By Dan King
It takes a lot to make Chris Hughton angry, but the Newcastle United manager was left raging after two massive calls from referee Martin Atkinson resulted in his side losing 2-1 at the City of Manchester Stadium.
And The Magpies are also now facing up to the prospect of being without French midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa for several months after he suffered a suspected broken leg on a disappointing day all round.
After falling behind to a Carlos Tevez penalty, given when the Argentine went down under Mike Williamson's challenge even though the United defender got the ball and made the tackle outside the penalty area, United levelled through Jonas Gutierrez's first goal of the season.
But after Adam Johnson put City in front again, Shola Ameobi was tripped in the box by Joeleon Lescott - only for Atkinson to wave away Newcastle's penalty appeals.
That, allied to Ben Arfa's dreadful injury sustained after a strong tackle by City's Nigel De Jong in only the fourth minute, meant Hughton was bitterly disappointed despite a spirited showing from his side.
Hughton had sprung a surprise by handing Shola Ameobi his first start of the campaign, with Andy Carroll dropping to the bench, and bringing Jonas Gutierrez into the starting XI in place of Wayne Routledge.
His City counterpart Roberto Mancini, meanwhile, included James Milner in his side but Shay Given was only on the bench for City.
But the game had barely begun when United were forced into a reshuffle, with Ben Arfa going down under De Jong's tackle - for which he was not even booked - and had to be taken to hospital for X-rays on his left leg.
Wayne Routledge came on in his place but Newcastle found themselves 1-0 down on 18 minutes when Tevez raced onto De Jong's chipped pass and fell to the floor as Williamson went to ground with a last-ditch tackle just outside the area.
But Atkinson pointed to the spot - curiously only booking Williamson even though he was the last man, suggesting that he was unsure of the decision himself - and Tevez smashed the penalty straight down the middle with such venom that the goal was almost uprooted.
The lead was short-lived, however, as Jonas Gutierrez equalised to make it two Argentines on the scoresheet - just moments after his other countryman, Fabricio Coloccini, had seen a half-volley well saved by Joe Hart. Gutierrez's initial pass to Ameobi was half-intercepted, but the winger was following in and ran onto the loose ball before rifling it home off the underside of the crossbar.
James Milner shot wide from 25 yards at the other end, with Krul scrambling as the ball zipped across the wet turf, before the Dutch keeper made a fine, sprawling save to deny Gareth Barry, who surged down the left and went clean through only to find the leg of Krul blocking his shot.
United were forced into another substitution on 36 minutes as Coloccini limped off to be replaced by Sol Campbell, making his league debut for The Magpies, and Carlos Tevez was booked for a late tackle on Krul, who had coolly skipped past him after receiving a back-pass in a tight spot.
Campbell put in a great performance alongside Williamson and Newcastle were unlucky not to go in front when James Perch's right-wing delivery found Routledge at the far post, but he was unable to stretch quite enough to divert it on target.
But City had a great chance of their own as Tevez took aim from 12 yards, only for Krul to beat the ball away with his second good save of the afternoon.
Emmanuel Adebayor and Adam Johnson were introduced for Yaya Toure and Gareth Barry as City became more adventurous and it was North-East lad Johnson who made the telling contribution with one of his first actions.
That came seconds after Newcastle had survived an almighty goalmouth scramble and United could not have had too many complaints about the scoreline at that stage as the home side had increased the pressure.
But they certainly did have cause for complaint when Ameobi picked the ball up in the box, beat Kolo Toure and was then tripped by Lescott - but amazingly, no penalty was awarded.
City brought on Patrick Vieira for Tevez as they attempted to see out the game, and could even have made it 3-1 when Lescott sidefooted wide from David Silva's deep delivery, but it didn't matter in the end.