City look for captain Kompany’s red card to be annulled

Manchester City have appealed against the red card shown to captain Vincent Kompany during Sunday’s 2-0 Barclays Premier League win over Arsenal.

Kompany was dismissed by referee Mike Dean for a challenge on Gunners’ midfielder Jack Wilshere with 14 minutes remaining, but the club have now lodged an appeal with the Football Association.

City were already 2-0 ahead when Kompany was given his marching orders after Arsenal had played for much of the game with 10 men, with defender Laurent Koscielny dismissed for hauling down Edin Dzeko inside the penalty area after only nine minutes.

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Dzeko missed the resulting penalty but scored City’s second following a terrific opening goal from James Milner.

City manager Roberto Mancini said immediately after the game that an appeal against the Kompany dismissal was likely as he did not feel the defender had even fouled Wilshere.

“We will appeal, because it is impossible that we can lose one player for three games for nothing. It is not a red card, it is nothing,” he said.

“He went into the tackle, anticipating the opponent and took the ball before.

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“I don’t know how it is possible to get a red card like this. It was no foul, no red card.”

Kompany used Twitter to defend the challenge but stopped short of criticising Dean.

He wrote: “No grudges against the referee, I understand the difficulty of the job.

“About the tackle: If the ball is overrun by the opponent and a 50:50 challenge occurs, collision is inevitable.

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“Ultimately I’m a defender: Appeal may work or not. I will never pull out of a challenge, as much as I will never intend to injury a player.”

First-team coach David Platt believes the club have valid grounds to challenge referee Dean’s original decision, but also refused to lay any blame at the door of the referee.

“We feel as though there is a case,” he said. “It is a difficult one for the referee because when you look at it live it certainly looks like what the referee would term as serious foul play.

“I think when you slow the incident down you see that Vinny takes the ball and it is only one-footed. I think opinion will be divided.

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“He certainly goes to ground but he actually takes the ball, I wouldn’t blame the referee for his decision but there is doubt as to whether it is a red card.

“Of course it would be a loss (if the appeal failed), it is a loss when you lose any player.”

If the appeal is unsuccessful and the three-match ban upheld, City would be without their captain for Premier League matches with Fulham and QPR and an FA Cup fourth-round tie against either Crystal Palace or Stoke.

QPR targets will not be distracted

West Brom assistant manager Kevin Keen does not expect QPR transfer targets Jonas Olsson and Peter Odemwingie to be affected by speculation over their future ahead of tonight’s FA Cup third-round replay with Harry Redknapp’s side.

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QPR had a £5m bid for Olsson rejected last week and a £2m offer for Odemwingie has been met with the same response from the Baggies, who are keen to keep hold of the duo.

But Keen is confident the performance of the duo, key figures in Albion’s fine form during the first half of the season, will not be undermined by the link with Rangers.

Keen said: “Is QPR’s interest unsettling?

“It is something out of my realm.

“But, if the boys you are on about play (tonight), I know they will be fantastic.

“They are experienced and they will get on with it and do their best for West Brom.”