Refereeing controversy overshadowed Manchester City’s 2-0 win over Newcastle this afternoon, as Edin Dzeko and Alvaro Negredo struck to send City top of the Premier League again. With the score at 1-0, Newcastle’s Cheick Tiote smacked an equaliser past Joe Hart and wheeled away in ecstatic celebration, only to see linesman and referee decide to rule it out. They judged that Yoan Gouffran had been interfering with play despite the Frenchman not getting a touch on the ball as it flew into the net. City had gone ahead after just seven minutes, when David Silva wriggled into space and found the overlapping Aleksander Kolarov on the wing. The Serbian left-back picked out Dzeko with a perfect cross and the Bosnian struck past Tim Krul easily. It looked an uphill task from then on for the home side. But Newcastle, buoyed by their vociferous home support, responded well and were far from outplayed by the team that many see as champions. Alan Pardew had to shuffle his defence for the game, as he was without Mathieu Debuchy and Fabricio Coloccini. In came Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and Steven Taylor, while Davide Santon was fit enough to start at left-back. It was arguable that the new-look back four could have done better for Dzeko’s goal, too. Taylor – playing his first Premier League game since the opening day when he was sent off against City – played Kolarov onside, while Mike Williamson was too slow to cut out the full back’s cross. But after the poor start, Newcastle gained a foothold in the match and started to cause problems for Manuel Pellegrini’s side. Their passing was nice, but they struggled to get any change out of a stubborn City defence until Tiote struck. Cabaye’s corner was cleared easily but only as far as Tiote, who rattled it past Hart with a left-foot drive every bit as good as the only goal he has previously scored for Newcastle – his volley against Arsenal to make it 4-4 in 2010. However, this was not to be another stunning equaliser against a top side for Tiote, as referee Michael Jones and his assistant consulted before ruling the effort out. It was unarguable that Gouffran was offside when Tiote connected with the ball, but to say the Frenchman was interfering with play is barely debatable. Hart has a clear vision of Tiote and the ball when it is struck and only after it goes in the net does the England goalkeeper appeal for offside. The uproar spilled onto the pitch. A clutch of bookings followed and even the two managers clashed, Pardew aiming a series of carefully-chosen expletives towards his Chilean counterpart at half-time. The second half could never match the furore of the first and it passed without the hosts coming seriously close to an equaliser. Cabaye tried his luck on a few occasions from long range but couldn’t beat Hart, while City threatened a second but couldn’t find the final touch to their intricate moves. Samir Nasri was stretchered off with a bad-looking injury after he was crunched with an even worse looking tackle from Yanga-Mbiwa, something which threatened to spark Pardew vs Pellegrini II. Hatem Ben Arfa and Papiss Cisse were introduced as Newcastle chased a leveller, but it was the counter-attacking City who found the net next. Toon old boy James Milner lifted a pass through to Negredo and in five seconds that summed up Newcastle’s luck today, the Spaniard scored. The former Sevilla striker’s initial effort was saved by Krul but the rebound hit Negredo and allowed him to walk it in and wrap the game up for City.