Europa League - Balotelli says sorry for red
Mancini felt the 36th-minute dismissal cost his side their chance of reaching the last eight and now Balotelli has expressed his regret.
"I am very sorry to my team-mates in particular that I got sent off so early in such an important game," said Balotelli.
"I was trying my best for the team as I always do. The ball was in the air and I went for it with my foot high.
"I never tried to make contact with Popov and I certainly didn't want to hurt him. In retrospect, however, the tackle was poor. I should have showed more consideration but I was so involved in the game.`