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Pellegrini defends controversial referee

Manuel Pellegrini has come to the defence of referee Mike Jones by saying that if Newcastle's controversially disallowed goal against Manchester City was legitimate then the offside law is utterly irrelevant and will never be applied.

Referee Jones has been stood down from the Premier League list for this weekend's fixtures after an eventful game at St James' Park on Sunday, when City won 2-0 and Pellegrini was annoyed he did not dismiss Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa for the foul that injured Samir Nasri.

Newcastle were furious that Jones did not allow what they thought was an equaliser to stand when Cheik Tiote's 20-yard shot flew into the City net.

Three Newcastle players were standing in offside positions, with Yoan Gouffran the closest to the City net, but none was in goalkeeper Joe Hart's line of vision, leading United to argue the goal should have stood.

But an unusually animated Pellegrini said: "If that is the rule of offside we will never have a player offside because other teams can make a wall for every free-kick inside the six-yard box, allow the goalkeeper to see the ball and when the kick is taken they move, they jump, they duck, they step aside.

"I am surprised that someone can say that was not an offside, that's incredible. At the beginning of the season the rules on offside changed and a lot of teams put players in front of the goalkeeper, allow him to see the ball but always be standing there, and the referees said that was offside.

"If you have three players and one moves and steps aside so the ball doesn't hit him, I don't understand how one person can say that's not offside."

Pellegrini was surprised that Jones is not refereeing this weekend, adding: "I don't know the reasons why he was stood down."

However, he remains irritated by Yanga-Mbiwa and said it was utterly unnecessary when, having already halted Nasri illegally, he took a swipe that left his fellow Frenchman with a knee injury.

He added: "It was an unfair kick and he didn't need to do it. He just tried to make a foul to stop the counter attack and that is normal but the second kick was unfair and too high also. He didn't need to do it."

And he said that Nasri is still fuming, explaining: "Of course he's very upset because he has to stop at this moment for six weeks with a serious injury."

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