Glenn Whelan is set to escape retrospective punishment from the Football Association following his two-footed lunge at Javi Garcia on Saturday because the referee saw the foul.
The clash was adjudged to have been refereed by Howard Webb, even though he seemingly failed to realise the seriousness of the challenge. Following Mario Balotelli's controversial clash with Arsenal's Alex Song last season, an FA statement read: "Where at least one of the officials has seen the coming together of players retrospective action is not taken, regardless of whether they have seen the full extent of the challenge. Retrospective action can only be taken in scenarios where none of the match officials saw the players coming together."
That, however, didn't stop Whelan's challenge being the talk of the Britannia Stadium after Manchester City's 1-0 win. Gareth Barry had said that he thought there were reasons for the player to be reprimanded in hindsight. "I think there is a case," he said. "I think it's the rule now that if the referee doesn't see it but reports it, then they can have another look."
Whelan said he would have to see the tackle again. "I don't think I caught him as much as he was rolling about. Obviously he's felt it so you have to take that," he said. "I've gone in for the challenge and I don't think I tried to be dirty but it if it looks that way on TV then I'll have to hold my hands up."
The reason Vincent Kompany's red card against Arsenal this month was rescinded was because the club appealed, and therefore the FA can intervene, but Roberto Mancini will be without his captain for tomorrow's trip to Queen's Park Rangers as Kompany has a pulled calf.
Stoke: SORENSEN 6/10, SHOTTON 5, SHAWCROSS 7, HUTH 6, WILKINSON 5, KIGHTLY 5, WHELAN 5, NZONZI 6, ETHERINGTON 6, WALTERS 7, JONES 5
Manchester City: PANTILIMON 7, KOLAROV 6, LESCOTT 6, KOMPANY 6, ZABALETA 8, SILVA 7, BARRY 7, GARCIA 6, MILNER 5, DZEKO 7, TEVEZ 7
Goal: Manchester City Zabaleta 85. Substitutions: Stoke City Jerome 5 (Kightly, 67), Whitehead (Wilkinson, 73), Crouch (Jones, 73). Manchester City Clichy 6 (Kompany, 40), Aguero 7 (Kolarov 62), Rodwell (Tevez, 87). Bookings: Stoke Shotton. Manchester City Kolarov, Milner, Dzeko. Man of the match Zabaleta. Match rating 4/10. Possession: Stoke 43%. Manchester City 57%. Attempts on target: Stoke 4. Manchester City 8. Referee H Webb (South Yorks). Att 19,814.