Lescott refuses to blame Balotelli, Tevez for hindering City’s title bid

London: Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott has refused to blame impish Italian striker Mario Balotelli and Argentinean striker Carlos Tevez for hindering their Premier League title bid.

Many football pundits have suggested that City would have won the title by now if it wasn’t for Tevez, who spent several months in self-imposed exile after falling out with manager Roberto Mancini in Munich.

There have also been arguments that City’s talented but mischievous striker Balotelli has been a subvert influence at Etihad, and a key reason why Mancini`s men have surrendered the league lead they held at the start of March, but Lescott disagrees.

“I think it`s a bit harsh to solely lay the blame on Mario. He`s a young player and he`s going to make mistakes, and we all did at that age. Hopefully he is learning from them and when he plays he is going to give 100 percent,” a daily quoted Lescott, as saying.

Balotelli received yet another red card in City’s defeat at Arsenal, and Lescott thinks he will learn from it.

“Obviously, he`s disappointed what happened with Arsenal but I am sure he`s learnt from that,” he said.

Since returning to first team action Tevez has scored four goals in two matches, helping City beat Wolverhampton Wanderers and Norwich City convincingly to keep pressure on table leaders and local rivals Manchester United.

“We`re not dwelling on the past. Who`s to say that if Carlos had stayed he wouldn`t have got injured and been out for the rest of the season?” Lescott said.

“We`re just grateful now that he`s back and playing for Man City and scoring goals,” he added.