Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has apologised for the part played by Nigeria's Kelechi Iheanacho and his City team-mates in the mass brawl that resulted in Sergio Aguero and Fernandinho being sent off at the end of their 3-1 defeat by Chelsea - but defended both players.
Aguero was dismissed for his wild lunge on Chelsea defender David Luiz, with team-mate Fernandinho also shown a red card for clashing with Cesc Fabregas in the melee that followed while video footage also showed Iheanacho jumping into the scene in a bid to protect Aguero who was crowded by Chelsea stars.ALSO READ: Manchester City v Chelsea match report
The City boss in a post-match reaction said: "It is a pity the game finished like this. I don't like that and I apologize for what happened.
"I don't think Aguero's challenge is intentional. Both players were strong, that is all.
"Then Fernandinho went over to defend his team-mate because of what the opponent did to Aguero.
"When (City winger) Nolito did that against Bournemouth, it was a red card for him and a three-game ban. That is why Fernandinho went to defend his team-mate, that is all.
"I have not spoken to him about it - if it is on TV, we will see about it."ALSO READ: Chelsea issue sex abuse statement, apologizes to ex-player
The marching orders for both players mean Fernandinho will be suspended for three matches and Aguero will face a four-game ban because he has already been sent off once for violent conduct this season - the retrospective red card he received for a challenge on West Ham defender Winston Reid in August.