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Boss blasts 'stupid' Mario

City striker earns needless red card as side crash out to Kiev

Last Updated: 18/03/11 9:17am

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Roberto Mancini blasted Mario Balotelli after the striker needlessly saw red as Manchester City crashed out of the Europa Lague.

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Trailing by two goals from the first leg, City were left with a mountain to climb on 36 minutes when the Italian frontman caught Goran Popov with a high challenge which left referee Cuneyt Cakir with no option but to send him off.

Aleksandar Kolarov pulled a goal back three minutes later but Mancini's men could not find the crucial second and exited the competition at the last-16 stage.

The City boss said: "If it stays 11 versus 11, we would have probably scored two or three goals.

"I didn't see the foul properly but I am very disappointed because in a game like this it is very difficult if you pick up a red card, and you can pick up a red card for doing something stupid.

"The problem for Mario is that he thinks he could be a fantastic player. But when he does something stupid like that, it is difficult for me, difficult for him and difficult for the team."

Incensed

The City boss was also incensed by Kiev's time-wasting tactics.

"Every time they dived and every time the referee saw it," he groaned. "But that is what happens. That is it."

He added: "It was going to be difficult for us anyway with 11 players.

"We played very well and stopped them from creating any chances but with 10 players it was very hard."

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