Mario Balotelli is congratulated for his role in Manchester City’s equaliser
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Roberto Mancini denied giving his team any special half-time instructions after they came from 1-0 down to beat Porto 2-1 in Portugal and take the upper hand in their Europa League tie.
Silvestre Varela had given Porto a 27th minute lead but Alvaro Pereira, under pressure from Mario Balotelli, turned the ball into his own net early in the second half and Sergio Aguero scored a late breakaway winner just when it appeared City were happy to take the draw.
But although City were vastly improved in the second half, Mancini denied he had undertaken a tactical overhaul at the break.
”I think that we played a good game,” Mancini told ITV. ”We played very well. In the first half we had three or four chances to score and we were unlucky but in the second half we played very well.
”I told them only to play as we know how. In the second half maybe we played higher (up the pitch) but we had seven or eight chances to score and more importantly we didn’t give Porto which is important because Porto are a top team.”
Reports had circulated that City striker Balotelli had been the victim of racist chanting from the stands, but Mancini said he was unaware of any incidents.
”I didn’t hear this, sorry,” he said.