Roberto Mancini disappointed with Sergio Aguero"s "stupid" injury

Blistergate! Mancini rages at losing Aguero in 'stupid' circumstances

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UPDATED:

21:56 GMT, 31 March 2012

Furious Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has ordered an inhouse inquest into how 38million striker Sergio Aguero has been sidelined yet again with foot blisters.

The City boss saw his side hand the title initiative to arch-rivals Manchester United with the home draw and afterwards fumed: 'If we'd had Aguero we would have won.'

Sir Alex Ferguson's reigning champions visit Blackburn knowing a win will stretch their Premier League lead to five points.

Advantage United: Manchester City dropped two points in the title race

Advantage United: Manchester City dropped two points in the title race

Not even a dramatic late comeback from 3-1 down could placate Mancini as City's 100 per cent record at the Etihad Stadium ended.

And he was at pains to point out that Aguero's absence had absolutely nothing to do with suggestions that the 25- goal striker had been hurt while fooling around with his three-year-old son's mini-motorbike.

For the second successive game Aguero was ruled out because an anaesthetic freeze spray, applied after a knock against Chelsea 11 days ago, has caused his foot to swell and blister badly.

Feeling the strain: Mancini saw Manchester City fight back from 3-1 down to earn a point at home to Sunderland

Feeling the strain: Mancini saw Manchester City fight back from 3-1 down to earn a point at home to Sunderland

Mancini is now sweating over whether Aguero can return for next weekend's crucial game at Arsenal.

'It is a stupid injury, but not his fault,' said Mancini. 'I am really disappointed with what has happened to him.'

What has angered Mancini is that this is not the first time Aguero has suffered from blisters this season.

Missing: Mancini was annoyed that Sergio Aguero was missing for City with a 'stupid' injury

Missing: Mancini was annoyed that Sergio Aguero was missing for City with a 'stupid' injury

The Mail on Sunday revealed how the Argentine's City debut, following his move from Atletico Madrid, was delayed when medics were forced to treat the 23- year-old Argentine with bandages at his first training session when he was believed to have worn the wrong-sized boots.

Although he resumed after a massage and change of footwear, the injury meant he missed the Community Shield against United and had to wait until August 15 for his debut. Mancini will demand to know if Aguero sought advice from club doctors before using the spray.

He added: 'It's impossible that we can lose a player to a stupid situation like this.'

Roger Johnson and Wayne Hennessey nearly come to blows

Johnson and Hennessey nearly come to blows as sorry Wolves lose again

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UPDATED:

21:39 GMT, 31 March 2012

The tension and frustration of trying to stay in the Premier League boiled over at Molineux on Saturday when Wolves captain Roger Johnson almost came to blows with his own goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey.

Wolves were drawing 0-0 when the pair flared up over a failed clearance. They went on to lose 3-2 to Bolton.

Spitting distance: Wayne Hennessey and Roger Johnson are embroiled in an argument

Spitting distance: Wayne Hennessey and Roger Johnson are embroiled in an argument

Quarrel: Hennessey and Johnson square off

Quarrel: Hennessey and Johnson square off

The result leaves Terry Connor's side six points adrift at the bottom of the Premier League and favourites to go down.

Connor said: 'That incident was two players showing both passion and determination to get the right result.'

He admitted he had to berate both men at half-time, when they shook hands in the dressing room.

Frustration: Tempers flare in the Wolves rearguard

Frustration: Tempers flare in the Wolves rearguard

Player power is now threatening Connor's
chances of being made permanent manager of Wolves, regardless of what
division the club are in next season.

Senior players signed by Mick McCarthy, sacked after a 5-1 defeat by West Brom, have been belittling Connor at the training ground as he tries to keep Wolves in the Premier League, despite their public support for him.

Furious: The Wolves captain is extremely angry with his goalkeeper

Furious: The Wolves captain is extremely angry with his goalkeeper

Gavin Henson suspended by Cardiff Blues

Welsh bad boy Henson suspended by Blues after incident on flight from Scotland

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UPDATED:

23:11 GMT, 31 March 2012

Gavin Henson's rugby career is under threat again after the Wales international was suspended by Cardiff Blues on Saturday night following an alleged incident on a plane.

A number of the Cardiff team, including 30-year-old Henson, are claimed to have gone out in Glasgow on Friday night after they had lost 31-3 to the Warriors in the RaboDirect PRO12 match.

Henson, who came on as a substitute in the 65th minute, is believed to have returned to the team hotel in the early hours of the morning.

In the dock: Gavin Henson has been suspended by Cardiff Blues

In the dock: Gavin Henson has been suspended by Cardiff Blues

Not the first time: Henson has hit the headlines for the wrong reasons before

Not the first time: Henson has hit the headlines for the wrong reasons before

There have also been claims of ice
cubes being thrown by members of the Blues’ party on their return flight
to Cardiff yesterday morning.

The Blues management team are due to
meet on Sunday to discuss the matter further and a spokesman said:
‘Cardiff Blues can confirm that Gavin Henson has been suspended with
immediate effect following an incident on the flight back from Scotland
after their match against Glasgow Warriors.’

It is not the first time Henson has hit the headlines for the wrong reasons.

In April 2011, he was suspended for
two weeks by the Toulon management following an an alleged fight with
team-mates on a night out after a match against Toulouse.

