.
But Hull's defensive struggles undermined their attacking ambition, with Newcastle's two-goal advantage restored on 55 minutes when Sissoko tapped home a rebound from Gouffran's shot, finishing off a counter-attack that he had started.
Newcastle then looked to push for a fourth, Luuk de Jong going close to his first the club before Remy was brilliantly denied by a flying save from McGregor.
However, the game took an ugly turn in the 72nd minute when former Sunderland midfielder Meyler clashed with Pardew, whose inexplicable headbutt saw him sent to the stands by referee Kevin Friend.
Hull were lucky to see Curtis Davies avoid a red card for pulling down Remy, but Newcastle did add the gloss to a fine win as Anita tapped in with almost the final kick following good work from Dan Gosling and Paul Dummett.
|27||Ahmed El Mohamady|
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