Mario Balotelli showed his unselfish side in a surprise appearance for the Blues’ u21 team at Platt Lane.
The Italian international spurned the chance of a hat-trick by handing two spot kicks to younger teammates.
But Balotelli’s largesse didn’t prevent him from scoring twice and improving his match fitness in an appearance against Blackburn. City won the friendly fixture 4-0.
As in the FA Cup tie against Watford on Saturday, the 22-year old showed some inspired flashes and a killer touch in front of goal.
Mario struck first almost immediately after half-time when he capitalised on a defensive mistake to curl around the goalkeeper and he repeated the trick 10 minutes later with another cool finish.
He then had the chance for a hat-trick when City were awarded two penalties but he allowed one of City’s trialists and Denis Suarez to add to the Blues’ growing tally.
The encounter was watched by a stellar list of names, including Txiki Bergristain, Patrick Vieira and Paul Dickov.
Perhaps the latter was running the rule over Reece Wabara who signed off from his successful loan spell at Dickov’s Oldham by starring in their FA Cup win against Nottingham Forest.
There was no place for Marcos Lopes in the squad as he was given a rest after his goal scoring heroics for the first-team at the weekend, but Karim Rekik and Denis Suarez both made starts.
We will have footage from the match in Saturday’s new episode of Inside City and some of these players will be involved in Thursday’s FA Youth Cup encounter with Burnley which will now take place at the Etihad Stadium (Kick-off 7pm)
Entry at the gate costs £3 for adults and £1 for children.