Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini praised the attitude of Mario Balotelli after he came off the bench to inspire the team's victory against Everton.
The 21-year-old Italian has had his fragile temperament questioned since joining City from Inter Milan in a £25m deal - but Mancini was delighted with his display in the 2-0 win at Etihad Stadium.
Balotelli scored the first goal in a lively second-half cameo, with James Milner adding the second late on as City returned to winning ways after losing a two-goal lead to draw at Fulham last Sunday.
Mancini said: "Mario didn't start for three or four games but he has worked well, did not say anything and he was waiting for this moment. He scored an important goal and now it is important that he can continue."
Balotelli rushed to embrace his manager, who has often appeared frustrated with the striker, after he scored and Mancini said: "Mario is a good guy. Sometimes his behaviour has been so-so but he's a good guy. He likes Manchester City and he likes English football.
"He was really happy. Sometimes when he scores he is unhappy but he knew this was a very big goal for us."
Everton counterpart David Moyes, in contrast, was less than impressed with the officials after seeing his side's stubborn defensive resistance broken down in the second half.
He was unhappy about City's first goal and a tackle by Vincent Kompany that forced Tim Cahill off injured, although it was the Everton midfield man who was booked by referee Howard Webb after the clash.
Moyes said: "It was our throw in in the build up to their first goal and Tim Cahill has got a bruised shin but it was a terrible tackle. His foot has gone right on his shin and I'm disappointed it wasn't spotted."
He added: "I thought the crowd influenced the decisions. I thought the referee was taken by the crowd."
Everton's defensive approach frustrated City - and their supporters - for 67 minutes, but Moyes was defiant as he said: "I wasn't going to come here for the enjoyment of Manchester City. I was going to come here to do my best for Everton and try to get a result."
Moyes believes City will mount a serious challenge for the Premier League title after watching them at close quarters, saying: "They have got a really talented, excellent team. They can change how they play and I think they will be contenders, no doubt about that."