Mancini dismisses Balotelli-Pizza claims

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Roberto Mancini has moved quickly to dismiss claims striker Mario Balotelli was struck down by an illness connected to a mystery pizza.

The Italian international was snapped in a Naples pizzeria prior to last night's 2-1 defeat to the Azzurri, leaving the Citizens' chances of qualification for the knockout phase in the Champions League out of their hands.

Balotelli scored the only goal for the visitors, but did so whilst feeling under the weather - he was sick on the pitch during the game. Mancini has denied that the two incidents are related.

"He was sick but he didn't have many problems. He has a small fever, it was nothing serious," said Mancini post-match.

"He had my permission to see his girlfriend for half an hour - it was only to say hello to his girlfriend in a pizzeria. He did not have a pizza.

Mancini has refused to give up hope of qualification from Group A, but last night's result at the San Paolo Stadium has meant that the Europa League could be calling for the Etihad Stadium outfit.

But, with another game to play against Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich, Mancini knows it isn't over until the final whistle blows.

"We have another game and Villarreal can beat Napoli. Everything is not finished - never say never."

Manchester City
Premier League
Mario Balotelli

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