Premier League

Balotelli rumored to be Santa Claus

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Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini laughed at suggestions Mario Balotelli was impersonating Santa Claus on the eve of Sunday's 1-0 win over Arsenal, but admitted anything was possible with the unpredictable striker.

On Saturday night, rumors swept across social media suggesting the colorful Italian was driving around Manchester dressed as Santa and handing out money to people on the street.

"I don't know -- with Mario it is possible. We should ask him. It could be, I don't know," Mancini said Sunday when asked about the rumors.

"But he was in the hotel and it was forbidden to bring fireworks," he added, referring to a recent incident in which fireworks were let off in Balotelli's home, causing a blaze.

The win returned City to the summit of the Premier League and when it was pointed out they could now be top at Christmas for the first time since 1929, Mancini said, "We want to stay at the top for a long time, not only Christmas."

City had a number of chances before finally going ahead after 53 minutes through David Silva, who slid in his sixth goal of the season.

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