Alan Pardew last night described the decision to disallow Cheick Tiote's goal against Manchester City as an "injustice" on a day when the Newcastle United manager struggled to control his temper.
He was understandably furious when his captain’s incredible left-foot strike was ruled out by referee Mike Jones.
Pardew, who also had an angry spat with City manager Manuel Pellegrini, let Jones and his assistants know what he thought of the decision at half-time of the 2-0 defeat at St James’ Park yesterday.
His mood hadn’t lifted at the end of the match. Pardew said: “Of course I’m frustrated. The goal which was disallowed set the tone for the game because we felt a huge injustice.
“I’ve gone and seen him (Jones). I was right behind the shot as the fourth official was and it was a clean strike.
“It was a great moment for this club to get a goal like that so if you’re going to chalk it off you have to make sure you have the point right. My point was, did he think Yoan Gouffran was interfering with Joe Hart, and he said, ‘he was in the six- yard box’.
“I get that, the guy was recovering from an offside position but he didn’t want anything to do with the play. He wasn’t interfering with Joe’s vision.
“In fact, it goes on the inside of him. It was City players impeding Joe’s vision, not Gouffran.
“I did ask the fourth official because he saw the whole picture and you can tell there was no interference, but the fourth official said they don’t get involved in those type of decisions.
“What can I say, the referee said he thought the shot took a deflection, which it didn’t, so he didn’t see it clearly.
“When it happens so quick, it is difficult. I just thought it was a clean goal. I didn’t even think there was any doubt.”
Pardew and City manager Manuel Pellegrini got involved in a touchline argument before half-time, television camera picking up industrial language from the Newcastle boss.
The Spaniard claimed Pardew was guilty of complaining about every decision, something the Newcastle manager denied. Pardew added: “I hear that what I said has been picked up a bit and I apologise for my comments.
“It was a heat-of-the-moment thing, words we always have as managers, to a degree.
“I’ve apologised to him and I’m fortunate he’s accepted that.
“I have apologised for that particular word.
“You know, we always tease each other and have words. What he said to me is going to remain private, but it didn’t merit my response to be honest.
“I was frustrated. I think most Newcastle fans were, but I did not complain at every decision.”
The relationship between the two men wasn’t helped by what looked like a serious injury to Samir Nasri, who had been caught by full-back Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa’s tackle.
Nasri left the field in tears and his season looks to be over.
Pellegrini said: “His injury is very serious. It was a very unfair kick from the Newcastle player.
“It was a red card. I don’t understand why he was not sent off.”
Pardew defended his player and also claimed no bid had been received for Papiss Cisse, who has been linked with a move to Qatar.
He said: “He (Pellegrini) made a point in his mind that he didn’t want him to get away and Mapou was rash, but he’s not like that, so I hope Nasri’s okay.”
Aside from the result, this was Newcastle’s best performance of 2014 by some distance.
They had more possession than their opponents, who returned to the top of the Premier League, and they should have taken one of their other chances.
Pardew added: “I thought we were very good in a lot of areas, we didn’t let them dominate the game, we pressed and looked for opportunities.
“We had two good chances, Joe Hart made terrific saves from Yohn Cabaye and Loic Remy.
“I have to say when we play as well as that we usually get a result, so full credit to Manchester City because they had to play very well.”