Tuesday, 6 March 2007

Valencia-Inter brawl: Reaction

Roberto Mancini has called Valencia players "cowards" after David Navarro broke Nicolas Burdisso’s nose with a punch following tonight's Champions League tie in Spain.

The game ended in a shameful brawl seemingly started between Nicolas Burdisso and Carlos Marchena. The argument continued and David Navarro, who was on the Valencia bench, came up behind them and threw a punch that knocked Burdisso to the ground and reportedly fractured his nose.

This infuriated the other players, specifically Julio Cruz and Ivan Cordoba, who literally chased Navarro down to kick him from behind on the Mestalla pitch.

The brawl continued into the tunnel and dressing room, where officials, coach Mancini and Luis Figo were seen trying to get through the mass of people.

"I didn’t see anything as I went into the dressing room first," said Mancini. "The lads told me what happened. They’re very disappointed with this elimination, as the season we’ve been having made us confident we could progress. It’s a shame, as we had the chances, but couldn’t convert them."

Mancini was shown the video footage of Navarro’s punch as his teammates were trying to hold Burdisso away from Marchena. "He’s a coward. Anyone who punches someone from behind and then runs away is a coward."

Meanwhile, Inter President Massimo Moratti hinted that his club will not take official action against Valencia. "Burdisso has a broken nose, so he’s certainly not in good shape," revealed Moratti as he came out of the Inter dressing room at the Mestalla. "I am sorry for the player and everything that happened after the match. The UEFA delegate came into the dressing room to examine the situation, but I don’t think we will take any action."

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