Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure has dined he's fought with striker Mario Balotelli during Saturday's draw with Sunderland.

The pair appeared to have words after Balotelli argued with Aleksander Kolarov over a free-kick during the draw with Sunderland, which leaves City five points off leaders Manchester United in the Premier League title race.

But Toure has denied lambasting Balotelli, and says the Italian isn't so much his friend, more like his brother.

"When you see it on the TV, it’s difficult," said Toure.

"The players have the determination to make the club great but people don’t realise what it’s like. We are losing 3-1 to Sunderland and time is running out. 

"What you see on the pitch isn’t men behaving normally. The next day, during massage, you see Mario and Kolarov discussing it and laughing. But in the game you are so nervous. You are losing face in your own stadium, in front of your own fans. The players are young.

"The stress and frustration builds up and these things happen. But afterwards they talk and it’s OK. This is the  part that the TV cameras don’t see."

"I went to Mario and said, “You have to calm down. We are on the field. All the people are looking at you”. It’s difficult because Mario is a guy who, if he wants to do something, he will do it. But he has to listen more," Toure recalled.

Balotelli has endured a tempestuous relationship with teammates and manager Roberto Mancini, regularly fighting with players during training and falling out with Mancini on regularly occasions.

When fully focused on the job in hand, Balotelli has proven himself to be invaluable to City's title challenge, with a brace against United at Old Trafford and a late penalty against Tottenham Hotspur two vital interventions.

City face Arsenal this weekend hoping to keep alive their trill hopes, knowing defeat cold leave them eight points behind with six games left.

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Mario Balotelli