Nani got out of the way of the challenge, saving himself from getting hurt, and Wayne Rooney complained to referee Chris Foy.
After the game, Roberto Mancini claimed that the challenge was “300%” not a red card and accused Rooney of influencing the ref. It was interesting that he chose to criticise, given just days before he motioned to the referee that he should send off Martin Skrtel in City’s game against Liverpool.
“Rooney told him his decision,” he said. “We will do an appeal and I am sure that we will win.”
It appears as though it is not just referees who Rooney can tell what to do, but the FA as well, seeing as though they have today rejected City’s appeal against the red card. It’s a strange one. With so much influence at the FA, you would think Rooney would have done something about that ridiculous ban he received for swearing last season, which saw him miss out on the FA Cup semi-final defeat against City.
Maybe the FA just know the rules of the game: A player is guilty of serious foul play if he uses excessive force against an opponent when challenging for the ball. Any player who lunges at an opponent when challenging for the ball from the front, from the side or from behind using one or both legs with excessive force and endangering the safety of an opponent is guilty of serious foul play.
The laws of the game support Rooney’s outrage at the challenge, just as the meetings the players have with referees ahead of each season do too.
“I clearly pointed out, and a few other players did as well, that it was a two-footed tackle,” Rooney said. “It was down to the ref to send him off. As professional footballers, when you leave the ground and go in two-footed we’ve now been told by the referees it’s a red card. Refs come and see us before the season starts. I felt Kompany had done that.”
Sir Alex Ferguson spoke in defence of Rooney, insisting the player had done no wrong.
“I have no concerns about the behaviour in that respect because to my mind it was a reckless challenge and Nani is a very lucky boy because he didn’t get a bad injury,” he said. “I have no complaints about Wayne, I don’t think it was unacceptable what he did. I think it was a natural reaction to a bad challenge from an opponent.”
A reaction more interesting than Rooney’s was Kompany’s, who didn’t question the decision at all. All players who get sent off for nothing ten minutes in to their derby, defending the only trophy their club has won in 35 years, walk off the field without even the slightest of complaint to the referee, don’t they?
As this is his second red card of the season, City’s captain will be missing for four games.