Nasri out for eight weeks

Congleton Guardian: Samir Nasri, left, is set to miss eight weeks Samir Nasri, left, is set to miss eight weeks

Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri is facing around eight weeks on the sidelines with the knee injury he suffered at Newcastle.

The 26-year-old France international was carried from the field at St James' Park on a stretcher with his left leg in a brace during Sunday's 2-0 Barclays Premier League victory over the Magpies, with manager Manuel Pellegrini later revealing he had damaged his medial ligament.

Nasri, who was due to undergo a scan on Monday, tweeted: "Thank you everyone for your kind words and overwhelming support, I suppose its kind of good news that I will be out around 8 weeks."

Nasri was hurt in a 75th-minute challenge by compatriot Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, which earned the Newcastle man a yellow card.

However, Pellegrini later claimed Yanga-Mbiwa should have bee sent off for the tackle.

He said: "It's very serious. It was a very unfair kick and the player of Newcastle, it was directly a red card. I don't understand why he was not sent off."

Magpies boss Alan Pardew defended his player and wished Nasri a speedy recovery.

He said: "He made a point in his mind that he didn't want him to get away, and he was a bit rash in that challenge. He is not like that, though, and I hope Nasri is okay."

Nasri's injury marred a good day for City on Tyneside as they left St James' Park with a 2-0 victory which took them back to the top of the table.

But full-back Pablo Zabaleta has warned his team-mates they cannot afford to relax after laying down a marker in the race for the title.

City ground out a controversial victory at St James' and in the process, extended their unbeaten run away from the Etihad Stadium to eight games, further evidence that they have addressed their failings in that department earlier in the campaign.

However, Argentina international Zabaleta knows that will count for little if they do not maintain their standards in the weeks and months ahead.

He told City TV: "That is so important for this team, to keep winning games and keep going, and also be a consistent team.

"Sometimes people ask about when we play at home, that we are a different team, but today we showed again that even if you don't play at your best, it's important to win the game.

"We are in good shape now and we need to keep working hard because there is still a long way to go to the end of the league.

"Nobody is dropping points now, everybody is very close, it's very tight at the top of the table. It was fantastic to come back today to the top of the league."

City's sixth victory in those eight away fixtures proved to be hard-earned as they took an early lead and were then grateful to referee Mike Jones for ruling out a Cheick Tiote equaliser which might have turned a tight game.

Edin Dzeko fired the visitors ahead with just eight minutes gone as he emphatically dispatched Aleksandar Kolarov's inch-perfect cross past keeper Tim Krul.

But the Magpies thought they were back in it when Ivory Coast international Tiote blasted an unstoppable 34th-minute half-volley past keeper Joe Hart, only for Jones to belatedly chalk it off after ruling that Yoan Gouffran had interfered with his sight-line from an offside position.

The mood inside the stadium turned ugly as the home fans, and in particular Pardew, who became involved in a heated touchline exchange with opposite number Pellegrini, vented their fury on the official.

However, City survived a concerted second-half fightback and as the home side pushed for a late equaliser, clinched victory with a second in stoppage time when Alvaro Negredo struck.

Defender Martin Demichelis said: "I haven't seen the replays, so I don't know if it was on or offside. I understand the frustration, but people were maybe more focussed on the referee rather than us.

"We had to focus, keep the intensity, and that's what we did."

The fact that City managed to keep a clean sheet in such circumstances was a source of satisfaction for Zabaleta.

He said: "We showed a great team spirit. Probably we didn't play well with the ball, but sometimes, those games are about three points and today we did it, so we are really pleased with that."

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