Aleksandar Kolarov accused of abusing Manchester City fans in ugly end to season

Defender 'gestured' at fans as campaign ends in disarray and show of support for Roberto Mancini

Manchester City fly off to a post-season tour of the United States this afternoon, with their left-back, Aleksandar Kolarov, accused for the second time this season of abusing members of the crowd.

The Serbian defender was said to have made gestures to some City fans during the second half of a flat and listless final game of the season that was pockmarked by chants of support for the deposed manager, Roberto Mancini. The club could not confirm or deny what had happened but at Newcastle in December the defender was cleared of using abusive language to a group of supporters carrying an Albanian flag.

Although Mancini's likely successor, Manuel Pellegrini, will not be with City in New York and St Louis, where they play another temporarily managerless club in Chelsea, he could start work sooner than expected. Pellegrini's club, Malaga, did not play in La Liga this weekend but defeats for Getafe and Seville have all but ensured they will qualify for the Europa League, which was the 59-year-old's stated target before the season began. Pellegrini was reluctant to leave Malaga until qualification was achieved and the board may now choose to release him before the final game of the season, at home to Deportivo La Coruna.

He will face a tough task to win over those Manchester City fans who chanted Mancini's name long and loud on Sunday. Brian Kidd, one of the few remaining members of Mancini's coaching staff to have survived the bloody cull, said he could understand the show of support for the Italian.

On Saturday, Mancini had taken out a full-page advert in the Manchester Evening News thanking City's supporters for the last three years. It was a classy and intelligent gesture in what, despite a reported £7m severance package, has become a bitter divorce.

"I can understand the cheers for the boss," said Kidd. "He would have been disappointed if there hadn't been anything after all he has done here. We have fallen short of the standards we set last season but it was not from a lack of effort.

"I don't have to say anything to the fans. They have proved themselves over the years. It is their community and their club and I know they will respond because they have since the year dot.

"Emotionally and right through the club, this has been a week that has taken a lot out of people. Now there is a new manager coming in and hopefully that will be done as quickly as possible so he can assess the situation."

Before the FA Cup final, which marked the end of the Mancini era at Eastlands, the club captain, Vincent Kompany, said he expected "a busy summer" and City have already been linked with a bid for Radamel Falcao, perhaps the most sought-after striker in the world. His contract at Atletico Madrid has a £54m buy-out clause which City may be prepared to meet. It will be some statement of intent but it will be matched by significant departures.

Kolarov is one of a number of players who paraded around the Etihad Stadium with a banner thanking the crowd for its support, who are unlikely to be at Manchester City next season. Kolo Touré and Costel Pantilimon are definite departures while, until his sacking, Mancini suggested that Joleon Lescott, Samir Nasri and Edin Dzeko had limited futures at the Etihad. Neither Maicon nor Javi Garcia of the summer signings who proved such inadequate reinforcements for the club's defence of its title, have remotely lived up to expectations or their salary. They cannot expect long to survive their manager.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Alfred Molina, left, and John Lithgow in a scene from 'Love Is Strange'
film
News
A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
science
News
Dawkins: 'There’s a very interesting reason why a prince could not turn into a frog – it's statistically too improbable'
newsThat's Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome
Sport
Malky Mackay salutes the Cardiff fans after the 3-1 defeat at Liverpool on Sunday
footballFormer Cardiff boss accused of sending homophobic, racist and messages
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Amis: Taken to task over rash decisions and ill-judged statements
booksThe Zone of Interest just doesn't work, says James Runcie
Life and Style
life – it's not, says Rachel McKinnon
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home