Mario Balotelli is sent off
KENNY DALGLISH dismissed claims by Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini that Liverpool FC bullied referee Martin Atkinson into sending off Mario Balotelli.
Balotelli was dismissed seven minutes from the end of an absorbing 1-1 draw at Anfield yesterday after catching Martin Skrtel with a flailing arm.
The controversial striker, who had been booked only seven minutes earlier for pulling back Glen Johnson, was shown a second yellow card and then red by Atkinson, who contentiously dismissed Jack Rodwell in the Merseyside derby earlier this season.
City manager Mancini was unhappy with the dismissal and accused Skrtel of playacting and Liverpool of pressurising the official.
But Anfield counterpart Dalglish said: “I think Balotelli got himself sent off. His actions spoke louder than anybody else’s. Sometimes if you look in the mirror you get the answer.
“Sometimes he doesn’t help himself, and other times maybe he doesn’t get as much leeway as someone else gets.
“But if you help yourself, you don’t get in that position in the first place.
“I don’t think anything our boys did influenced the referee in any way, shape or form.”
Mancini had earlier said: “I think Skrtel made the most of the challenge.
“I see that challenge in every game in the Premier League and they don’t get booked. Mario just moved his arm and Skrtel was like a young player. I don’t think it was good.
“My impression is that the referee gave the free-kick and didn’t want to give a yellow card. The referee saw very well.
“But after the Liverpool players surrounded him saying ‘yellow card, yellow card’ he was given the yellow card.
“Many players provoke Mario. It’s not correct.
“I’m disappointed with him for the first yellow card, but not the second as he didn’t deserve it.”