This game won’t turn out well for Mario Balotelli, but Manchester City’s star striker is always watchable. A Mohawk adds a bristling inch to his strapping frame, and even by the balletic, fast-paced standards of top-tier football, he moves with a mesmeric grace, twisting past defenders without losing speed.
Sometimes he attracts attention for the wrong reasons too. Eighteen and a half minutes into the Oct. 20 match with West Bromwich Albion, his tackle on an opponent is deemed a foul, and the referee brandishes a yellow card. A further infringement risks earning a red card, banishing Balotelli and leaving City a man short.
He knows he ought to accept the decision as surely as everyone watching knows he will not. And soon enough he is arguing with the referee, returning at the halftime whistle to remonstrate with him again until a teammate roughly pushes the player away.
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