After Liverpool beat Besiktas 1-0, courtesy of a Mario Balotelli penalty that the Italian international was not initially authorised to take, manager Brendan Rodgers has attempted to play down the situation, reports Sky
When Liverpool won a penalty late in their Europa League clash against Besiktas, midfielder Jordan Henderson was due to take the spot-kick, but Mario Balotelli – who had come on as a second-half substitute – took the ball and eventually scored the penalty.
Striker and teammate Daniel Sturridge was visibly angry during the incident, and even injured captain Steven Gerrard admitted, while working as a pundit, that Balotelli had no right to take the penalty from Henderson.
But manager Brendan Rodgers opted not to comment on the matter, with the suggestion being he will deal with the Italian striker in-house, to avoid the media catching wind of more disciplinary measures heading Balotelli’s way.
Liverpool won the game thanks to the striker’s spot-kick, and after the final whistle, Balotelli himself looked to play down any panic with a message on his Instagram account pleading for “no drama”. Rodgers refused to be drawn into a debate about it.
“I am clarifying we won the game 1-0. I have a number of outstanding penalty takers with Jordan and Mario and Rickie Lambert. We won the game. It was an excellent result and performance and it was always going to be a tight game,” he said.
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