Goals from Aleksandar Kolarov, Sergio Aguero, who replaced Balotelli after 55 minutes, and James Milner were accompanied by City’s first clean sheet of the campaign.
But the game was overshadowed somewhat by the behaviour of Balotelli who sauntered off the field and stormed directly down the tunnel to the City dressing room after being substituted.
City coach David Platt refused to be drawn on a subject over which the club has become increasingly sensitive. “I don't know,” said Platt when asked why Balotelli had walked down the tunnel instead of taking his place on the City bench.
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