By Mike Collett
LONDON (Reuters) - Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew was sent from the dugout for headbutting a Hull City player while Chelsea striker Andre Schuerrle scored a hat-trick as the Premier League leaders won 3-1 at Fulham on Saturday.
While Schuerrle grabbed the headlines for the right reasons, putting Chelsea four points clear of second-placed Arsenal who lost 1-0 at Stoke City, Pardew made them for the wrong ones after being sent off by referee Kevin Friend for headbutting midfielder David Meyler during Newcastle's 4-1 away win.
The incident began when Meyler tried to move Pardew, who was standing by the touchline, out of the way to take a quick throw. Meyler was handed a yellow card for his part in the fracas at the KC Stadium.
Pardew told the BBC: "It was a heat of the moment thing. I massively regret it and I will have to sit down from now on.
"Of course, I didn't mean to do anything aggressive. I did move my head forward and that's enough.
"Perhaps I need to sit down from now on. It's a shame because it's taken the gloss off a terrific performance."
Hull manager Steve Bruce told Sky Sports: "I think Alan knows he has been stupid and he has apologized. He has led with his head and he will regret it.
"I haven't seen anything like that before. It's an unsavory incident but we have accepted his apology and we move on."
The FA might not move on so quickly. Pardew was fined 20,000 pounds ($33,500) and given a two-match ban for shoving assistant referee Peter Kirkup at the start of last season and can probably expect a heftier sanction this time.
Chelsea's Germany international Schuerrle scored a 16-minute second-half hat-trick to secure the points in the west London derby at Craven Cottage before John Heitinga pulled one back for basement side Fulham.
Arsenal lost ground in the title race at Stoke where Jon Walters scored a second-half penalty after visiting central defender Laurent Koscielny handled.
Chelsea remain top with 63 points from 28 matches followed by Arsenal on 59 and Manchester City who have 57 points and two games in hand on the top two.
Fulham, playing at home for the first time under new manager Felix Magath, played well in the first half but had no reply in the second and remain bottom with 21 points from 28 games, four points from the safety zone.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho described his side's first-half performance as the worst of the season and their second-half display as one of their best.
"At halftime I told them nothing - nothing - not a word. I walked in, then I walked out. The second half was a great reaction to the worst performance of the season," he said.
"The second half was one of the best performances of the season. We moved the ball around well. If I could have made 11 changes I might have done, but I could only make three - so I did nothing. Schuerrle is cold in front of the goal.
"We have four points more than Arsenal. The gap to Man City is a fake advantage. If they win their games in hand, they're top of the league. We're behind them," he told the BBC.
City are not in league action this weekend as they face Sunderland in the Capital One (League) Cup final on Sunday, but Arsenal lost the chance to extend their lead over the Manchester side when they surprisingly lost at Stoke.
"It's a big worry to lose a game like that, it is a massive setback," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger told the BBC.
The other afternoon kickoff ended in a 1-0 win for Everton with Chelsea loanee Romelu Lukaku scoring the only goal after coming on as a substitute following his recent injury layoff.
The win lifted Everton into sixth place above Manchester United who are without a game this weekend.
Southampton were playing fourth-placed Liverpool in a 1730 GMT kickoff at St Mary's.
(Reporting by Mike Collett; editing by Ken Ferris)