Joleon Lescott hits back at Mario Balotelli, Carlos Tevez critics

Lescott defends Balotelli, Tevez
© PA Photos
Joleon Lescott believes that some of the heat needs to be taken off Manchester City duo Carlos Tevez and Mario Balotelli.

Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott believes that criticism towards Mario Balotelli is "harsh" and that the team are "grateful" for the return of Carlos Tevez.

The club's controversial strikers have hit the headlines for the wrong reasons on a number of occasions throughout the season.

Italian hitman Balotelli has been judged for his uncontrolled behaviour on and off the pitch, while Argentina international Tevez sparked outrage when he refused to play for City in September and deserted the club for months by jetting off to South America.

While the futures of both players remain uncertain, Tevez has made an impact since his return to the first team by netting a hat-trick during City's 6-1 victory over Norwich City at the weekend.

"I think it's a bit harsh to solely blame Mario," Lescott told Sky Sports News. "He's a young player and he's going to make mistakes - we all did at that age.

"We're not dwelling on the past [controversy with Tevez]. Who's to say that if Carlos had stayed he wouldn't have got injured and missed the rest of the season. We're just grateful that he's back and playing for Man City and scoring goals."

City are currently five points behind league leaders Manchester United in the table.

Mario Balotelli
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City24212170185265
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd24165349163353
3Chelsea24155445162950
4Liverpool23138254282647
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs23135546212544
6Arsenal24126645311442
7Leicester CityLeicester249783632434
8Burnley249781921-234
9Everton2477102639-1328
10Watford2475123344-1126
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham2468103042-1226
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13Crystal Palace2467112237-1525
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17Stoke CityStoke2465132550-2523
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19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom24311101931-1220
20Swansea CitySwansea2345141435-2117
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