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Page last updated at 20:52 GMT, Thursday, 19 August 2010 21:52 UK

FC Timisoara   0 - 1   Man City

Mario Balotelli celebrates scoring on his Man City debut
Balotelli struck minutes after coming on for his debut in Romania

Manchester City's £24m striker Mario Balotelli came off the bench to score on his debut as they won their Europa League play-off first leg in Timisoara.

Balotelli came on with City struggling against the little-known Romanians and with 18 minutes left he coolly fired in after good work from Emmanuel Adebayor.

Timisoara had started well and had two penalty appeals turned down as City laboured for long periods.

But soon after Yaya Toure hit the post, Balotelli grabbed the decisive goal.

The 20-year-old's dream start to his City career makes his new club very strong favourites going into the second leg at Eastlands next Thursday.

City manager Roberto Mancini had asked for time for his new signings to gel prior to the game and, showing three changes from the 0-0 draw at Spurs on Saturday, it took them a while to find their feet in the Dan Paltinisanu Stadium.

606: DEBATE
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Timisoara, sixth in the Romanian league, began in enterprising fashion and the majority of the 20,000-strong crowd were left dismayed when referee Florian Meyer turned down their appeals for a spot-kick after Pablo Zabaleta appeared to catch Cosmin Contra in the City box.

City were struggling to string passes together and they survived another penalty shout when the ball struck Vincent Kompany's arm before Contra's follow-up shot dribbled into the arms of Joe Hart.

It was not so much City weathering a Timisoara storm as the visitors completely failing to get their act together, but that did not last and around the half-hour mark Mancini's multi-million pound side started to show glimpses of their class.

Carlos Tevez's control was a touch too heavy to collect Gareth Barry's cross or he would have been in on goal, while moments after the break David Silva had a shot blocked after a good pass from Tevez.

City had raised the tempo to a level Timisoara were struggling to cope with and the arrival of former Inter Milan striker Balotelli on 57 minutes proved the catalyst for them to go on and win the game.

He was immediately in the action when he shot over from 20 yards and then fired into the side-netting after Timisoara failed to clear a corner.

Moments after Yaya Toure's right-foot thunderbolt slammed back off the post, Balotelli gave City the goal their play had warranted, sweeping in from close range after Adebayor had created the chance.

The visitors narrowly failed to increase their lead in the closing stages as Yaya Toure's shot forced a good save from Costel Pantilimon and then the irrepressible Balotelli shot over.

The Italian's captivating cameo ended when he picked up a knock in injury time. After such a sizzling start in a City shirt, Mancini will hope his new star is available for the visit of Liverpool to Eastlands in the Premier League on Monday.

Live text and stats

 

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Europa Lge qualifying

Home Team Score Away Team Time
FC Timisoara 0-1 Man City FT
(HT 0-0)
    • Balotelli 72

    FC Timisoara

    • 29 Pantilimon
    • 04 Luchin yellow card
    • 08 Sepsi
    • 13 Scutaru (Zicu 71)
    • 22 Contra (Mera 80)
    • 28 Cisovsky
    • 05 Alexa
    • 07 Curtean
    • 55 Bourceanu
    • 09 Axente
    • 17 Magera (Goga 83)

    Substitutes

    • 99 Taborda,
    • 14 Mera,
    • 20 Popovic,
    • 24 Dukic,
    • 31 Poparadu,
    • 21 Goga,
    • 27 Zicu

