Mario Balotelli has charm says Patrick Vieira

Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli is misunderstood, according to Patrick Vieira.

Balotelli was embroiled in a row with Manchester United players at the end of City's FA Cup semi-final victory at Wembley last Saturday.

It has been claimed that Balotelli celebrated towards the United fans, tugging the badge on his shirt. Defender Rio Ferdinand was particularly enraged.

The Italian has never been far from controversy in his debut season with City.

However veteran midfielder Vieira, who played alongside Balotelli at Inter Milan, has leapt to his team-mate's defence

"That's part of his personality, that's Balotelli's charm," Vieira told Sky Sports. "I don't think it was a case of provocation, I just think he got carried away.

"There was some over-excitement but I think United's players got carried away as well.

"There was more pressure on City's shoulders than United's. As a club and as a team, United are more used to controlling these types of games.

"For us, it was pure joy because the club has been waiting for this for so long. And with all the press expecting United to win easily, it was a big relief."

City face Stoke in the final on May 14 and Vieira is on course to win his fifth winners' medal - all four coming during his time at Arsenal.