Manchester United say sorry for Wembley damage

Mario Balotelli (centre) is confronted by United players Anderson (right) and Rio Ferdinand (left) and Patrice Evra (foreground), while City manager Roberto Mancini (second left) attempts to intervene
Saturday's semi-final between the two Manchester rivals was a heated affair

Manchester United have apologised and offered to pay for the damage caused to their Wembley dressing room following Saturday's FA Cup semi-final.

United said they drew the Football Association's attention to the damage done to a wall following the 1-0 loss to fierce rivals Manchester City.

They added it was "only surface damage" and neither manager Sir Alex Ferguson nor any players were responsible.

The FA says it is very unlikely to take any further action over the incident.

The damage - which a United spokesman described as "about three inches in diameter... and not a hole" - was inflicted in the aftermath of Saturday's heated encounter at Wembley, which City won thanks to Yaya Toure's 52nd-minute strike.

United midfielder Paul Scholes was shown a straight red card late on for a dangerously high tackle on Pablo Zabaleta.

At the final whistle a number of United players - including defender Rio Ferdinand and midfielder Anderson - angrily confronted City striker Mario Balotelli.

The Italian is believed to have thrust the badge on his shirt in the direction of opposition supporters, while also winking sarcastically at centre-back Ferdinand as the players left the field.

Ferdinand has since apologised for the incident but also criticised Balotelli for taunting the United fans.

"If you score a goal and give a bit to opposing fans I kind of accept that," said Ferdinand through Twitter. "But at the final whistle, go to your fans and enjoy it, not opposing fans."

"If I offended anyone, I apologise, emotions obviously running high."

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson was forced to watch the match from the stands as part of his five-match ban for comments made about referee Martin Atkinson.

The defeat ends United's hopes of repeating their 1999 treble of the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League.

They continue their pursuit of the first of these at Newcastle on Tuesday, looking to extend their six-point lead over second-placed Arsenal.

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