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Manchester City
11:45 AM UTC
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Sergio Aguero made most of head-butt to get Fellaini sent off - Jose Mourinho

MANCHESTER -- Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has accused Sergio Aguero of embellishment to get Marouane Fellaini sent off during the Manchester derby stalemate.

Fellaini was dismissed in the 84th minute of the 0-0 draw at the Etihad Stadium after appearing to head-butt Aguero.

Mourinho said afterwards he had not seen the incident on replay, but the United boss insisted referee Martin Atkinson would not have issued a red card had the Argentinian striker not fallen to the ground holding his face.

"I don't know because I didn't watch," Mourinho said in his news conference. "I have just three details. Marouane says that it's a red card because it's Marouane.

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"Martin Atkinson told me that in his opinion it's a red card, but I saw Aguero in the tunnel but no broken nose, no broken head, his face is nice as always, so I'm not so sure.

"If Sergio doesn't go to the floor, for sure it's not a red card, but if Marouane gave him a chance to do that, I don't know.

"What I know is that we played 15 minutes with 10 and the boys were absolutely amazing in the way they fought for the point."

Mourinho had earlier suggested to Sky Sports that both players deserved part of the blame, saying: "I didn't watch but probably I can guess it's a bit of a red card and that it's a bit of a very experienced, smart Argentinian player."

Mourinho also told BBC Sport that Fellaini was frustrated that his reputation played a part in Atkinson's decision to send him off.

"He says that with another player it would probably not be a red card," Mourinho said.

Marouane Fellaini was dismissed late on for head-butting Sergio Aguero.
Marouane Fellaini was sent off for head-butting Sergio Aguero.

The result leaves United a point outside the top four with five games remaining, including trips to Arsenal and Tottenham.

Mourinho's team also have a Europa League semifinal with Celta Vigo to contend with -- all while missing as many as eight first-team players.

Fellaini is likely to be banned for the next three domestic fixtures adding to a list of unavailable players which also includes Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Marcos Rojo, Juan Mata, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Paul Pogba, who all missed the derby through injury.

Timothy Fosu-Mensah, a late substitute against City, could also be ruled out after Mourinho revealed the Dutchman had picked up an injury in the closing stages.

Mourinho added: "The team is in trouble. The team has a lot of problems and to play a big derby like this one in the way we did shows resilience and big character from the players.

"I think Man City is going to finish top-four, the matches they have to play I see them doing that. I think it's between us, Arsenal and Liverpool [to finish in the top four].

"We are going to try, but the reality is that we have a Euro semifinal to play, we have lost a lot of players but we are going to fight until, mathematically possible."

The game had offered United a chance to leapfrog City in the table, and they might have done it had Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Ander Herrera not passed up good first-half opportunities.

Mourinho conceded City had been the better team after half-time but insisted a point apiece was a fair result.

He said: "We were the best team first half they were the best team second half but I have to defend my players and say I was pleased with the way they play. I'm happy."

Rob is ESPN FC's Manchester United correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @RobDawsonESPN.


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