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Thursday 14 December 2017

City report Porto fans for racially abusing Balotelli

MANCHESTER City are to lodge an official complaint after striker Mario Balotelli allegedly suffered racial abuse from the crowd during last night's win at Porto.

The club informed UEFA's matchday delegate of their intention to complain after the 2-1 Europa League success at the Estadio Dragao and will follow it up in writing today.

There were suspected outbreaks of monkey chanting aimed at Balotelli and Yaya Toure during the first half but it appeared most noticeable when the former was substituted 12 minutes from time.

Manager Roberto Mancini said immediately after the game he had not heard it but Balotelli later informed a club official he felt he had been abused.

City midfielder Toure also backed up Balotelli's claim by saying he "heard something" from the stands.

The midfielder said: "That's why we all like the Premier League, because it never happens there.

"Maybe in foreign countries they don't expect black players.

"Mario is now able to control things like this and that is very important for the club."

The matter made for a sour end to the first leg of the last-32 contest and overshadowed a fine comeback by City.

Strike

The Premier League leaders trailed to the Portuguese champions at the interval after a 27th-minute strike from Silvestre Varela.

An own goal by Alvaro Pereira, who had been under pressure from Balotelli, gifted them an equaliser after 55 minutes, and substitute Sergio Aguero snatched victory six minutes from time.

City will now be confident of securing a place in the last 16 in the return leg next Wednesday.

Mancini said: "I think it was a good result because it is difficult to win here."

With City not in action at the weekend, the players will have today off and Mancini did not fly back to Manchester with the squad.

That means his expected first meeting with striker Carlos Tevez since the Argentinian returned to the club will be delayed.

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