Roberto Mancini was quick to defend striker Mario Balotelli following his controversial sending off against Liverpool.
The Italian striker was shown two yellow cards – the first deserved, the second harsh to say the least – and the City boss, who celebrated his 47th birthday today – was unhappy Balotelli was sent for an early bath.
“I don’t think the referee wanted to give Mario a second yellow card and for me it wasn’t a booking,” said Mancini, who watched his side hang on for a 1-1 draw.
“He didn’t deserve a red card in my opinion and I don’t have any problems with him at all. He is a young player and he is very disappointed, but for me, the second booking shouldn’t have been given because I don’t even believe it was a foul.”
Mancini was pleased with the grittiness his team showed under intense pressure and believes Liverpool will be a tough proposition for anyone in the coming months.
“This was a good result, particularly because we had to play the last ten minutes with just ten men,” he said.
It was a very difficult game for us and it is not easy to come here and get a result because Liverpool are a very good side, especially at Anfield
“Joe Hart saved us three or four times today, especially towards the end of the match, but even when we were under pressure and down to ten men, David Silva had a big, big chance to win the game for us.
“It is important that we remain unbeaten because a lot of top teams will come here and drop points, so I am happy with a draw under the circumstances.”