Jamie Carragher leapt to the defence of Mario Balotelli last night after the penalty row which surrounded his late Liverpool winner against Besiktas.
The Anfield side were awarded a spotkick in the 85th minute of their Europa League first leg clash after Jordan Ibe was fouled in the box.
It appeared Jordan Henderson – captain on the night – was set to take it before Balotelli grabbed the ball and persuaded his team-mate to let him take it.
Mario hit his second goal in three games to give Liverpool a lead to take over to Turkey.
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The striker has come in for criticism for apparently disobeying team orders to score from the spot.
Club captain Steven Gerrard was among the pundits to say Balotelli had shown a lack of respect towards Henderson.
But former Anfield hero – and current Sky Sports pundit – Carragher believes that if Henderson had been lined up to take the pressure penalty, then it was all the more reason for Balotelli to take on the responsibility.
Also just heard it was Henderson supposed to be on them not Sturridge, more reason for Mario to take it!!!
— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) February 19, 2015