Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott has hit back at his side's critics and tried to shift attention from the roles of Mario Balotelli and Carlos Tevez this season.

City were once firm favourites for the title but now trail rivals Manchester United by five points with four games remaining. Some of City's failings have been laid at Balotelli's door after a series of high-profile misdemeanours, while Tevez's infamous dispute with the club has also been blamed .

But Lescott told Sky Sports News: "I think it's a bit harsh to solely lay the blame on Mario.... and who's to say that if Carlos had stayed he wouldn't have got injured and been out for the rest of the season?"

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