Liverpool’s Mario Balotelli plays down penalty drama on Instagram

Mario Balotelli thanks Jordan Henderson for letting him take Liverpool's winning penalty

Mario Balotelli has sought to end his latest “drama” after the striker stressed Liverpool’s 1-0 win against Besiktas was more important than his controversial penalty at Anfield.

The Reds were given the chance to secure a 1-0 aggregate lead against Besiktas after Jordon Ibe was brought down in front of The Kop with five minutes remaining on Merseyside.

Jordan Henderson was the assigned penalty taker in the absence of injured skipper Gerrard, but Balotelli pinched the ball from the stand-in captain.

The Italy international duly dispatched his spot-kick to seal a first leg win, and Balotelli thanked Henderson for letting him take the penalty as he looked to put his latest controversy to bed.

Balotelli wrote on Instagram: “Thank you hendo for let me take the penalty.. Stop drama now. We won that’s what it count. We are a team and expecially we are Liverpool. Come on guys.”

Balotelli has scored four goals in 20 appearances in all competitions for Liverpool this season, netting in the Premier League, Champions League, Europa League and League Cup.

The 24-year-old joined the Merseyside outfit in a £16m deal from Serie A outfit AC Milan in August.

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