Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Carry on Nasri as City Make Appeal ; Midfielder Will Be Free to Play as Potters Visit Referee Got It Wrong, Claims Blues Manager

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Carry on Nasri as City Make Appeal ; Midfielder Will Be Free to Play as Potters Visit Referee Got It Wrong, Claims Blues Manager

Article excerpt

SAMIR Nasri will be free to play against Stoke tomorrow as City are appealing his red card at Norwich.

The Blues had until 1pm today to submit notice that they want the midfielder's dismissal to be reviewed by an FA regulatory commission, which will now take place later in the week.

The decision to appeal - made 24 hours before the deadline - runs the risk of Nasri's threematch ban for violent conduct being extended by up to three matches, although one would be the normal punishment if the commission decides the appeal was frivolous or an attempt to work the system.

Nasri was red-carded after going head to head with Norwich defender Sebastien Bassong during the 4-3 win at Carrow Road on Saturday.

Manager Roberto Mancini said the club would appeal as they feel Nasri did no more than Bassong, who received a booking for the challenge which provoked the City man's response. "We will appeal, because we think the referee made a mistake," he said. "For me the red card was not correct. If he has to send someone off, it should have been both players. If not, a yellow card was enough. I don't know why the linesman told him this decision. Samir was unhappy but so was I. We can't lose players in those situations - it was a mistake.

"I don't understand sometimes - we also had Javier Garrido passing back to his keeper, who couldn't touch the ball with his hand. He saved it, otherwise it would have been an own goal, and the referee didn't whistle - it is incredible."

The shortage of time to set up a commission means Nasri will be freed to play tomorrow, as will Stoke's Stephen Nzonzi after the Potters served notice that they will appeal his dismissal against Southampton.

Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero are set to continue their strike partnership after responding to Mancini's stinging criticism of his strike-force by scoring three between them and forcing an own goal in a lively display at Norwich.

Mancini had described his strikers as being too "soft" in front of goal after they struggled against Reading and drew a blank in the 1-0 Boxing Day defeat at Sunderland.

He said his strikers had conceded that they needed to sharpen up in front of goal - now he wants them to keep on firing, against a side with the Premier League's joint best defensive record. …

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