Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini says that he is likely to drop forward Mario Balotelli from his squad to face Chelsea on Sunday, after the Italian was shown a red card during the first half of City’s Europa League clash with Dynamo Kiev.
Balotelli, who had already been sent off once this season playing for City, was show a straight red card for a late, high challenge on Goran Popov, thrusting his boot into the groin of the defender.
City went on to win the match 1-0, but were eliminated from the competition 2-1 on aggregate and a clearly disappointed Mancini said: “I don’t think he’ll be in the squad.
“I don’t know if it was a red card or a yellow card, but when you play a game like this you should pay attention.”
“I didn’t see the foul properly but I am very disappointed because in a game like this it is very difficult if you pick up a red card, and you can pick up a red card for doing something stupid.”
Balotelli is a mercurial talent, but his reputation has clearly preceeded him in the English game, the Italian international having picked up two red cards, and nine yellows, in only 20 matches for City.
The former Internazionale man, who joined City for £24m in the summer, has unquestionable ability and is a tremendous mix of pace, power and technique. However his attitude, mentality and temperament have often been called into question, and will be once again after this latest incident.
Concerning Balotelli on a broader scale, Mancini added: “Mario thinks he could be a fantastic player. When he does something stupid like that, it’s difficult for me, difficult for him.”