Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has criticised striker Mario Balotelli for ignoring orders in deciding to take what proved to be a decisive penalty in Thursday’s 1-0 win over Besiktas.
The first leg of the UEFA Europa League last 32 clash looked to be heading for a goalless draw at Anfield until Jordon Ibe was fouled in the area with seven minutes to play.
Balotelli appeared to take the ball from stand-in skipper Jordan Henderson, with the midfielder initially having been primed to take the spot-kick.
And Gerrard, who could hand the armband over to Henderson on a permanent basis when he departs for LA Galaxy at the end of the season, says Henderson should have stood his ground.
“I would have taken that penalty,” he told ITV after the match. “I think Jordan should have taken that penalty.

“Rules are rules. Mario’s been a bit mischievous.”

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