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.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Day In a Page

Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
Fifa corruption: Strip Qatar of the World Cup? Not likely

Strip Qatar of the World Cup? Not likely

But if a real smoking gun is found, that might change things, says Tom Peck
Twenty two years later Jurassic Park series faces questions over accuracy of the fictional dinosaurs in it

Tyrannosaurus wrecked?

Twenty two years on, Jurassic Park faces questions over accuracy
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
Genes greatly influence when and how many babies a woman will have, study finds

Mother’s genes play key role in decision to start a family

Study's findings suggest that human fertility is still evolving
12 best olive oils

Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
Rafa Benitez Real Madrid unveiling: New manager full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

Benitez full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

There were tears in the former Liverpool manager’s eyes as he was unveiled as Real Madrid coach. But the Spaniard knows he must make tough decisions if he is to succeed
England can win the Ashes – and Elvis Presley will present the urn

England can win the Ashes – and Elvis will present the urn

In their last five Test, they have lost two and drawn two and defeated an India side last summer who thought that turning up was competing, says Stephen Brenkley
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)