Mancini furious at Balotelli dismissal

Roberto Mancini believes it is vital Manchester City are going into Wednesday's derby clash with Manchester United having returned to form - and hopes their match-winner yesterday Mario Balotelli might be available for the Eastlands encounter.

Balotelli eased some of the pressure on his manager and fellow Italian Mancini by netting twice in the first half against West Brom at the Hawthorns as City secured a 2-0 victory to halt their run of three successive defeats.



But the 20-year-old's afternoon turned sour after the break as he received a yellow card having clattered in to Marek Cech and was then given his marching orders within minutes following a tangle with Youssouf Mulumbu - who was also dismissed late on for scything down Carlos Tevez.



The straight red card shown to Balotelli left Mancini enraged and stating his intention to appeal against the decision by referee Lee Probert.



That opens up the possibility of the striker being cleared in time to face second-placed United, who City, in fourth spot, are now once again only three points behind in the Barclays Premier League.



Rejecting suggestions Balotelli had kicked out at Mulumbu, Mancini said: "I absolutely do not agree with the referee about this sending-off.



"A red card for what? He played a fantastic game, he scored two goals, but the sending-off was very strange.



"I want to know why it was a direct red card. For me this is not correct and the referee must explain."



City were in second place behind leaders Chelsea before suffering a slump in results, and asked how significant he thought it was for his side to have got back to winning ways before the derby, Mancini said: "It is important because we are in a good position.



"We have this game (against United) and we can get to second position again."



West Brom have now picked up three red cards in the space of a week after they were reduced to nine men at Blackpool last Monday.



While Pablo Ibanez's was rescinded following an appeal, Baggies boss Roberto Di Matteo had no complaints about the decision to send Gonzalo Jara off in that match and was similarly accepting that Mulumbu deserved to go against City - although he also felt there was nothing wrong with Balotelli's dismissal.



"I think the referee was in a good position on the (Balotelli) sending-off," Di Matteo said.



"My player wasn't happy with the challenge and the official was there.



"In terms of the second one, for my player, I think there was no doubt about it."



The defeat was Albion's first at home in the league since January and Di Matteo believes his side were beaten by a squad of players - with City able to name the likes of James Milner, Emmanuel Adebayor and Adam Johnson as substitutes - who can still challenge for the title.



"I think they definitely are (contenders), if you look at the amount of quality players they have," he said.



"I don't know if you noticed the bench they had - the players that can come on and change a game, and the ones they have on the pitch already."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Rocky road: Dwayne Johnson and Carla Gugino play an estranged husband and wife in 'San Andreas'
filmReview: In the face of all-round devastation, even Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson appears a little puny
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Bright lights, big city: Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles by dusk
books
Sport
Harry Kane makes Paul Scholes' Premier League team of the season
footballPaul Scholes on the best players, managers and goals of the season - and the biggest disappointments
News
i100
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

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor