Mancini laments Balotelli red
Roberto Mancini after Man City's exit
City tumbled out of Europe against Dynamo Kiev at Eastlands after Balotelli was sent off and their 1-0 win was not enough to stop them losing 2-1 on aggregate.
Balotelli was handed a straight red card in the 36th minute for raking his boots down Goran Popov only for Aleksandar Kolarov to put City ahead on the night and pull a goal back on aggregate.
However, despite having the majority of possession City were unable to get the equaliser they craved, with Dynamo going into the quarter-final draw.
"I'm disappointed with the result because we deserved to score another goal, minimum,'' Mancini told ESPN. "We played a fantastic game with 10 players.''
On Balotelli's needless dismissal, Mancini said: "I don't know, from the bench I didn't see it very well. But I think the other 10 players played a fantastic game for 60 minutes.''
Asked whether Balotelli is frustrated by his sending-off, the Italian coach said: "I hope (so). Because I think with 11 players we would have won this game and got to the quarter-finals.''
Mancini spoke far more strongly in his post-match press conference, saying: "The problem for Mario is that he thinks he could be a fantastic player. But when he does something stupid like that, it is difficult for me, difficult for him and difficult for the team.''
The City boss was incensed by Dynamo's time-wasting tactics.
"Every time they dived and every time the referee saw it,'' he groaned. "But that is what happens. That is it.''
Mancini's complaints were met with a sharp rebuttal from Dynamo coach Yuri Semin.
"It is part of football,'' he shrugged. "There were some quite serious clashes. It was a tough game out there. That is why the referee gave quite a few yellow cards.''
Balotelli's team-mate Vincent Kompany was marginally more diplomatic.
"We're disappointed,'' he said. "From the first minute, we had the feeling it could happen tonight, but as soon as we were down to 10 men it became a very, very difficult game.
"It's difficult for me to comment on the action (red card) because I've not seen it. But regardless of who it was, we're down to 10 men and it's a difficult game.''