Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp condemned Mario Balotelli after he stamped on Scott Parker ...
before booting home an injury-time penalty clincher that may have killed off Spurs' title dreams.
The controversial Italian, introduced as a substitute after Redknapp's side had hauled themselves back from 2-0 down, got involved in a tangle with Parker during the second half.
His initial contact appeared to be accidental. But a second seemed to involve a deliberate movement of the foot by Balotelli, who has been sent off three times in his short City career already.
That Balotelli scored the spot-kick to seal a dramatic 3-2 win for the hosts only made matters worse.
"What reason did he have to backheel Scott in the head with his studs when he is laying on the floor?" said the Spurs chief.
"I couldn't see a reason for it. It is not a nice thing to do. It has no place in football.
"Having looked at it, yes, I do (think Balotelli should have been sent off).
"It is not the first time he has done that and I am sure it won't be the last."
Redknapp added: "It is not something I understand, why he should go and backheel someone in the head when he is on the floor?
"What happens now doesn't interest me. What is done is done. But I am sure they (the FA) will have a look at it. They must do mustn't they."
City boss Roberto Mancini has been embroiled in enough controversy over the last few games for waving imaginary cards.
Under the circumstances, it was probably just as well the Blues chief was unable to attend the normal post-match Press conference due to a sore throat, with assistant manager David Platt taking his place.
"That is what has got levelled at me," said Platt of the incident. "I haven't seen the VT. Until I have, I can't comment.
"I never saw anything live. I don't think there was any kind of reaction from the players live either."
The incident overshadowed a dramatic conclusion to an amazing second half.
A cagey opening period gave way to a goal fest.
David Silva sent Samir Nasri through for the opener with a brilliant defence-splitting pass before Joleon Lescott somehow shoved a second over the line from barely a yard.
It seemed a City victory was certain but almost immediately a catastrophic Stefan Savic mistake gifted Jermain Defoe a tap-in and, when Gareth Bale found the roof of Joe Hart's net with a staggering strike, Tottenham were level.
Balotelli's introduction – and controversy – came after that and, just as the match looked to be ending in a draw, Ledley King upended him, offering the nerveless striker a chance to seal victory and send City eight points clear of their opponents.
"It is going to be hard to win the title but all I have ever said is we had a chance," said Redknapp. "I only said it wasn't impossible. It is difficult now. There are lots of points between us."