Mancini refuses to criticise Balotelli

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini would not lay criticism at the feet of Mario Balotelli following another row involving the Italian against Sunderland, ClubCall reports.

Balotelli was replaced after 60 minutes for fellow striker Sergio Aguero and the fiery 22 year old stormed down the tunnel without glancing at Mancini. The City boss’ decision was justified with Aguero scoring four minutes after his introduction and the Premier League champions easing to a 3-0 victory over the Black Cats. Reports emerged after the game of Balotelli boarding a flight to Italy just hours after the game.

Mancini said: “Mario worked a lot and he had a good chance. I am happy with Mario; he played a good game.”

Assistant David Platt admitted that the Italian international should not have walked down the tunnel and revealed that Balotelli was not suffering from an injury. There are doubts over whether Balotelli can be converted from his hot-head approach and senior figures at City are reportedly concerned about the future for Balotelli. Mancini has shown faith in the striker, but pressure may force the manager to sell the 22 year old in the January transfer window.

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