herald

Sunday 20 August 2017

Kolo backs Balotelli to shine for Reds

Liverpool defender Kolo Toure has no doubt team-mate Mario Balotelli is one of the best players in the world and is backing the striker to go on a scoring run following his goal in Tuesday night's Capital One Cup win over Swansea.

On an eventful evening for the maverick frontman, Balotelli helped his side secure a dramatic 2-1 comeback victory in the fourth-round tie at Anfield, notching their equaliser in the 86th minute - only seven minutes after his introduction as a substitute.

With it being just his second goal in 12 games since his move to Liverpool and first in nine, the close-range finish was a welcome boost for Balotelli, although he was also involved in a couple of moments of controversy.

One was an off-the-ball confrontation with Swans midfielder Jonjo Shelvey and there were further words exchanged between the pair after the final whistle as they headed off the pitch.

Another came pre-match, when Balotelli was sent away from a warm-up exercise by Reds coach Mike Marsh, something Liverpool assistant boss Colin Pascoe later stressed had happened because of no issue other than the player having suffered a minor knee problem.

As for the man himself, Balotelli expressed his relief at finding the net again with a message on his official Twitter account simply reading: "Finally!"

Meanwhile, Daniel Sturridge believes his persistent injury problems could be hereditary after admitting his speed makes him vulnerable to breaking down.

The Liverpool striker has not played since being injured while on England duty at the start of September having suffered with thigh and calf problems. Sturridge, whose uncles Dean and Simon were both professionals, believes that could be a result of his Caribbean background.

"I play my game as best I can, but I've been unfortunate this season," he said. "Maybe it's my body type, maybe it's hereditary. Both my uncles had injuries, and my dad had them as well. Maybe it's the Caribbean vibes, maybe I have speed but maybe it makes you more vulnerable because of the fast twitch muscles and the speed in which you're moving."

Promoted articles

Entertainment News