Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has accused Mario Balotelli on showing disrespect to Jordan Henderson as the Italian insisted on taking the penalty which helped the Reds beat Besiktas by 1-0 in the Europa League at Anfield on Thursday night.
Gerrard who missed the game through injury confirmed that stand in captain Henderson was the designated penalty taker for the Reds. However Balotelli was adamant on taking the spot kick, which he successfully converted to seal the narrow win for the home side.
Gerrard though was not impressed Balotelli’s attitude and later made his feelings clear as he spoke to ITV Sport, “Jordan is the captain and Mario would have seen that Jordan was on penalties and he has shown him a but of disrespect there, but he we have got away with it. “
“If I was on the pitch, I’d have taken the penalty, that’s what would have happened. Basically Jordan Henderson should have taken that penalty and Mario has been a bit mischievous by standing in front of him and going against the manager’s plan.”
Striker Daniel Sturridge was also one of those who had urged Henderson to take the spot kick. Gerrard continued, “Fair play to him [Balotelli], he finished the penalty off, but it would have been very interesting in that dressing room if he had missed the penalty. It’s a fantastic penalty, it’s a big goal and fair play to him, but it’s more than that.”
“It’s not nice to see players taking the ball off each other on a penalty. For me, rules are rules and codes are codes inside a dressing room. When a manager selects a penalty taker, that penalty taker should take it. It should have been Henderson.”
Balotelli however took to Instagram later and thanked Henderson for the opportunity to take the shot