League Cup - Mancini and Gerrard in tunnel spat

Thu, 12 Jan 09:22:00 2012

Roberto Mancini was involved in an angry tunnel exchange with Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard over Glen Johnson's two-footed tackle in Manchester City's 1-0 Carling Cup semi-final first-leg defeat at the Etihad Stadium.

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini (left) gestures on the touchline. - 0

The pair clashed twice, the second particularly fractious, with Gerrard - who scored the winning penalty early on - annoyed at Mancini's response to Johnson's challenge on Joleon Lescott.

“I’m surprised at Mancini,” Gerrard said. “He had a go at Wayne Rooney trying to get one of his players sent off at the weekend, and now he is trying to get one of our players into trouble – I don’t think that’s right.”

Mancini responded: "Steven Gerrard can say what he wants. I said what I think. That is what I am used to doing. It is not important what Steven Gerrard or the other players have said."

Mancini is still annoyed at the four-match ban skipper Vincent Kompany must serve following his controversial dismissal against Manchester United at the weekend.

The Italian had been adamant his captain would succeed in his appeal, claiming that, in 30 years in the game, he had never seen anyone get sent off for the kind of tackle on Nani referee Chris Foy deemed worthy of a red card.

He then felt an even greater sense of injustice after viewing Johnson's tackle on Lescott in Manchester.

"It was worse," he said. "This tackle was worse. Gerrard came to me and said I said something. It was not for Johnson. It is for the tackle. This tackle was worse than Vinny's. Everyone can see it."

The incident completed a bad night for Mancini and his team, who suffered back-to-back home defeats for the first time since February 2008.

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish insisted that the job is far from done, with the second leg to come at Anfield on January 25.

Liverpool are bidding for a first final since 2006.

"We might have the slight advantage with the goal but it does not mean to say there will be anyone jumping through hoops at our place - we will just go and be professional in the second leg," said Dalglish.

"We have to be happy but we are not presuming that the job is done."

Dalglish added: "There were two different performances in each half; first half we looked a little more threatening but in the second half, having got the goal advantage, we battened down the hatches and tried to get through it with no goals against us."

Eurosport / PA Sport

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