x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Mancini demands explanation after goal hero Balotelli sees red

The Manchester City will be appealing against Lee Probert's decision to send off match-winner Mario Balotelli in their 2-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion.

Roberto Mancini confirmed Manchester City will be appealing against Lee Probert's decision to send off match-winner Mario Balotelli in their 2-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns yesterday.

Balotelli, the highly-rated Italian striker, netted two goals in the first half which eventually proved enough to halt City's run of three successive defeats.

But the 20-year-old's afternoon turned sour after the break as he received a yellow card for a challenge on 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 demanding an explanation from Probert.

"I absolutely do not agree with the referee about this sending-off," Mancini said. "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."

Balotelli has a reputation for being a fiery character, though, and Mancini had a chat with the striker before the game about keeping calm.

"I am angry because I explained to him before the game - pay attention with the referee," Mancini said. "I wanted to change Adam Johnson for Mario, but I didn't have time to make the change."