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Saints bite back after Rodgers dig

The Toe Poke
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Rooney proclaims innocence

Wayne Rooney has rejected suggestions he flashed an imaginary red card to persuade referee Chris Foy to dismiss Vincent Kompany in Sunday's Manchester derby.

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Manchester City captain Kompany was ordered off after just 12 minutes of a pulsating FA Cup third-round tie at the Etihad Stadium, which Manchester United eventually won 3-2.

He committed a two-footed challenge on Nani, and Rooney admits he had his say to Foy over the tackle.

But United striker Rooney told The Sun: ''I didn't wave any imaginary card. I clearly pointed out, and a few other players did as well, that it was a two-footed tackle. It was down to the ref to send him off.

''As professional footballers, when you leave the ground and go in two-footed we've now been told by the referees it's a red card. Refs come and see us before the season starts. I felt Kompany had done that.''

City manager Roberto Mancini said of Foy's dismissal verdict: ''It was not a red card. Rooney told him his decision.''

Kompany faces a four-match suspension, although City lodged an appeal after the match and were hoping to have the ban overturned at a hearing on Tuesday.

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