    Man City

    Substitutes

    Ref: MeyerAtt: 20,000
    FC TIMISOARA
    MAN CITY

    Possession

    • FC Timisoara 47%
    • Man City 53%

    Attempts on target

    • FC Timisoara 3
    • Man City 3

    Attempts off target

    • FC Timisoara 0
    • Man City 4

    Corners

    • FC Timisoara 3
    • Man City 8

    Fouls

    • FC Timisoara 12
    • Man City 10
    • Final Result
    • 94:49 The referee starts the match.
    • Full Time
    • 90:00+4:17 Emmanuel Adebayor is caught offside. Indirect free kick taken by Marian Cisovsky.
    • 90:00+2:45 Corner taken by Adam Johnson from the right by-line.
    • 90:00+1:18 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Alexandru Curtean by Joleon Lescott. Alexandru Bourceanu crosses the ball in from the free kick.
    • 90:00 The referee blows his whistle to end the game.
    • 89:54 Ioan Mera challenges Mario Balotelli unfairly and gives away a free kick. Joleon Lescott restarts play with the free kick.
    • 88:57 Srgian Luchin challenges Mario Balotelli unfairly and gives away a free kick. Mario Balotelli restarts play with the free kick.
    • 87:28 Gnegneri Toure Yaya takes a shot. Save made by Costel Pantilimon. Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Mario Balotelli, save by Costel Pantilimon.
    • 86:03 Foul by Emmanuel Adebayor on Costel Pantilimon, free kick awarded. Costel Pantilimon takes the free kick.
    • 85:29 Effort on goal by Adam Johnson from just inside the area clears the crossbar.
    • 83:50 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Alexandru Curtean played to the near post.
    • 83:22 Corner taken by Alexandru Curtean from the right by-line.
    • 82:35 Substitution Dorin Goga joins the action as a substitute, replacing Lukas Magera.
    • 78:58 Gnegneri Toure Yaya takes the direct free kick.
    • 78:58 Substitution Ioan Mera replaces Cosmin Contra.
    • 78:58 Unfair challenge on Nigel De Jong by Lukas Magera results in a free kick.
    • 78:18 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Mario Balotelli.
    • 76:23 Direct free kick taken by Cosmin Contra.
    • 76:23 Substitution Joao Alves Jo on for Carlos Tevez.
    • 76:23 Vincent Kompany concedes a free kick for a foul on Dan Alexa.
    • 75:36 The offside flag is raised against Emmanuel Adebayor. Free kick taken by Srgian Luchin.
    • 75:02 Carlos Tevez fouled by Alexandru Bourceanu, the ref awards a free kick. Carlos Tevez restarts play with the free kick.
    • 73:45 Srgian Luchin restarts play with the free kick.
    • 73:45 Booking Mario Balotelli booked for unsporting behaviour.
    • 73:42 Unfair challenge on Cosmin Contra by Mario Balotelli results in a free kick.
    • 71:45 Assist by Emmanuel Adebayor.
    • 71:45 GOAL - Mario BalotelliFC Timisoara 0 - 1 Man City Mario Balotelli fires in a goal from close range low into the middle of the goal. FC Timisoara 0-1 Man City.
    • 71:43 Emmanuel Adebayor produces a cross,
    • Correction - 68:48 Substitution Ianis Zicu replaces Cristian Scutaru.
    • Correction - 68:48 Inswinging corner taken by Mario Balotelli, Gnegneri Toure Yaya takes a shot.
    • 68:48 Substitution Ianis Zicu joins the action as a substitute, replacing Cristian Scutaru.
    • 68:48 Inswinging corner taken by Mario Balotelli from the left by-line, Gnegneri Toure Yaya takes a shot.
    • 66:11 Short corner taken by Mario Balotelli from the left by-line. Mario Balotelli produces a right-footed shot from close range which goes wide of the right-hand upright.
    • 65:05 Substitution Adam Johnson on for David Silva.
    • 64:05 Laszlo Sepsi concedes a free kick for a foul on David Silva. Direct free kick taken by David Silva.
    • 63:05 Mario Balotelli fouled by Cristian Scutaru, the ref awards a free kick. Joleon Lescott restarts play with the free kick.
    • 62:46 Alexandru Curtean fouled by Pablo Zabaleta, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Alexandru Curtean.
    • 61:18 The assistant referee flags for offside against Mario Balotelli. Free kick taken by Costel Pantilimon.
    • 58:28 Mircea Axente concedes a free kick for a foul on Vincent Kompany. Vincent Kompany takes the free kick.
    • 56:00 Marian Cisovsky restarts play with the free kick.
    • 56:00 Substitution Gareth Barry leaves the field to be replaced by Mario Balotelli.
    • 56:00 The assistant referee flags for offside against Emmanuel Adebayor.
    • 54:08 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Emmanuel Adebayor by Marian Cisovsky. Gareth Barry crosses the ball from the free kick left-footed from right wing, Costel Pantilimon makes a save.
    • 51:20 Foul by David Silva on Laszlo Sepsi, free kick awarded. Marian Cisovsky takes the free kick.
    • 50:25 Mircea Axente takes a shot. Save by Joe Hart.
    • 49:29 Pablo Zabaleta gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Alexandru Curtean. Free kick taken by Cosmin Contra.
    • 47:08 The official flags David Silva offside. Costel Pantilimon takes the free kick.
    • 45:01 The referee gets the second half underway.
    • Half Time
    • 45:00 The match has reached half-time.
    • 42:33 Kolo Toure challenges Srgian Luchin unfairly and gives away a free kick. Laszlo Sepsi restarts play with the free kick.
    • 40:53 Free kick crossed by David Silva, clearance made by Dan Alexa.
    • 40:53 Booking Srgian Luchin receives a yellow card.
    • 40:29 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Carlos Tevez by Srgian Luchin.
    • 35:12 Cosmin Contra takes a shot. Joe Hart makes a save.
    • 33:53 Effort on goal by Gnegneri Toure Yaya from just outside the penalty area goes harmlessly over the target.
    • 32:07 Foul by Alexandru Bourceanu on Carlos Tevez, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Nigel De Jong.
    • 29:18 Free kick awarded for a foul by Alexandru Bourceanu on David Silva. Carlos Tevez shoots direct from the free kick, save by Costel Pantilimon.
    • 27:24 Joleon Lescott challenges Cosmin Contra unfairly and gives away a free kick. Cosmin Contra restarts play with the free kick.
    • 21:01 Outswinging corner taken by David Silva from the left by-line, clearance by Marian Cisovsky. Outswinging corner taken by David Silva, Cristian Scutaru makes a clearance.
    • 18:52 Alexandru Bourceanu takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Blocked by Kolo Toure.
    • 14:57 Emmanuel Adebayor is ruled offside. Srgian Luchin takes the free kick.
    • 8:13 Corner taken by David Silva, save made by Costel Pantilimon.
    • 4:12 Pablo Zabaleta concedes a free kick for a foul on Lukas Magera. Free kick taken by Alexandru Curtean.
    • 3:25 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Alexandru Bourceanu from the right by-line.
    • 2:27 Foul by Dan Alexa on David Silva, free kick awarded. Gnegneri Toure Yaya takes the free kick.

    Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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    see also
    Mancini hails Balotelli's debut
    19 Aug 10 |  Man City
    Europa League as it happened
    19 Aug 10 |  Europe
    Man City complete Balotelli deal
    13 Aug 10 |  Man City


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