Manchester City manger Roberto Mancini’s problems with his roster of strikers continued after his bust up with 20 year Mario Balotelli during the team’s 7-6 win on penalties over L.A. Galaxy, which included a 45 minute appearance from superstar David Beckham.
The match ended 1-1 with Balotelli having scored from the penalty spot after Micah Richards was fouled in the box. But when the Italian was once again sent clear of the Galaxy defence, he tried a complicated move and his backheel just went wide of the post when he could have scored normally. Mancini was furious with this and he substituted Balotelli soon after. The striker was unhappy and responded to the manager indicating that he did not understand what had gone wrong. Balotelli took his place on the bench in utter disgust before throwing his water bottle to the ground in anger. Furthermore, he didn’t return to the dugout in the second half fuelling an already spoilt relationship with Mancini.
Galaxy levelled through Mike Magee in the second half and the match was forced into extra-time and penalties. Both the teams kept scoring and the marathon shootout finally ended when Joe Hart saved and then finished it with a spot kick for a 7-6 victory to the travelers but the match was most remembered for the Mancini-Balotelli spat.
Mancini already faces a problem with the strikers in his squad with Tevez eager to leave and almost non-existent relations with loaned out strikers Adebayor and Bellamy. Balotelli already has a blurred crime sheet since his move to City last season. He was sent off against West Brom during a Premiership match and also against Dynamo Kiev in the Europa Cup which Mancini had branded stupid. Although he was man of the match in the FA Cup final against Stoke, he didn’t turn up for the end of the season trophy parade only straining relations with his manager.
With the Tevez transfer saga capturing the headlines, Mancini could do less with this drama and the planned 45 million pound move for Atletico Madrid’s Sergio Aguero should calm his nerves.