City’s fury at Balo red card

ROBERTO MANCINI accused Martin Skrtel and his Liverpool team-mates of getting Mario Balotelli sent off.

The Manchester City striker was handed a second yellow just 18 minutes after coming on as a second-half substitute in yesterday’s 1-1 draw at Anfield. He received his first booking for a foul on Glen Johnson. And the Italian’s 83rd-minute dismissal came after a collision with Skrtel.

City boss Mancini pointed the finger at the defender and the Reds players’ reaction of surrounding ref Martin Atkinson. When asked if he felt the Liverpool centre-back made too much of the incident, Mancini said: “I think so. There are a lot of situations like this in the Premier League in every game. “Mario just moved his arm and Skrtel was like a youngster. I don’t think it was good. “The referee gave the free-kick but didn’t want to give the yellow card. “He didn’t want to do anything but all the Liverpool players were going ‘yellow card, yellow card’ — that’s my opinion. “It was difficult to see at first but I have seen it now and for me it’s nothing. “The second yellow card was not correct and the ref did not want to give it but every time Mario does something, many players provoke him.”

Kop boss Kenny Dalglish reckoned controversial hotshot Balotelli only had himself to blame for his latest run-in with authority — this was his third red card as a City player. Dalglish said: “I think Balotelli got himself sent off. “His actions spoke louder than anyone else’s. Sometimes you have to look in the mirror and you will get the answer. “Sometimes he doesn’t help himself, other times maybe he doesn’t get as much leeway as someone else gets. “But if you help yourself you don’t get in that position in the first place. I don’t think anything our boys did influenced the referee in any way, shape or form.”

Mancini added: “Mario should pay attention because he knows players will try to provoke him, and I am disappointed with him for the first yellow card. “You can’t change Mario in one, two or three months but he did not deserve a second card today. “You can’t predict what he is going to do and over the last month he has played well and scored a lot of goals for us.”

He also claimed reports Balotelli damaged the dressing room door by booting it in frustration were unfounded — backed up by Anfield stewards. Yet in a light-hearted reference to Balotelli’s recent indoor fireworks display at his home, he quipped: “If he has damaged the door he will be paying — like he did at his house.”

Posted by on Nov 29 2011. Filed under Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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