English Premiership

Balo goal to open floodgates

2014-10-29 14:20
Mario Balotelli (AFP)

London - After going six weeks without a goal Mario Balotelli was mightily relieved to "finally" regain his scoring touch against Swansea City and save Liverpool from a League Cup fourth-round exit.

The Italy striker, who had previously netted once in 11 appearances for the Anfield club, came off the bench to equalise with four minutes remaining at Anfield on Tuesday night.

The goal helped Liverpool turn the tide and Dejan Lovren grabbed a stoppage-time winner to secure a 2-1 victory and a place in the quarter-finals.

Balotelli is now hoping his strike against Swansea will prompt a change of fortune, having cut an increasingly frustrated figure during a series of brooding performances since his 16 million pound move from AC Milan in the close season.

"Finally!," the 24-year-old tweeted after Tuesday's game, relieved at finding the net for the first time since scoring his opening Liverpool goal in a home win against Bulgarians Ludogorets in the Champions League in September.

Assistant manager Colin Pascoe said Balotelli's Anfield intervention almost didn't happen because he tweaked his knee while warming up on the sidelines.

"He twisted his studs in the ground and was sent to see the physio to see if he was all right or not," Pascoe told reporters. "He felt something in his knee but he came on and his knee looked all right.

"I didn't know until the end of the game but, with the way he was moving about, I don't think there was much wrong with his knee.

"Mario is working hard and he got his just rewards by coming on and getting the goal -- it was great for him and something to build on."

Balotelli's Anfield future has been called into question in recent weeks and he was dropped from the starting XI on Tuesday after Liverpool were held at the weekend to a 0-0 home draw in the Premier League by Hull City.

In the dying moments of that match he failed to connect with a cross with the goal gaping and manager Brendan Rodgers subsequently decided to leave him out against Swansea.

Liverpool defender Kolo Toure, though, is expecting the League Cup goal to open the floodgates for his team mate.

"For strikers goals are like food," Toure told the Liverpool Echo newspaper. "Mario needs to feed himself by scoring goals. Now he's got that one he will do that now, definitely.

"Getting that goal will be fantastic for his confidence. He is a great player, he has just been lacking goals. Mario is my mate and I've tried to help him like (captain) Stevie (Gerrard), the manager and everyone else in the dressing room.

"We all know he's a top player. I always tell him 'you need to get out there and show you are one of the best players in the world'. He is one of the best. He has just been missing goals but they will come now," said Toure.


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Tuesday, 12 December 2017
Burnley v Stoke City, Turf Moor 21:45
Crystal Palace v Watford, Selhurst Park 22:00
Huddersfield Town v Chelsea, The John Smith's Stadium 22:00
Wednesday, 13 December 2017
Swansea City v Manchester City, Liberty Stadium 21:45
Newcastle United v Everton, St. James' Park 21:45
Southampton v Leicester City, St. Mary's Stadium 21:45
Liverpool v West Bromwich Albion, Anfield 22:00
West Ham United v Arsenal, London Stadium 22:00
Manchester United v AFC Bournemouth, Old Trafford 22:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Brighton & Hove Albion, Wembley Stadium 22:00
Saturday, 16 December 2017
Leicester City v Crystal Palace, King Power Stadium 14:30
Stoke City v West Ham United, Bet365 Stadium 17:00
Arsenal v Newcastle United, Emirates Stadium 17:00
Chelsea v Southampton, Stamford Bridge 17:00
Brighton & Hove Albion v Burnley, The American Express Community Stadium 17:00
Watford v Huddersfield Town, Vicarage Road Stadium 17:00
Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur, Etihad Stadium 19:30
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Who will claim the Premier League title at the end of the 2017/18 season?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.