City will appeal against Samir Nasri's red card for head-on clash with Sébastien Bassong

Mancini believes Frenchman was unfairly singled out for his role in confrontation during Norwich win

carrow road

Manchester City will appeal against the red card given to Samir Nasri just before half-time at Norwich yesterday, after which they still managed to win 4-3 and stay seven points behind Manchester United at the top of the Premier League.

After Nasri reacted to a fierce challenge by Sébastien Bassong by going head to head with the Norwich defender, Mancini felt that either both players or neither should have been dismissed. "Samir said he touched him, but the other player did the same," City's manager said. "I'm disappointed with Samir, he made a mistake and he will pay a fine. But I want the rules to be the same for everyone. I always hate this two rules for different players. I can't accept this."

Unless the appeal is successful, Nasri will miss games against Stoke City on Tuesday and his former club Arsenal, plus the FA Cup tie at home to Watford. Mancini is also facing a possible Football Association charge after joking that Kevin Friend, the referee of his side's Boxing Day defeat at Sunderland, had eaten too much at Christmas. The Italian resisted any similar quips yesterday.

Chris Hughton, the Norwich manager, felt the red card was "harsh". He said: "There was certainly a coming together of heads and some movement from Nasri. But was it harsh? Probably yes."

United's 2-0 win at home to West Bromwich Albion, secured thanks to Gareth McAuley's own goal and Robin van Persie's late strike, meant Sir Alex Ferguson's side maintained their lead at the top.

"At the moment United are better than us because they are top, but it's not important to look at the table now," added Mancini.

Behind the Manchester clubs, Tottenham Hotspur moved up to third with a 2-1 win at Sunderland, but Andre Villas-Boas was unhappy with the decision to book Gareth Bale for diving. "Today was a big mistake," the Spurs manager said.

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