English Premiership

Mancini denies Balotelli spat

2012-09-21 13:58
Mario Balotelli (AFP Photo)

Manchester - Roberto Mancini on Friday insisted that there was no bust up with striker Mario Balotelli after the Italian was left out of Manchester City's squad for their Champions League tie with Real Madrid.

Mancini instead explained that he wanted to play with just one striker and did not want any more than two strikers on the bench with Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko favoured in front of Balotelli and Carlos Tevez starting.

The City manager was responding to questions following a newspaper report in Britain that suggested the striker was dropped because of a late night-out following the Blues' draw with Stoke City last weekend.

Mancini said that Balotelli was just like any other squad player at the Etihad Stadium and would have to accept being dropped from time to time.

"It is totally false what someone wrote yesterday (Thursday). It is not true. Mario went to the stand only because we decided to play with only Tevez," he told a news conference.

"Mario is a player like other players. When he is on the bench sometimes they don't understand."

City will be looking to bounce back from their Euroepan disappointment against Arsenal on Sunday, with Mancini adamant that they should put their experience at the Bernabeu behind them.

The Premier League champions were leading 2-1 with just five minutes to go but goals from Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo swung the game back into Madrid's favour and City were denied any points from their opening Champions League game.

But Mancini is confident City will be able to overturn the result when Jose Mourinho's side visit the Etihad stadium later this year.

"I think we should be frustrated for what happened in the last five minutes but also happy because we did a good performance. It is not easy to score two goals in Madrid and to have a chance to win. I think next time will be a different game.

"In this moment, maybe they are better than us and probably they deserved to win but when you are 2-1 with five mintues to go in the Bernabeu, it is difficult to watch this. I am confident in this group and for this Champions League."

Mancini criticised goalkeeper Joe Hart for being outspoken following the Madrid defeat but backed the England number one and said he had no problem with the player.

After a disappointing draw against Stoke City last weekend followed by the late collapse in Madrid, City fans will be expecting them to bounce back against Arsenal but Mancini was wary of putting too much pressure on his side.

"Real Madrid is a different competition, now we should forget what has happened in Madrid," he added.

Mancini, though, does want to see an improvement at the back. City have shipped six goals so far, despite being one of the league's most defensively sound teams last term which helped them pip Manchester United to the title on goal difference.

The Italian put that down to lack of preparation in pre-season following Euro 2012 which delayed their start to training with the full squad.

"I think that sometimes it can happen in one team because for two years we were the best defence in the Premier League," he added.

"Now we started so soft but if we want to improve, we must work. Probably the problem is we didn't work enough with the players in pre-season."

NEXT ON SPORT24X

Spurs back on track

2016-09-27 22:57

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
30 September 2016
Everton v Crystal Palace, Goodison Park 21:00
01 October 2016
Swansea City v Liverpool, Liberty Stadium 13:30
West Ham United v Middlesbrough, Olympic Stadium 16:00
Sunderland v West Bromwich Albion, Stadium of Light 16:00
Hull City v Chelsea, The KC Stadium 16:00
Watford v Bournemouth, Vicarage Road 16:00
02 October 2016
Manchester United v Stoke City, Old Trafford 13:00
Leicester City v Southampton, King Power Stadium 15:15
Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City, White Hart Lane 15:15
Burnley v Arsenal, Turf Moor 17:30
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Will Jose Mourinho lead Manchester United to the English Premiership title in 2016/17?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

Big month in the world of golf as the FedEx Cup concludes on the PGA Tour, the Race to Dubai gathers steam on the European Tour and the Sunshine Tour offers local golfers the chance to bank some cash. Oh, and not forgetting the USA v Europe Ryder Cup showdown at Hazeltine!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.