Balotelli and Mancini rage at referee

Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli and his manager Roberto Mancini could face trouble from UEFA after a bad-tempered protest at the end of City’s Champions League tie with Ajax.

Balotelli was outraged that the referee blew the full-time whistle rather than awarding a penalty when the striker was manhandled to the ground in the Ajax penalty area. Mancini strode from his technical area to confront the referee, while Balotelli had to be restrained by team-mates.

Mancini was still fuming about a decision minutes earlier when the Danish referee Peter Rasmussen had ruled out what seemed to be a winning goal, adjudging Aleksandr Kolarov to have been offside when he played the cross for Sergio Aguero to score.

"The referee and his staff were really poor tonight," Mancini said. "I said to the referee that it was a goal. 'Congratulations, it was a goal'. What did he say back to me? Nothing."

It was an eventful end to an absorbing match that ended 2-2. City, needing a win to retain a realistic chance of staying in the Champions League, conceded two soft goals in the first 17 minutes, both scored by the Ajax captain Siem De Jong. Yaya Toure’s spectacular volley gave City some hope, but it was deep into the second half before Aguero levelled the match.

City remain bottom of Group D and would need to win both their remaining games and hope other results in the group work in their favour. Mancini is not too hopeful. "For now we are finished," he said. "We have two more difficult games left, which we have to try and win. I always believe in my team, but now it is very difficult. If we win our next two games and go through with eight points, then we will win the Champions League. That will be our destiny."

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