Balotelli apologizes for red card against Kiev

I have a say

Posted Saturday, March 19, 2011 by YAHOO Sport

MANCHESTER, England (AP)—Mario Balotelli apologized to his Manchester City teammates on Friday for the reckless tackle that earned him a straight red card in the Europa League match against Dynamo Kiev.

The Italy striker was sent off for a studs-first lunge at Dynamo defender Goran Popov in the 36th minute of Thursday’s second-leg game in the last 16, leaving City with 10 men as the team attempted to overturn a 2-0 first-leg deficit.

“The tackle was poor and I’m very sorry to my teammates in particular that I got sent off so early in such an important game,” said Balotelli in a club statement.

He also apologized to Popov for the petulant foul.

The score was 0-0 when Balotelli was sent off. City eventually won the return match at Eastlands 1-0 but was eliminated on aggregate.

Balotelli has had an eventful first season at City. He has been sent off twice, been involved in a training-ground bust-up with teammate Jerome Boateng but also scored 10 goals in 20 matches in all competitions.

A knee injury, sustained on his debut for the team in August, kept him out of action for more than two months and he has been in and out of manager Roberto Mancini’s side since.

“From my injury on, I have had some difficulties,” he said. “It is not an easy period for me but I will overcome it with the help of everybody.”

Mancini, who called Balotelli’s challenge “stupid,” said immediately after the defeat to Kiev that he was unlikely to select the striker for Sunday’s crucial Premier League match against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

The statement released by City on Friday said Balotelli was available for selection.

Attention: Third parties may advertise their products and/or services on our website.7M does not warrant the accuracy, adequacy or completeness of their contents.
Your dealings with such third parties are solely between you and such third parties and we shall not be liable in any way for any loss or damage of any sort incurred by you.