London: Manchester City went top of the Premier League after securing a controversial 2-0 win at Newcastle United on Sunday with an early Edin Dzeko goal and a stoppage time effort from Alvaro Negredo.
Newcastle were incensed that a stunning volley from Ivorian international midfielder Cheick Tiote was disallowed by referee Mike Jones after 34 minutes when the hosts were trailing 0-1.
Tiote smashed the ball home with a swerving 20-metre left-foot shot, but, as the Newcastle players were celebrating, the referee consulted with his linesman and disallowed the goal.
They decided that Yoan Gouffran, who was standing in an offside position three yards from goal, was interfering with play and blocking goalkeeper Joe Hart’s line of vision.
Liverpool also won away with an astonishing 5-3 victory at Stoke City after the home side battled back from a two-goal deficit to level the match at 2-2 by halftime. The eight-goal thriller at Stoke ended with Liverpool winning with two goals from Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez, the top scorer in the Premier League this season, who took his tally to 22 goals.
An own goal from Ryan Shawcross, a penalty from Steven Gerrard on his 650th Liverpool appearance and a fine individual goal from substitute Daniel Sturridge on his return from injury completed Liverpool’s scoring.
Stoke’s goals came from former Liverpool duo Peter Crouch and Charlie Adam, and Jon Walters. Liverpool climbed above Everton and Tottenham Hotspur into fourth place on 42 points.
Tiote, who has scored only one goal for Newcastle in 104 appearances, said: “I think it was a goal and I don’t know why the referee didn’t accept it.“We asked the referee to explain why he didn’t give the goal, but he didn’t say anything so we had to get on with it.” United manager Alan Pardew told a television channel he also did not know why the goal was disallowed as he felt Hart’s vision was not impaired.
“The referee has not been clear in his answers. I don’t understand it. Even if City defenders were on the edge of the box and we’d have had four offside, it’s such a clean hit it was going in the top corner so there was no way Gouffran was in Joe’s view.
“Unfortunately that was a massive call and he has denied it on a tiny technicality here which I think was wrong. It had an impact because we were so frustrated and could not have played any better.”
Dzeko swept City into the lead after eight minutes, timing his run perfectly to meet a cross from Aleksandr Kolarov to plant the ball past Tim Krul.
Their second came in the final seconds when Negredo beat the offside trap and scored at the second attempt after his first effort was blocked by Krul for City’s 94th goal of the season in all competitions.
“It was a very difficult game and it’s a very big result as we know it’s a tough place to come and win,” City manager Manuel Pellegrini said after the match.“It was an offside goal as they were interfering with Joe Hart and the referee made that call,” he added of Tiote’s strike.(Reuters)