Balotelli should have been sent off for stamp on Parker, rages Redknapp
Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp accused Manchester City match-winner Mario Balotelli of deliberately kicking Scott Parker in the head during Barclays Premier League clash.
Italian striker Balotelli came off the bench in the second half to provide both controversy and heroics, as his late penalty secured a 3-2 home win for the league front-runners.
Redknapp accepted Ledley King had fouled Balotelli in the penalty area in stoppage time, to give away the decisive spot-kick.
Stamp it out: Balotelli clashes with Parker and later scored the winner
REACTION ON TWITTER
Tom Huddlestone: Tough way to lose a game, the lads played well especially 2nd half!
Hopefully the confidence will still be there in the next games
Benoit Assou-Ekotto: I prefer [to] lose 3-0 than lose at the last minute!!The most irritating defeat this year…
Jermain Defoe: Unlucky today,great away support
But Redknapp also insisted the City man should not have been on the pitch to decide the game.
Balotelli, already on a yellow card,
appeared lucky to escape at least the same punishment again before his
goal when his studs made contact with the head of Parker, who had thrown
himself in front of the Italian's shot.
Redknapp told Sky Sports: 'It
looked like a penalty, I've not seen a replay – but the boy who scored
the penalty shouldn't have been on the pitch.
Flashpoint: Balotelli stumbles backwards over Parker…
…. his foot connects with the Spurs midfielder's head…
…and then he clearly stamps down
'He kicked Scott Parker in the head.
He does it a lot, he backheeled him in the face and cut his head. No-one
can make excuses that he didn't do it, anyone can see he did do it.'
No action was taken by referee Howard Webb, much to the annoyance of pundit Graeme Souness.
'I think he should have been off,' he told Sky Sports. 'As you're spinning, gravity takes you away from the player. He knew what he was doing and I think he's a lucky boy.
'His right leg should be coming across his left leg, but instead it goes back the other way (towards Parker). That's naughty.'
Great Scott: Parker looks battered and bruised after the confrontation
'This is the thing, if you're a
manager, that drives you absolutely mad about referees. You can't get a
better place for him to see that and he chooses not to give it.
'If he deems that not to be a sending
off then he shouldn't be refereeing football matches, never mind World
Cup Finals. Maybe he doesn't see it.'
City manager Roberto Mancini has been embroiled in enough controversy over the last few games for waving imaginary cards.
Under the circumstances, it was probably just as well the Blues chief was unable to attend the normal post-match press conference due to a sore throat, with assistant manager David Platt taking his place.
'That is what has got levelled at me,' said Platt of the incident. 'I haven't seen the VT. Until I have, I can't comment.
'I never saw anything live. I don't think there was any kind of reaction from the players live either.
'But if someone has seen something, I will be able to comment once I have seen something from a different angle.
Paying the penalty: Balotelli won the spot kick and converted the opportunity to take all three points for City
'What we are aware of in the last month is that different angles can show different things.
'The manager's voice wasn't good but his words in the dressing room were very profound,' added Platt.
'Regardless of the fact that it is a great victory against someone who is up there as well, he is not happy at the gift of a goal and the lapse in concentration to allow it to go in.
'He has made that clear in no uncertain terms.'
Redknapp was delighted with his
team's performance in defeat – and, indeed, was frustrated they had not
won the game late on themselves when Bale's cross was met by the sliding
Defoe, who poked the ball wide.
'We had a great chance when Gareth laid it across to Jermain, we were all up on our seats thinking it was 3-2,' he said.
'It proves we're as good as anyone, they weren't better than us today but they nicked it in the 94th minute.
'We had a bad two or three minutes
and conceded the two goals but we showed great character to come back
and I could see us winning from there.'