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Figueroa handball leads Mancini to wave his imaginary card

The City boss seems to have backtracked on his views about appealing to get a player sent off.

Mancini appealing to the assistant referee last night.
Mancini appealing to the assistant referee last night.
Image: Neal Simpson/EMPICS Sport

MANCHESTER CITY MANAGER Roberto Mancini has attempted to justify gesturing for Maynor Figueroa to be sent off – a week after criticising Wayne Rooney for doing the same thing.

The Wigan defender committed a cynical handball in the 89th-minute of last night’s Premier League game, which City won 1-0, and received a yellow card from referee Martin Atkinson when it could easily have been a red.

Replays showed that, had the Honduran international not made the illegal interception, Sergio Aguero would’ve received the ball at the halfway line where only keeper Ali Al-Habsi stood between him and the goal.

Mancini was incensed when Rooney signalled that Vincent Kompany’s challenge on Nani was two-footed during United’s FA Cup win last weekend after it led to a sending off for the City captain and a four-game ban.

However, he immediately brandished an imaginary card after the Figueroa incident and when asked about it post-match suggested that it was acceptable for managers but not for players.

I used to do this but I don’t want to say anything,” he said in The Daily Mail.  ”Wayne Rooney did this. It is normal with a chance like that to do it.

“I am on the bench and the referee cannot see me. When you are near to the referee you can have more of an influence.”

After getting wind of Mancini’s comments, the United striker appeared to be puzzled by his latest stance, and tweeted:

Take a look for yourself at the incident in question:

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Ben Blake

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