Liverpool’s striker Mario Balotelli’s penalty row with Jordan Henderson was termed as “disrespectful” by Steven Gerrard. The controversial Italian international argued with the stand-in-captain Jordan Henderson by snatching the ball and converting it in their 1-0 win over Besiktas in UEFA Europa League.
Liverpool were awarded with penalty in 85th minute, the referee was very sure with his decision. There has been lot of arguments with the referee by Besiktas players where as Liverpool argued among themselves about who to take the penalty.
However, Brendan Rodgers did not want to add fuel to the issue and refused to comment on who the designated player was. He said, “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”.
But Liverpool’s player Steven Gerrard said, “Basically Henderson should have took that penalty”.
“I think Mario has been a bit mischievous by stepping in front of him and going against what the manager’s planned before the game. Credit to him, he’s scored, but it would be very interesting in that dressing room if he’d have missed that penalty. I think we’d have had a similar situation to what happened at Everton a couple of weeks ago (when Kevin Mirallas stepped ahead of regular taker Leighton Baines and missed).”
“It’s not nice to see when players are taking it off each other and stuff, for me, rules are rules and codes are codes inside a dressing room and when a manager selects a penalty taker that player should take it.
“Jordan is the captain and Mario showed Jordan a bit of disrespect there, but he’s scored a very important goal. I think six or seven players would have wanted to take that penalty so if they all say they are taking it, what happens then? Rules are in place for a reason.”
Henderson added, “It was great play by Jordon. I wanted the penalty but Mario felt confident and he has taken big penalties before. It was a great penalty in the end. It’s a big goal for us.
“Everyone wants to take them. I felt confident but so did Mario, he has taken big penalties before and he got the nod. That’s a big goal for us. We know it’s not done yet. There is still plenty to play for. We have to go there with the same mentality and defend like we did and look to hurt them on the break. We’re happy with the result.”
However Mario Balotelli did have his say with Instagram quoting,”Thank you hendo for let me take the penalty. Stop drama now. We won that’s what it count. We are a team and especially we are Liverpool. Come on guys.”