Claude Puel has defended midfielder Wilfred Ndidi after his red card against Crystal Palace scuppered any hopes of a comeback for his side.
City were trailing 2-0 after a disappointing display on the back of four consecutive victories, when Ndidi picked up a second booking for simulation.
Ndidi, on his 21st birthday, went down dramatically inside the Palace penalty area and referee Martin Atkinson brandished a second yellow card and City’s hope of a comeback ended, but Puel backed his player.
“A little harsh,” was Puel’s verdict. “Ndidi didn’t make a lot of fouls in the game. To lose him, with his quality, it was difficult to come back in the game.
“It’s harsh, of course, perhaps it was simulation.
“I think just before he fell, he felt contact and he needed to fall on the contact, afterwards it was too late.”
However, Puel admitted his side didn’t deserve anything from the game after an uncharacteristically poor display, especially after they were so good in the midweek win at Southampton.
“I will discuss it with the players but it was, of course, not the same team,” he said.