Newcastle United boss defends Mapou

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ALAN Pardew has defended Newcastle United Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa - after the Manuel Pellegrini claimed he should have been sent off.

Yanga-Mbiwa brought down Manchester City’s Samir Nasri in yesterday’s 2-0 Premier League defeat at St James’s Park.

Nasri was stretchered off with what City manager Pellegrini described as a “serious” knee injury. Pellegrini insisted the tackle, which earned Yanga-Mbiwa a booking, deserved a red card.

“I was disappointed Nasri got injured in that tackle,” United manager Pardew said.

“It wasn’t malicious. Mapou just wanted to stop them breaking on us.

“He made a point in his mind that he didn’t want him to get away, and he was a bit rash in that challenge. He is not like that, though, and I hope Nasri is OK.”

Pellegrini labelled the challenge a “very unfair kick”.

“It’s very serious,” he said. “It was a very unfair kick, and it was directly a red card. I don’t understand why he was not sent off.”

Meanwhile, West Ham United striker Andy Carroll is in line to start against his former club Newcastle at Upton Park on Saturday after making his comeback from injury in the club’s 2-0 win over Cardiff City.

Gateshead-born Carroll set up Mark Noble’s late goal after coming off the bench at the Cardiff City Stadium.

The 25-year-old, signed from Liverpool last summer, had been sidelined with a foot injury.