Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany will serve a four-match ban after having his appeal against the red card he was shown in Sunday’s FA Cup tie with Manchester United rejected by the Football Association.
Earlier in the day, City manager Roberto Mancini had expressed his confidence the suspension would be overturned on the basis that Kompany did not foul Nani.
But an Independent Regulatory Commission reached a different conclusion, ruling Kompany out of tonight’s Carling Cup semi-final with Liverpool.
In addition, Kompany will miss the return at Anfield in a fortnight, plus the Premier League encounters with Wigan and Tottenham in between.
Although opinion was divided about Chris Foy’s decision to send off Kompany just 12 minutes into what was eventually a thrilling 3-2 win by the Premier League champions, once the decision was made, it always seemed unlikely to be overturned.
Sir Alex Ferguson and Wayne Rooney were in no doubts, while Mancini blamed the United striker for gesturing towards Foy in the immediate aftermath of the incident.
Mancini now faces the consequences, which are likely to mean the biggest match to date of Stefan Savic’s short City career unless the Blues manager opts to select Micah Richards in central defence alongside Joleon Lescott. Kolo Toure is currently away on African Nations Cup duty.
Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish does not think last week’s defeat to City will have any bearing on the two-legged semi-final.
The Reds return to the Etihad Stadium just eight days after losing there 3-0 in the league with a performance characterised by individual errors, leading to all three goals.
“We lost 3-0 and so we will look at it but I don’t think it will be a reflection on the next two games coming up (against City),” said Dalglish.
Midfielder Jay Spearing believes the game taught the players a lot.
“We know what we have to do better and we will be better,” he said. “We will get at them right from the off and I still feel we can cause them a lot of problems. They are going to be two massive games.”
Anthony Gardner put Crystal Palace on course for their first major Wembley final since 1990 with the only goal in last night’s Carling Cup semi-final first leg against Cardiff.
Former Spurs defender Gardner netted for the first time in more than a year to spark jubilant scenes at Selhurst Park and leave Palace fans dreaming of their first semi-final success in four attempts.