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Manchester City boss denies reports of latest Balotelli bust-up

Roberto Mancini insists he has not fallen out with Mario Balotelli.

The Italian international striker was not even on the Manchester City bench on Tuesday night, when the Blues suffered a dramatic 3-2 UEFA Champions League defeat at Real Madrid. This led to suggestions that the pair had once again fallen out, something of a regular occurrence during their lengthy relationship.

However, ahead of the visit of Arsenal on Sunday afternoon, Mancini denied such suggestions, insisting Balotelli was left out of his plans for the Bernabeu simply for tactical reasons and nothing more.

"This story is totally false," said the City coach. "Mario went in the stand only because we started to play with Carlos Tevez in attack and we couldn't have three strikers on the bench. There has been no argument, and no row. Absolutely not."

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