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Juventus' Bonucci admits to shutting Man City's Balotelli up after Italy goal

Leonardo Bonucci has admitted to clasping the mouth of Mario Balotelli because he feared the striker would say something to get himself into trouble.

The Manchester City forward came on as a second-half substitute to score a brilliant goal late in Italy's 2-0 win over Republic of Ireland at Euro2012 on Monday night but was immediately grabbed by Juventus defender Bonucci who wrapped his hand over the mouth of the firebrand.

Bonucci has revealed that Balotelli, who has a penchant for creating headlines, started to speak in English but he wanted to stop anybody hearing or seeing what he had to say just in case.

"What he said (when he scored), he said in English and I didn't understand," Bonucci told reporters.

"So I put my hand in front of his mouth just in case, because Mario is instinctive but that is also his strength."

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