Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew was quick to play down a touchline altercation with opposite number Manuel Pellegrini after Manchester City claimed a hotly contested 1-0 win at Selhurst Park.
The two clubs headed into the match first and second in the Premier League and City required an injury-time goal from rookie striker Kelechi Iheanacho to steal the points.
Matters came to a head on the touchline during the first half when, shortly after City forward Sergio Aguero hobbled out of the action due to a foul by Scott Dann, Yaya Toure made a similarly robust challenge on Palace midfielder James McArthur.
Reacting to the tackle, Pardew encroached into Pellegrini’s technical area and the Chilean grabbed at his counterpart before gesturing for him to return to his own bench as the fourth official came between the pair.
Pardew and Pellegrini previously exchanged angry words when the former was in charge of Newcastle during a match at St James’ Park in January 2014, while Pardew was hit with a lengthy touchline ban two months later when he headbutted Hull City player David Meyler.
The Palace boss shook hands with Pellegrini shortly after Saturday’s incident and jokingly played up his credentials as a changed character afterwards
“I was a little bit incensed by the tackle,” he told a news conference. “I went past Manuel’s box, he wasn’t particularly pleased about that.
“But I didn’t say anything and retreated back to my box as a good boy.”
Pardew confirmed the handshake took place and added: “We were enjoying it actually, I enjoyed the game. If you were an ex-professional footballer today, coming to that game, you know that was a tough game.
“That was a really tough standard of football to play. No one really had too much time to pick out a pass. But once it went into the midfield and up front it was really high level stuff.”
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