Mancini fumes as Reds head for Wembley way
City manager livid over disputed penalty which helps Liverpool win Carling Cup semi
Roberto Mancini confessed to a feeling of injustice having seen his hopes of a second Wembley final dashed by the man he discarded. A goal from Craig Bellamy, whom Mancini had forced out of Manchester City, ensured Liverpool would face Cardiff City – where Bellamy spent last season on loan – in the Carling Cup final.
However, the Manchester City manager was furious at the decision by referee Phil Dowd to award Liverpool a penalty after Nigel de Jong had given his side the lead. The game ended 2-2 on the night with Liverpool 3-2 aggregate winners. Mancini argued that Daniel Agger's shot deflected from the tip of Micah Richards' boot on to his hand as the defender slid in to block. Moreover, he was convinced that Charlie Adam's foul on Edin Dzeko should have been punished with a penalty.
"We did a good performance and we made some mistakes; a team like us should not concede a goal like we did for the second," he said. "But their first goal was not a penalty and we should have had a penalty ourselves. I do feel a sense of injustice.
"In the last two months we have been very unlucky with referees. It was no penalty because the ball touched his leg before his hands. I don't know how it is possible to concede a penalty like this and not get a penalty for the foul on Dzeko. I haven't spoken to the referee. It is impossible to speak to him and I am tired of it after so many games.
"It doesn't make it more difficult for me that Craig scored the winner. I am happy for Craig, what do you want me to say? Of course I am disappointed we have not made the final but what difference does it make if Bellamy scores, or Gerrard or Carragher? I said hello to him before the game so there was no need to wish him luck afterwards."
City are now out of both domestic cup competitions to add to their elimination from the Champions League. Nevertheless, their title credentials came through a rigid examination by Tottenham on Sunday and Mancini argued that they would not be derailed by the loss of a second League Cup semi-final in three years.
Referring to the decision to ban Mario Balotelli for four matches on video evidence, a decision the club accepted last night, Mancini joked that he trusted the result would be overturned in the morning.
"I have accepted the ban because I couldn't prove my innocence," Balotelli said of the punishment for his alleged stamp on Tottenham's Scott Parker, adding that any contact was unintentional. "But I am not a villain or violent." City reasoned that any appeal would risk having the 21-year-old's ban extended on the grounds it was "frivolous".
For Liverpool, there was nothing frivolous about a night that saw them remain on course for a record eighth League Cup. There are echoes of last year's final that climaxed with Arsenal coming badly unstuck against Birmingham, although Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard argued that they would not be repeating the Gunners' errors.
"I think Arsenal underestimated Birmingham last year," he said. "So we need to show Cardiff respect. If we show up like we did tonight, I am sure we can pick up a trophy. Craig Bellamy was the difference tonight. His pace is always a threat and when a chance falls to him we know he can finish it."
Latest in Sport
Arsenal vs Aston Villa preview: I need to prove myself again at Villa, says Scott Sinclair
Transfer news and rumours LIVE: Juan Cuadrado to Chelsea, Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester City, United want Gareth Bale
Chelsea vs Manchester City player ratings: David Silva saves the day but which City star stole the show at Stamford Bridge?
Arsene Wenger photobombs Arsenal photo shoot - manages to look like famous 'Bigfoot' picture
Serena Williams wins Australia Open 2015: American beats Maria Sharapova in straight sets to claim a sixth title in Melbourne
- 1 Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
- 2 City traders pay £200 for a quick hangover cure
- 3 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 4 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 5 Ball pool for adults opens in London
Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
Hard line on immigration could cost Tories the election