City boss criticises Balotelli

Manchester City

Roberto Mancini criticised Mario Balotelli's display in the loss at Liverpool and admitted he made "mistakes" with his team selection.

City’s chances of finishing in the top four were hit by the 3-0 reverse at Anfield on Monday night and afterwards Mancini took the blame for the defeat.

“I’m disappointed with myself because I think I made a mistake,” he said.

“It was my fault. Not with the players because the players played 100 per cent. Probably I made a mistake in the last two days but I know why. I did three changes and brought in three fresh players. Our focus was not good.

“It probably was my mistake because we prepared for this game not very well. But I think it is better to lose one game 3-0 than three games 1-0.”

Mancini was coy over exactly what “mistake” he was referring to but did admit bad-boy striker Balotelli, who came on for the injured Carlos Tevez in the first half but was then substituted himself late on, turned in a disappointing performance.

“He didn’t play well,” the City boss added sharply when asked about the striker’s evening.