Tuesday 24 October 2017

Gerrard accuses Balotelli of 'disrespecting' Henderson

Mario Balotelli celebrates scoring Liverpool's winner against Besiktas from the penalty spot
Mario Balotelli celebrates scoring Liverpool's winner against Besiktas from the penalty spot

Jamie Holland

Steven Gerrard accused Mario Balotelli of showing "disrespect" for taking the penalty which earned Liverpool a 1-0 Europa League win over Besiktas ahead of Reds captain Jordan Henderson.

Balotelli tucked away the spot-kick to earn the hosts' a narrow first-leg lead, but only after an apparent disagreement with Henderson, the captain on the night, and Daniel Sturridge over who would take it.

Gerrard, who is injured, was working as a pundit for ITV for the match, and criticised Balotelli for his behaviour.

"Jordan should have taken the penalty. Rules are rules. It should have been Henderson. Mario has been a bit mischievous," the former England captain said on ITV.

"Credit to Mario, he's scored, but it's not nice to see when footballers are arguing. I think Jordan has handled the situation very well. He can see that Mario really wanted to score. Jordan walked away at the right moment and handled his post-match interview very well."CONTINUED ON P70

Irish Independent

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