Mancini plays down latest clash with Balotelli

Updated 04 January 2013
0

Mancini plays down latest clash with Balotelli

LONDON: Despite photographs of Roberto Mancini’s latest clash with Mario Balotelli featuring on the front pages of Britain’s tabloid newspapers on Friday, the Manchester City manager does not believe the relationship between the two Italians is at breaking point.
Mancini was labeled “Madcini” in The Sun next to a photo of him grappling with Balotelli in training on Thursday while most papers reached the conclusion that Balotelli’s troubled time at the English champions was up.
Yet Mancini played down the training ground incident on Friday, saying reaction to it had been overblown.
“Mario made a tackle on his team mate that I would prefer to see in a game and not against a team mate,” Mancini told reporters. “I asked him to leave the pitch — he said no so I moved him off.
“That’s all that happened and it was nothing more than that.” Last month Balotelli withdrew his appeal against disciplinary action taken against him by the Premier League champions, accepting a fine of two weeks’ wages for a series of well-documented misdemeanors on and off the pitch last season.
However, harmony still appears to be in short supply with Mancini again being asked whether the Italy international still has a future at the club.
“Nothing has changed between Mario and me and my thoughts have not changed about him and these things happen from time to time,” he said.
“Will Mario have more chances? I will give him 100 chances as long as I can see him trying to improve and working hard for this football club.”


Sublime Mohamed Salah leads Liverpool to stunning 5-2 win over Roma

Updated 10 sec ago
0

Sublime Mohamed Salah leads Liverpool to stunning 5-2 win over Roma

  • Liverpool move onto 38 goals for this season’s competition — 11 more than any other team
  • Salah is now on 43 goals for the season in all competitions

LIVERPOOL: Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah put his former side Roma to the sword on Tuesday night with a scintillating performance as the Reds ran riot at Anfield, taking a commading 5-2 lead into next week’s second leg in Rome.
The Italian side had no answer to the Egyptian superstar’s sublime skill as he scored two world-class goals and set up another two for Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.
Firmino added the fifth as the Merseyside club romped into a 5-0 lead to put the English side within touching distance of the Champions League final.
Salah’s display was as exquisite as Roma’s defending was naive, with Liverpool scoring all of their goals in a breathtaking 33-minute spell either side of halftime amid a cauldron of noise at Anfield.
But two consolation goals in the final nine minutes from Edin Dzeko and Diego Perotti has given Roma hope of recreating their heroics from the previous leg against Barcelona.
In the latest virtuoso performance of his stunning first season at Liverpool, Salah curled a shot into the top corner in the 36th minute and doubled the lead in the 45th with a dinked finish that is fast becoming his trademark. He is now on 43 goals for the season in all competitions with potentially five games left.
The Egypt forward was not finished there, taking advantage of Roma’s high defensive line to provide crosses for Mane and Firmino to score almost identical goals in the 56th and 61st minutes, respectively.
Firmino glanced home a header from James Millner’s corner in the 69th to leave Roma’s players on the floor — literally in the case of their distressed goalkeeper, Alisson.
Liverpool moved onto 38 goals for this season’s competition — 11 more than any other team — but cannot begin preparing for the final in Kiev on May 26 quite yet.
Dzeko chested down a long pass to make it 5-1 in the 81st and when Milner handled a shot from Radja Nainggolan, Perotti converted the penalty in the 89th.
Bayern Munich play Real Madrid in the other semifinal, with the first leg in Germany on Wednesday.
Roma knows all about Salah, who scored 15 goals and set up 11 more in the second of his two seasons at the Italian club before joining Liverpool for 42 million euros (then $47 million) in June.
He’s obliterating those figures at Anfield this season. His double saw him surge past Cristiano Ronaldo’s 42 goals for Manchester United in the 2007-08 season, for example.
Salah won English soccer’s Player of the Year award on Sunday. At this rate, the Ballon D’Or could be his next year.