Newcastle boss frustrated by Howard Webb after defeat

AN angry Alan Pardew last night blamed top referee Howard Webb for bringing an end to Newcastle United's four-match winning run at the Liberty Stadium.

With the Magpies trailing by a goal following Nathan Dyer's opener for Swansea City in first half stoppage time, Pardew was satisfied with the way his team were going about trying to find an equaliser.

And Newcastle had strong claims for two penalties denied as they looked like they might be able to pull level before going on to lose 3-0.

The first spot-kick shout arrived just before the hour when Loic Remy brought the ball down in the box and saw a shot on goal blocked by Ben Davies and there was a strong hint it was with an arm.

Then nine minutes later Ashley Williams climbed in the box and appeared to shove Yoan Gouffran to the floor in the area when the French forward tried to bring the ball down.

Swansea immediately went on the attack and Alejandro Pozuelo's pass sent Jonjo Shelvey clear on goal. Tim Krul's save bounced off Mathieu Debuchy and the home side had a two-goal lead with 23 minutes remaining.

Pardew said: “Two big decisions went against us and that was crucial in the result. The first one was a penalty, no doubt in my mind about that. I felt that at the time and my players reaction told me everything I needed to know and that should have told Howard as well.

“It hit his arm and it's going in the back of the net. That’s a penalty isn’t it?

“Again the second was for a foul on Gouffran. I thought Williams had no chance of winning that header, he has gone into the back of Gouff and he just played on. I was disappointed in those. I’ve told him that as well. He has given me his explanation and I accept that and I don’t agree with it.”

Swansea boss Michael Laudrup said: “The one with the ball is what I would call 50-50. The other one I don't think was anything.”

After the second, Pardew alleged that Shelvey aimed a head-butt in the direction of Debuchy and that he was fortunate to be still on the pitch when the former Liverpool midfielder went on to curl in a third with nine minutes left.

The Newcastle boss said: “Then there is the incident with Jonjo, looking at video highlights I think that was disappointing for Jonjo. I think he is a terrific lad and that’s unlike him but again maybe you could argue he should not be on the pitch.”

Now Newcastle head for Manchester United on Saturday having dropped to seventh, a point ahead of David Moyes' side who lost 1-0 to Everton last night.

Newcastle hope to have both Hatem Ben Arfa and Papiss Cisse available for the trip to Old Trafford after being forced to leave them out with a virus and a heel problem, respectively, at Swansea.

Pardew is keen to avoid criticising his players too much, even though he accepts Newcastle started slowly.

He said: “The result was disappointing as I don’t think we deserved that, especially second-half. First half I didn’t think we were as good as we’ve been and Swansea played well without really threatening us.

“I was disappointed we didn’t keep a clean sheet to half-time but second half we pushed on at them, we would not let them play and we created chances. Disappointing for us as we were on a great run.

“The two big calls went against us and that impacted on the scoreline.”

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7:42pm Thu 5 Dec 13

nigel d says...

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