Pardew laments crowd influence on referee as City extend lead
Man City 3 West Brom 0
Alan Pardew suggested that Pep Guardiola's comments about reckless tackling affected the Etihad crowd after his West Bromwich Albion side fell to an ill-tempered defeat.
Pardew's side made several forceful challenges on City's player, the worst coming deep into the second half when Matt Phillips went in high and late on substitute Brahim Diaz.
Phillips only received a yellow card for the tackle, as did James McClean when he dangerously attempted to bring down Kevin De Bruyne in the build-up to City's second goal.
City were not blameless themselves, however, with Fernandinho escaping punishment for a clumsy challenge of Grzegorz Krychowiak, who was forced off the pitch through injury shortly after.
Referee Bobby Madley chose not use his red card on any one of the occasions, despite them coming days after the debate provoked by Joe Bennett's strong challenge on Leroy Sané, which left the City winger sidelined for seven weeks with ankle ligament damage.
Pardew admitted Phillips' tackle on Diaz was "a poor challenge" but believed Madley was right to only show a yellow card.
The West Bromwich manager added that Guardiola's calls for players to be shown more protection had affected the Etihad crowd and increased pressure on Madley.
"He's a winger and in desperate situations wingers can make poor challenges," Pardew said in defence of Phillips. "It was a poor challenge, make no mistake about that. I think Fernandinho made a similar one in the middle of the pitch. I'm not sure if the referee saw it. I thought Pep's comments at the weekend affected the crowd. Every challenge they were saying you're not protecting our players, referee.
"There were a few songs sung about him but I actually thought he had a decent game. His calls were correct and it was a yellow card for Phillips not doubt.
Despite the victory which extended their lead at the top to 15 points thanks to goals by Fernandinho (19), De Bruyne (68) and Sergio Aguero (89), Guardiola urged his team to be more clinical.
"We must be more clinical or we will be in trouble," said the manager. "We created an amazing game to play, a joy to watch and to play that way but we missed a lot of chances and against top teams it will be a problem if we cannot improve. © Independent News Service)