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Mancini slams Balotelli despite him scoring a brace during draw against Sunderland

April 1, 2012 - London

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has blasted striker Mario Balotelli for his poor performance, despite the latter scoring a brace during their draw against Sunderland at Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

City dropped two more points, which could play an important role in deciding this season's champions, and if Manchester United win their game against Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park on Monday, they will go five points clear to City.

City went 3-1 down to a spirited Sunderland, but somehow managed to salvage a draw.

Balotelli scored twice but Mancini said he considered replacing him after five minutes and, having said he could not trust the player in the build-up to this game, Balotelli's future at City is now in gloom.

"He didn't play well. In a game like this the striker should be the difference. Not in the last two or three minutes but before. In the first half we should have scored two or three. Mario and [Edin] Dzeko should have scored two or three goals in a game like this," The Telegraph quoted Mancini, as saying.

"We had only Carlos [Tevez] on the bench. I thought about this after five minutes. In the end he scored two goals," he added.

Mancini was also frustrated with the way Balotelli had argued with Aleksandr Kolarov over who should take a free kick when his team was 3-1 down.

Vincent Kompany, the captain, had to drag Balotelli away amid boos from City's fans, who were as frustrated as Mancini. "It can happen in a moment like today," Mancini said. "But this is the last time."


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