Dirty Tackle

Mario Balotelli’s eventful half hour against Spurs

Mario Balotelli, taking a winner against Spurs in stride. (Getty)

Mario Balotelli started Manchester City's match against Spurs on the bench, so the first half was obviously terrible and scoreless. The second half livened up with four goals -- two for each side -- over a nine minute span, which was a sufficient level of madness to catch Balotelli's eye and draw him into the match so he could make everything that happened in the first 64 minutes seem like a rambling story about a grazing cow told by a four-year-old watching cartoons.

Here's what he did...

Mario does the Safety Dance on Scott Parker's old timey hair.

After taking a bit of time to let his mohawk settle into a rhythm, Balotelli -- Man City's lone substitute in the match -- revved the "Why Always Me?" machine by tripping over a downed Scott Parker and stepping on the Spurs midfielder's head as he fell over himself (gif of it here) in the 83rd minute.

Was it an intentional stomp? The awkward flailings of a man trying to regain his footing? A comment on nostalgia versus acceptance of change? Whatever it was, it prompted calls for Balotelli to be sent off. Referee Howard Webb either did not see it or did not agree, so Mario played on...

Ledley King takes Mario down in the box. (Getty)

Deep into injury time, it appeared both sides were losing interest and playing for the draw. But with a lot of help from Ledley King's poor decision making, Mario earned a penalty and destroyed the complacency faster than a Spurs fan could say, "He shouldn't even be on the pitch!! Balotelli, I mean. But the same goes for Stefan Savic. Even Roberto Mancini was laughing at him!"

Then, with the calmness one can only achieve by experiencing a fire in the bathroom of their rented mansion, Balotelli stepped up to take the penalty himself...

Boom. (Getty)

He ran up, paused, then drove the ball past old man Friedel and into the net. 3-2. Game over. Mario Balotelli wins.

Balotelli puts in the winner, soaks in the universe. (Getty)

He then tried to hug all the earth's creatures and succeeded at that too. Before speeding off in his Maserati to find a school bathroom he could use.