Brendan Rodgers has said that Italian striker Mario Balotelli does not require any protection and that he has no concerns over the former Manchester City forward.
Balotelli ended a run of eight games without a goal by scoring the leveller in the 2-1 win over Swansea City in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday night at Anfield, which he added to his strike against Ludogorets in the Champions League. The former AC Milan man still has no goals in the Premier League, however.
But Balotelli was involved in two incidents on Tuesday evening aside from the match itself. Liverpool coach Mike Marsh dismissed him from a training exercise before the game – which was reportedly for misbehaving during a serious drill, a claim that Colin Pascoe denied later by saying he was simply suffering with a minor injury.
And, later on, Balotelli was involved in an altercation with former Reds’ midfielder Jonjo Shelvey after putting Liverpool level against the Swans. The pair continued to exchange words at the end of the game as they went down the tunnel shortly after Dejan Lovren had sealed a 2-1 comeback win for the home side.
Rodgers was quick to dismiss the speculation by saying that there are no issues with Balotelli and that it is business as usual at Anfield.
“I don’t know, but there is no problem, so we move on.” Rodgers said.
“I don’t have to protect Mario, he is fine. There is no concern.” he said when asked about Balotelli being targeted by thew opposition.
Balotelli will hope to reclaim a starting place against Newcastle when his side travel to St James’ Park for the lunchtime kick off.