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Not-so-super Mario could be finished in three years

Roberto Mancini said last night that Mario Balotelli's career will be over within three years if he does not change his ways.

"He's not a bad guy -- he is a fantastic player," Mancini said of Balotelli.

"At this moment, I'm very sorry for him as he continues to lose his talent, his quality.

"I hope for him he can understand he's in a bad way for his future and he can change his behaviour in the future.

"Mario needs to change his behaviour if he wants to improve his life. I've seen players finish in two or three years with huge talent. He needs to change. He must change it. I hope for him he will."

Mancini agreed that Balotelli deserved to be sent off after 19 minutes for his foul on Alex Song.

The defeat leaves City's hopes of winning the title even slimmer, although Mancini said they would keep fighting.

"Today it's more difficult, but in my life I used to say that until you can't mathematically win it, you keep playing," he said.

"We have 15 points more than last year. We've had a fantastic season until now, or maybe three days ago.

I won one title where I was five points behind with five games to go. Everything can happen in football. It's clear we have to start to win. We start on Wednesday," added.

Arsenal manager Wenger was delighted with the victory, which moved Arsenal back to third and leaves them five points ahead of fifth-placed Chelsea.

"We deserved it. It was all us after 10 minutes of the second half," he said. I always felt the goal would come, though it was also important we didn't lose it.

At home recently we have produced some outstanding performances, so I'm happy that we got the win. The team continues to grow in quality." (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent