NEWCASTLE United were left furious after Cheik Tiote was denied an equaliser in this afternoon’s defeat to Manchester City.
Tiote beat Joe Hart with a stunning shot, but referee Mike Jones eventually disallowed the strike after consulting linesman Stephen Child.
Yoan Gouffran, stood closest to the goalline, appeared to have been adjudged to have interfered with play – despite not being in Hart’s line of vision.
United had gone behind to an early Edin Dzeko goal, but Alan Pardew’s spirited side – captained by Cheik Tiote – went on to dominate the Premier League match.
But Newcastle couldn’t take advantage of a series of chances, and Alvaro Negredo struck in injury-time to condemn them to a 2-0 defeat.
City took the lead in the eighth minute. Aleksandar Kolarov broke down the left unchecked, and Dzeko was able to meet his cross at the near post.
United, out-thought and out-fought for a spell after the goal by their quick-footed opponents, slowly got a foothold in the game.
Defender Steven Taylor, making his first league start in almost five months, shot wide from a Yohan Cabaye corner. Cabaye also tested Joe Hart from a tight angle.
The game’s moment of controversy game in the 34th minute.
Tiote struck a shot through a crowded box which beat Hart, but after initially awarding the goal – the midfielder ran to the dugout in celebration of what would have been only his second strike for the club – Jones went to consult his assistant Child, who then raised his flag.
The issue appeared to be the positioning of Gouffran, who was to the right of Hart and presumably deemed to be interfering with play, though he was not in the goalkeeper’s eyeline.
Jones’s decision brought an angry St James’s Park to life, and later in the half the Chester-based official waved play on after Mike Williamson was barged over in the City box.
Jones and his two assistants left the field for the half-time break amid protests from fans, players and management.
Visiting manager Manuel Pellegrini and his coaching staff were also involved in verbal exchanges.
Newcastle pressed on for an equaliser after the interval, and Hart made a superb one-handed save to deny Cabaye, who struck a fierce shot from outside the box.
United dominated the half, but they found City robust and resolute without the ball.
Another long-range Cabaye effort fizzed over Hart’s crossbar in the 68th minute. Remy shot at Hart two minutes later after Gouffran played him in with a cross-field ball.
There was a long delay to the game when Samir Nasri, brought down by Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, received treatment. Nasri was eventually stretchered off and replaced by former Newcastle midfielder James Milner.
Pardew threw on Hatem Ben Arfa on in the 82nd minute – the forward replaced Gouffran – and Taylor stopped a shot on the line late in the game.
Negredo ended hopes of a comeback in injury-time when he beat Krul.
And Newcastle supporters applauded their team off the pitch – and booed Jones and his assistants.
NEWCASTLE UNITED: Krul; Santon, S Taylor, Williamson, Yanga-Mbiwa (Haidara, 82); Anita (Cisse, 73), Tiote, Cabaye; Sissoko, Remy, Gouffran (Ben Arfa, 82). Subs not used: Elliot, Gosling, Marveaux, Sammy Ameobi.
MANCHESTER CITY: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Kolarov, Nasri (Milner, 79), Fernandinho, Toure (Garcia, 61), Silva, Negredo, Dzeko (Navas, 52). Subs not used: Pantilimon, Richards, Lescott, Clichy.
Goals: Dzeko 8, Negredo 90
Bookings: Sissoko 38, Cabaye 38, Fernandinho 40, Zabaleta 45, Tiote 49, Yanga-Mbiwa 74
Referee: Mike Jones (Chester)
Attendance: 49,423 (2,400 City)