x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Angry Redknapp says Man City striker Balotelli should have been sent off

The Tottenham manager claims the Manchester City striker deliberately stamped on Scott Parker minutes before he fired home the winning penalty in a 3-2 win at Etihad Stadium.

Brad Friedel of Tottenham Hotspur is unable to stop Mario Balotelli's late penalty.
Brad Friedel of Tottenham Hotspur is unable to stop Mario Balotelli's late penalty.

Manchester City 3 // Tottenham Hotspur 2

A furious Harry Redknapp said Mario Balotelli should have been sent off before his match-winning penalty condemned Tottenham Hotspur to a 3-2 defeat at the Etihad Stadium.

The Italian scored a 95th-minute spot kick to take Manchester City eight points ahead of Spurs, but the beaten manager was angered by what he claimed was an 84th-minute stamp on Scott Parker.

Balotelli initially collided with the Tottenham midfielder before leaving him with a bloodied face and Redknapp said: "The first [contact] could be an accident, but the second one? He's back-heeled him straight in the head.

"I'm the last person to talk about getting people sent off, but it's blatantly obvious if you see that. He reacts like that at times to challenges. It's not the first time he’s done that is it? I'm sure it won't be the last.

"I don’t like talking about people kicking players in the head, but when you see that, it's wrong. Scott has got a lovely cut on his head. It's not something I understand. It has no place in football."

Redknapp expects the English Football Association to take disciplinary action against Balotelli after referee Howard Webb missed the incident, adding: "I'm sure they will look at it. They must do, mustn't they?"

City first-team coach David Platt claimed not to have seen it, but praised Balotelli for his composure when scoring the winner. He said: "He is a very cool penalty taker. He is not afraid to miss and quite happy to be centre of attention in the last minute."

Tottenham could have also scored an added-time winner, with Jermain Defoe inches away from netting a third goal for them and Platt admitted: "I thought we were dead and buried."

Samir Nasri and Joleon Lescott had put City into a 2-0 lead before Defoe and Gareth Bale drew Tottenham level to annoy Roberto Mancini. "He is not happy," Platt added.

The defeat leaves Tottenham the outsiders in the title race, but Redknapp said: "It's difficult now, there are lots of points between us but we are not a million miles behind City or any other team."