Wednesday 22 November 2017

Balotelli in hot water over 'stamp' on Parker

MANCHESTER CITY were anxiously waiting to discover if Mario Balotelli landed himself in hot water during yesterday's 3-2 win over Tottenham.

Spurs boss Harry Redknapp was left fuming after the Italian's back-heel into Scott Parker's head went unpunished.

Television pundits Graeme Souness and Gary Neville were in no doubt about the severity of the incident, the latter claiming Balotelli - who went on to net a stoppage-time penalty winner - could cost his team the Barclays Premier League title.

Replays were inconclusive over whether World Cup referee Howard 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."

Redknapp was also unimpressed, adding: "What reason did he have to back-heel Scott in the head with his studs when he is laying on the floor?"

"I couldn't see a reason for it. It is not a nice thing to do. It has no place in football. Having looked at it, yes, I do (think Balotelli should have been sent off). It is not the first time he has done that and I am sure it won't be the last. I am the last person to talk about getting people sent off and what they should and shouldn't do. But it is blatant. He reacts to challenges like that at times."

It is the latest in a long line of problems involving Balotelli.

"He is not my problem. Let someone else have the problem," Redknapp added. "He is a good player, of course he is. We all know he is a talent.

"But loveable? I have my opinions but it is up to their manager. What happens now doesn't interest me. What is done is done. But I am sure they (the FA) will have a look at it. They must do, mustn't they?"

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