Newcastle 1 Liverpool 0: Brendan Rodgers refuses to blame Mario Balotelli
Brendan Rodgers says Liverpool lacked invention in the final third
Brendan Rodgers accepted that Liverpool lacked a cutting edge in the final third after watching his side lose to Newcastle United at St James’ Park.
The Reds made a decent start to the clash but the visitors were unable to find a way past Alan Pardew’s stubborn defence as Mario Balotelli came closest from a free-kick.
We collectively lost as a team and we are disappointed at that
Newcastle grew into the game after the interval, and substitute Ayoze Perez was quick to capitalise on sloppy Liverpool defending to break the deadlock in the 73rd minute.
But Reds manager Rodgers refused to point the finger at his misfiring striker Balotelli after the Merseysiders suffered their fourth Premier League defeat of the season.
“We were punished for a mistake and that is what cost us the game,” said Rodgers.
“We passed the ball well. The options in front of the ball were good but we probably lacked that little bit in the final third of the field. We did not create as much as we would have liked.
Rodgers added: “It is not about Mario Balotelli, it is about the team. We lost the game today. We collectively lost as a team and we are disappointed at that.”
Liverpool make the trip to Champions League holders Real Madrid in midweek before Chelsea come to Anfield next Saturday.