Michael Owen: Liverpool’s defence a bigger problem than Mario Balotelli
Liverpool legend isn't surprised Mario Balotelli is proving a flop
Michael Owen reckons Liverpool’s defence is a bigger problem than misfiring striker Mario Balotelli.
The Italy international incurred the wrath of Reds supporters after a lethargic first-half performance against Real Madrid before being replaced by Adam Lallana at the interval.
The 24-year-old striker further agitated Liverpool fans when the £16m summer signing was caught on camera swapping shirts with Madrid centre-half Pepe at half-time of the 3-0 defeat.
While Owen isn’t surprised to see Balotelli struggling at Anfield, the Liverpool legend is more concerned about Brendan Rodgers’s leaky defence that has conceded 19 goals in 12 games.
“Can’t help but feel there is a huge overreaction towards Mario Balotelli,” Owen told Sportlobster.
“I openly said at the outset that I didn’t believe he was a Liverpool type player and I still believe that’s the case.
“Now, however, I believe many are going way over the top in their criticism.
“A few of the other under-performing players are getting off lightly.
“And so what that he swapped shirts. That should be the least of Liverpool’s worries at present. The defence is a bigger problem than Balotelli.”
Liverpool are in third place in Group B behind leaders Madrid and second-placed Ludogorets ahead of the Reds’s trip to the Bernabeu next month.