ROBERTO MANCINI risks seeing the remains of Manchester City's Champions League campaign from the stands after a furious confrontation with the referee in the wake of last night's frantic 2-2 draw with Ajax.
UEFA are likely to punish Mancini with a touchline ban after he strode across the pitch to criticise referee Peter Rasmussen, who had disallowed what would have been Sergio Aguero's winner three minutes from time.
Mario Balotelli, who had been thrown on as a second-half substitute, also had to be led away from the officials complaining he had been dragged down by Ajax defender Ricardo van Rhijn, just before the end. As he walked back to his technical area, Mancini rounded on an ITV cameraman for trying to film him in close up.
When asked about his conversation with Rasmussen, the Manchester City manager said: "I told him: 'Congratulations, it was a goal'." Mancini said he had not seen the incident in which Balotelli was pulled down but, when asked to relay his spat with the cameraman, he said: "He wanted to do a film with me and followed me round the pitch. I told him it (the game) is finished and it is not a film about me. I told him it was finished."
Mancini is likely to face at least the one-match ban endured by Arsène Wenger after the Arsenal manager called the referee Massimo Busacca "embarrassing" for sending off Robin van Persie against Barcelona in March last year. Mancini's actions are unlikely to play well in Abu Dhabi, but none of the club's Arab owners were at the Etihad because of Sunday's Formula One grand prix in the principality.
Mancini argued the Danish officials were wrong to rule Aleksandar Kolarov offside when he crossed for Aguero for a goal that would have capped a remarkable comeback.
"It was a goal and the referee and his staff were really poor," he said. "We scored three goals probably but we conceded some stupid ones. You cannot concede goals like that and think that you have played well. We played a fantastic second half but it doesn't matter now. It is finished.
"Unfortunately we took only one point and now I think it is finished for the Champions League."