Henson joined the Blues on an eight-month deal last October, but has not started regularly.

Cardiff travel to Dublin next weekend to meet Heineken Cup champions Leinster in this season’s quarter-finals.

Stiliyan Petrov inspired by Fabrice Muamba as he visits Villa Park after leukaemia diagnosis

Petrov reveals he is inspired by Muamba following emotional visit to Villa Park

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UPDATED:

20:39 GMT, 31 March 2012

Aston Villa midfielder Stiliyan Petrov has revealed he is taking inspiration from Fabrice Muamba after he announced he had been diagnosed with acute leukaemia.

The 32-year-old is due to begin treatment in a London hospital on Monday, but made the trip to Villa Park today to watch his side's Barclays Premier League meeting with Chelsea.

Petrov released a statement shortly after arriving at the ground, thanking the football community for their support.

The Bulgaria international vowed to fight the disease and revealed he was using Bolton midfielder Muamba as inspiration.

Brave: Stiliyan Petrov watches as Aston Villa take on Chelsea

Brave: Stiliyan Petrov watches as Aston Villa take on Chelsea

Muamba suffered a cardiac arrest
during an FA Cup quarter-final against Tottenham a fortnight ago, but
has defied expectation in his recovery at the London Chest Hospital.

Petrov revealed a picture of Muamba
sitting up in bed released yesterday had inspired him, along with
numerous well-wishes, to get back to health.

'I would like to thank all of the
people who have left messages of support. The response has been
overwhelming and I appreciate it very much,' Petrov said.

'This is a difficult time for my family and myself and I ask people to respect my privacy.

Support: Aston Villa fans made their feelings clear at their game against Chelsea

Support: Aston Villa fans made their feelings clear at their game against Chelsea

'With the help and love of my family,
my team-mates, all of my friends in football, Aston Villa and all of the
fans, I am sure I will beat this illness and I am determined to do
this.

'I saw the picture released yesterday
by Fabrice Muamba, my fellow player, and it has inspired me as has all
of the support in the past 24 hours.

'For me, football will have to take a
back seat for a while, but I'm here to support my team-mates today and I
will continue to support them as I know they will support me. Thank you
to everyone.'

The statement was read out just before
this afternoon's match to applause and chants of 'There's only one
Stiliyan Petrov' from all sections of the support.

United: Chelsea players wore t-shirts in support of Petrov

United: Chelsea players wore t-shirts in support of Petrov.

Both sets of players wore shirts to
show their support in the warm-up. Villa's players wore shirts reading
'Support Stan' while the message on the Chelsea shirts read, 'Our
thoughts are with you'.

Villa fans stood and applauded during the 19th minute of the match, in reference to the fact Petrov wears the number 19 shirt.

Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill has backed Petrov's mental strength to help him conquer his illness.

O'Neill managed Petrov when he took charge of Celtic and then made him his first signing when he became Aston Villa boss in 2006.

He said: 'I am obviously devastated to hear the news. I spoke to Stiliyan last night. He is really upbeat, he is going to fight it. He will start treatment immediately.

Close: O'Neill and Petrov celebrate Scottish Cup joy in 2005

Close: O'Neill and Petrov celebrate Scottish Cup joy in 2005

'Obviously I have known him since he was 19. I didn't bring him to Celtic, he was there. He learned the language very quickly. He couldn't speak a word of English when he arrived from Bulgaria.

'I have the utmost regard for him as a footballer and a person. He is really strong mentally and if anyone can fight it, he will fight it.'

Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo
praised the professionalism of his players as they put to one side the
emotion surrounding Petrov to triumph 4-2 at Villa Park.

Di Matteo said: 'Our players wore the
T-shirts saying 'we support you' before the game and we really feel for
the players and the person as well.

'It was an emotional day today. You can see how the football community comes together at these times.'

In our thoughts: Petrov's Aston Villa's team-mates showed their support before their game with Chelsea

In our thoughts: Petrov's Aston Villa's team-mates showed their support before their game with Chelsea

Referring to Muamba, Di Matteo added: 'Lately we've had some terrible news about a couple of Premier League
players but it is great to see how everyone gives their support.

'But once the game starts you have to focus on your task and game plan – and we did that.'

Petrov spoke to his team-mates in the
dressing room before the game and watched proceedings from an executive
box with his family.

Villa boss Alex McLeish said: 'It was
great to see him and his presence inspired a lot of people. He came on
and shook everyone's hands and the boys were not sure whether to cry or
hug him.'

Inspiration: Fabrice Muamba's partner posted this picture on Twitter on Friday

Inspiration: Fabrice Muamba's partner posted this picture on Twitter on Friday

Rangers manager Ally McCoist sent the club's best wishes to Petrov, a former player of Old Firm rivals Celtic.

McCoist said: 'On behalf of everybody
at the football club – every member of staff and every supporter – we
wish Stiliyan Petrov all the very best in his fight for a more important
thing than anything and that's his health.

'He was a fantastic Old Firm player and he is a top player and we wish him all the best.'

The Villa skipper had made a trip to
London on Friday after his diagnosis was revealed but made the return
journey late last evening to attend today's fixture.

The illness was diagnosed after Petrov had complained of suffering with a fever following last week's 3-0 defeat at Arsenal.

Petrov will now start treatment on Monday in a London hospital in his battle to overcome the illness.