Balotelli shows signs of growing up as Tevez faces inquiry today

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The Independent Online

As Manchester City move closer to deciding Carlos Tevez's fate, who could have predicted that Mario Balotelli's behaviour and attitude would serve to make the Argentine look even worse? Tevez could meet with City officials as early as today.

Manager Roberto Mancini insists that Tevez will never play for City again and, with Sergio Aguero sustaining a groin problem here, more responsibility could be coming to Balotelli. Most could reel off Balotelli's list of 'crimes' quicker than any highlights. Other than the two red cards, the crazy flick in the United States and the training ground bust-ups, some would say he has done more on Deansgate than on the pitch.

However, since the haranguing by Mancini after he was dragged off in Los Angeles, something has changed for the Italian. After he came off the bench to prise Everton open in the recent 2-0 win, Balotelli, who normally reacts to scoring like a man who has been told his favourite trainers have been thrown out, ran to hug Mancini.

Adam Johnson opened the scoring with a fine curling effort after the break and Balotelli volleyed in a second before Samir Nasri added a third and Stefan Savic headed in his first goal in English football. "Everyone knows what Mario's like but he's a goalscorer, he can get 20 goals a season as a central striker," said Johnson.

Carlos Tevez is expected to fly home to Argentina today after submitting himself for interview by the Manchester City inquiry team investigating manager Roberto Mancini's claims that the striker refused an order to play against Bayern Munich on Tuesday.

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