Redknapp blasts Balotelli
Harry Redknapp has accused Mario Balotelli of kicking Scott Parker in the head during Manchester City's thrilling 3-2 victory over Tottenham.
By Rob Parrish - Follow me on Twitter @skysportsrobp
Last Updated: 23/01/12 9:06pm
Harry Redknapp has accused Mario Balotelli of kicking Scott Parker in the head during Manchester City's thrilling 3-2 victory over Tottenham at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Balotelli stepped off the bench in the second half of an enthralling contest and had already been booked when referee Howard Webb failed to take any action following a tangle with the Spurs midfielder when the Italian appeared to catch his prone opponent with a flailing boot.
A clearly unhappy Redknapp insisted that the controversial striker should not have been on the field to fire home the winning goal in the fifth minute of added time from the penalty spot after he had been brought down by Ledley King.
Redknapp told Sky Sports: "It looked like a penalty, but the boy who scored the penalty shouldn't have been on the pitch. He kicked Scott Parker in the head.
"He does that quite often. It's not right. He's caught him and then he's back-heeled him again in the face and cut his head.
"You can't get away with things like that on the football pitch, the referee should be seeing that.
"He's kicked him in the head, it's there for everybody to see. I'm sure you've got it on the TV. No-one can make excuses that he didn't do it, because anyone can see he did do it."
Sky Sports pundits Graeme Souness and Gary Neville were in no doubt about the severity of the incident, the latter claiming Balotelli could cost his team the Barclays Premier League title.
Replays were inconclusive over whether Webb got a clear view of the incident, but if he refers the matter to the Football Association, Balotelli could be hit with a four-match ban - he has already been sent off once this season at Liverpool - that will rule him out of the Carling Cup semi-final second leg at Anfield on Wednesday.
"Great players are consistent," Souness said. "Balotelli is a car crash waiting to happen."
And Neville added: "He could win them the league and he could lose them the league."
After an uneventful first half, City took control with goals from Samir Nasri and Joleon Lescott before Spurs hit back to level through Jermain Defoe and a Gareth Bale beauty, with all four strikes coming in a hectic 10-minute spell.
Defoe then came within inches of winning it for the visitors before the late penalty drama, but despite now sitting eight points behind the leaders, Redknapp insists the defeat will not demoralise his side.
He added: "It just proves to me that we're as good as anybody. They weren't better than us today.
"We were so close and looked the more likely team to win. I'm delighted with the players. It just shows how far we have come and where we can go from here. We've got a good team.
"We've been beaten 3-2 here knowing we shouldn't have been beaten. It should be very easy to pick them up. They've proved to everyone today that they're good enough to play against Man City."