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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 March 2006, 08:01 GMT
Sun Jihai apologises for red card
Man City's Sun Jihai is shown the red card by referee Howard Webb
Sun Jihai is stunned as referee Howard Webb sends him off
Manchester City manager Stuart Pearce revealed midfielder Sun Jihai apologised for his sending off in the FA Cup defeat against West Ham.

Sun Jihai was dismissed for swinging an arm at Matthew Etherington and City went on to lose the quarter-final 2-1.

"It is disappointing for Jihai because he is not a nasty player, totally the opposite in fact," said Pearce.

"He is one of the most honest lads here and it is a mark of his character that he apologised to me and the lads."

West Ham's second goal was somewhat controversial as Christian Dailly had been lying injured by the touchline for at least two minutes when Yossi Benayoun crossed for Dean Ashton to tap home his second.

We have a big chance of reaching the final - Alan has told the players to seize the moment
West Ham assistant manager Peter Grant

"Both myself and Alan Pardew were trying to get the game stopped but I don't think the players were aware of what had happened," added Pearce.

"There was a bit of a buzz around the ground and when Kiki Musampa got it, he didn't really know what to do.

"Their lad whipped it off him and from then on, Christian Dailly wasn't really their priority."

Two-goal hero Ashton - an 8m January signing from Norwich City - admits he cannot wait for the semi-final.

"The semi will be a fantastic occasion and our fans will travel in their thousands," said Ashton.

"Obviously this is a really hard place to come and they threw everything at us, so we're delighted to win.

Assistant boss Peter Grant added: "It was a massive win and the boys are absolutely ecstatic, we have a big chance of reaching the final.

"Alan has told the players to seize the moment. Some guys play for 10 or 15 years and never get a chance to play in an FA Cup semi-final.

"As for Dean, everyone else said he was a gamble at 8m but we never thought that.

"He has got great technique and he is a wonderful player who is going to get better and better."

Man City 1-2 West Ham
20 Mar 06 |  FA Cup


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