Mancini delighted with Balotelli debut
Manchester City edged closer to a place in the group stages of the Europa League thanks to the Italian connection.
Roberto Mancini marked his first match at this level for the club by steering them to a 1-0 victory against Timisoara in their play-off first-leg match in Romania.
The winning goal came from Mancini's fellow countryman Mario Balotelli, the striker stepping off the bench to sweep the ball home from close range in the 72nd minute.
It has been a whirlwind week for the 20-year-old whose registration was only received by UEFA on deadline day after he arrived last week from Inter Milan for a reported £24million. City stepped up the pace in the second half after a slow start when they failed to test the home defence.
Mancini changed things around by improving his attacking options and they looked more of a threat.
Yaya Toure thumped a shot against the post and Balotelli found the side-netting before stunning the industrious home side with an important away goal.
Balotelli needed treatment at the end of the game but should be available to face Liverpool at home on Monday when England midfielder James Milner is set to make his debut.
Mancini said: "We do not think it is serious. It was probably just a kick, it is not a problem. Mario had a great debut and I am happy that he scored. He is a good player.
"He needs to improve of course and get to know everybody. It was the first time he had played with the team."
Balotelli, however, picked up a booking after losing his cool and was told by Mancini not to repeat his actions in England.
The Italian warned: "We must work on this with him because it will be different in the Premier League than in Italy."
Mancini was pleased with his team's overall display although he knows there will be tougher tests to come.
Not only did his team chalk up a victory in front of a partisan Romanian crowd they kept a second successive clean sheet.
Mancini said: "It was a difficult game because Timisoara are a good team and they played very well in the first half.
"In the end, it is a good result for us. But they made it difficult for us by getting so many players behind the ball.
"All the players played well, especially in the second half and we moved the ball quickly. When (Adam) Johnson came on, he also did well.
"I think we deserved to score another goal because we had three or four good chances."
But Mancini stressed that the tie was not over and there was still work to be done at Eastlands.
He added: "Football is strange. When you think you can win easy, you must have maximum concentration."
Latest in Sport
Manny Pacquiao secures $12.5m mansion by giving seller four tickets to 2 May fight with Floyd Mayweather
Dan Hardy column: Is the hype around UFC sensation Conor McGregor justified?
Malaysia Grand Prix 2015: Nico Rosberg refuses to back down on blocking claims after Lewis Hamilton's lightning start to season
WWE WrestleMania 31: What time does it start? Full match card and preview ahead of event
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
- 2 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 3 Watch: Man takes selfie every mile of 2,600 mile hike, creates amazing timelapse video
- 4 The day I starred in Only Fools and Horses
- 5 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
Germanwings plane crash: Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz wanted to 'do something people would remember him for'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew