Carragher and more: Twitter reacts as Balotelli nets Liverpool winner

Jamie Carragher and Dietmar Hamann react to Mario Balotelli's controversial penalty at Anfield

Mario Balotelli was centre of another controversy after the Liverpool striker took over spot-kick responsibility and scored a late penalty to seal a 1-0 win against Besiktas in the Europa League.

Jordon Ibe won an 85th-minute penalty to give Liverpool the chance to win the first leg of their last-32 tie, and although Jordan Henderson was the assigned spot-kick taker, Balotelli grabbed the ball and confidently dispatched his effort.

Unsurprisingly, the incident provided a talking point on social media, and here is a selection of our favourite Twitter reaction from the professionals, past and present, in chronological order to Balotelli’s winner.

Ajax forward Ryan Babel (@Ryanbabel) heaps praise on steely Balotelli: “Well done Super Mario #YNWA”

Liverpool cult hero Luis Garcia (@LuchoGarcia14) ponders why the Italian always seems to find himself in the middle of controversy: “Mario scores again and Liverpool gets the lead vs Besiktas. #whyalwayshim”

QPR defender Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) reckons Balotelli was the best man for the job, so no questions should be asked: “When someone is so clinical from the penalty spot just free up the ball & relax! A wins a win don’t matter who scores!”

Former Republic of Ireland international Clinton Morrison (@morrisonclinton) lifts the lid on a striker’s mentality: “If I’m the striker I want to take the penalty but if the captain is the penalty taker you can’t argue no matter how confident you are… Good job he scored that is all I’m saying but it was a great pen composed.”

West Brom defender (@stevenreid12) echoes the sentiments of his fellow Irishman: “Im with Gerrard and Strachan! Penalty taker has it end of.”

Former Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann (@DietmarHamann) doesn’t see what the controversy is about: “Balotelli had to take that penalty, he’s the best at it. No point for anybody else to get involved.”

Finally, Reds legend Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) is pro-Balotelli, disagreeing with his close pal and former team-mate Steven Gerrard: “Also just heard it was Henderson supposed to be on them not Sturridge, more reason for Mario to take it!!! Pressure pen late in a big European game you want your best man on it. Balotelli was that man!”

Michael Owen
Michael Owen makes Champions League prediction about Chelsea FC
Paul Scholes
Paul Scholes urges Man United to sign 'perfect' Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund
Reece James
Reece James makes vow to Chelsea FC fans ahead of Real Madrid clash
Rio Ferdinand
Rio Ferdinand predicts where Liverpool FC are going to finish
Thomas Tuchel
Chelsea FC boss Thomas Tuchel could sign Juventus defender Alex Sandro - report
Michael Owen
Michael Owen makes Champions League prediction about Chelsea FC
Paul Scholes
Paul Scholes urges Man United to sign 'perfect' Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund
Reece James
Reece James makes vow to Chelsea FC fans ahead of Real Madrid clash
Rio Ferdinand
Rio Ferdinand predicts where Liverpool FC are going to finish
Thomas Tuchel
Chelsea FC boss Thomas Tuchel could sign Juventus defender Alex Sandro - report
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature