Italy’s youthful international striker MARIO BALOTELLI (left) receives congratulations from Belgium international defender VINCENT KOMPANY after the former Inter Milan attacker scored his first-ever goal for Manchester City against Romanian side CS FS Timosoara at the Stadionul Dan Paltinisanu. (Andrew Boyer/Action Images)
UEFA Europa League
Playoff round, first leg
0 – CS FC Timosoara (ROM)
1 – Manchester City (ENG) ———– Balotelli 72′
Italy international attacker MARIO BALOTELLI, signed from defending Champions League champion Inter Milan for 24.0 million English pounds less than a week earlier, paid immediate dividends for MANCHESTER CITY in the 1-0 defeat of home-standing CS FC TIMOSOARA in the first leg of the UEFA Europa League playoffs.
The 20-year-old Balotelli, who came on early in the second half as a substitute for England World Cup midfielder GARETH BARRY, steered home a driven cross from Togo international striker EMMANUEL ADEBAYOR for the only goal of the game in the 72nd minute.
CS FC TIMOSOARA : Pantilimon ; Sepsy, Lichin, Cisovsky, Scutaru (Zicu 71), Contra (Mera 80′) ; Bourceanu, Alexa, Curtean ; Axente, Magera (Goga 83′)
MANCHESTER CITY : Hart ; Lescott, K. Toure, Kompany, Zabaleta ; de Jong, Barry (Balotelli 57′), Y. Toure, Silva (A. Johnson 66′) ; Tevez (Jo 77′), Adebayor