Football - Pellegrini won't dwell on spat

Manuel Pellegrini played down a furious touchline spat with Newcastle counterpart Alan Pardew as Manchester City climbed back to the top of the Barclays Premier League table.

The Chilean found himself on the wrong end of an expletive-laden rant from Pardew during the first-half of a controversial encounter at St James' Park.

However, Pellegrini was not unduly concerned by the verbal volley, but more with his opposite number's running battle with the match officials as City claimed a 2-0 win.

He said: "I'm not surprised because I think it is impossible to complain about every decision of the referee during the match.

"I know they were playing at home and they have an advantage in that sense, but it's impossible for the referee if you are complaining at every decision.

"That was my only problem with Alan, but nothing important."

Pardew was contrite after discovering that his comments had been clearly audible, and apologised to the City boss.

The 52-year-old said: "I hear that it's been picked up a little bit, and I apologise for my comments 100 per cent.

"It was a heat of the moment thing. We just had words that we always have as managers, to a degree. I have apologised to him and fortunately for myself, he has accepted that."