Mario Balotelli: Just how useless was the Liverpool striker against Real Madrid?

The Italian has come in for criticism yet against

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The Independent Online

Mario Balotelli is yet again dominating back pages for the wrong reasons following the match between Liverpool and Real Madrid.

As the teams returned to the changing rooms at half-time, the Liverpool striker was spotted swapping shirts with Real Madrid defender Pepe. Swapping shirts is not common in England and Balotelli's actions were always likely to rile.

When he didn't return for the second-half it came as little surprise. Brendan Rodgers has insisted he substituted him for tactical reasons rather than as a punishment, despite admitting the shirt swap had angered him.

Had Balotelli scored what would have only been his second Liverpool goal in 10 games, the shirt swap could perhaps have been overlooked. But he hadn't, and in fact his performance was abject.

Here, we take a look at some of the key figures...

SHOTS: 2 - both were blocked

PASSES: 17 - the joint lowest - equal with Lazar Markovic who was only on the pitch for 23 minutes

TOUCHES...

 

 

Liverpool's next match is at home to Hull City.

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