Mario Balotelli apology demand: Liverpool newspaper wants Liverpool striker to say sorry for half-time shirt swap against Real Madrid

Incident happened during woeful performance in 3-0 defeat by Real Madrid

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The Liverpool Echo has demanded Mario Balotelli apologise to every Liverpool fan for the half-time shirt swap with Pepe during Liverpool's 3-0 Champions League defeat by Real Madrid last night.

The Italian striker failed to impress during the empathic loss last night, and was hauled off at the break by manager Brendan Rodgers, but not before committing the cardinal sin of swapping shirts with the Real defender while walking into the tunnel at the break (see below).

Rodgers said after the match that the substitution was purely tactical, but did add that he was aware of the controversial shirt swap before his conducted his post-match interviews, and will "deal" with the striker.

Last season Rodgers dealt with a similar matter involving his Mamadou Sakho, who traded shirts with Chelsea's Samuel Eto'o at half-time in a 2-1 defeat in December.

Watch: Balotelli swaps shirts with Pepe at half-time


"I had a similar incident last year and it was dealt with internally," said Rodgers. "It's exactly the same. I heard about it when I came off pitch. If you want to do that, it's something you do at end of the game and something I will deal with.


"I needed more movement centrally to occupy their centre halves and I felt Raheem Sterling's speed would give us that. In the second half you could see every player pressing and working – for us that's the minimum. Lallana came on and did it very well. Raheem played in position a bit alien to him."