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Balotelli apologises for dismissal

Manchester City's Mario Balotelli has apologised to his manager, team-mates and City fans after being sent off in the Europa League exit to Dynamo Kiev.

Balotelli's rash challenge on defender Goran Popov earned him a straight red card and left ten-men in a fight to overcome a two-goal first leg deficit, a fight they lost 2-1 on aggregate.

Now the striker accepts that his rash tackle was unacceptable.

"It was not my intention to hurt anyone, I want to express my sincere apologies to Popov," said the striker. "I was trying my best for the team as I always do. The ball was in the air and I went for it with my foot high. I never tried to make contact with Popov and I certainly didn't want to hurt him.

"In retrospect, however, the tackle was poor and I'm very sorry to my teammates in particular that I got sent off so early in such an important game.

"I should have showed more consideration, but I was so involved in the game. It was not a good way to repay the manager who has shown so much faith in me or the owners and fans who have made me so welcome since I arrived from Italy.''

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