Mario Balotelli report: £16m Italian misses three chances – but overall impresses in 60-minute debut for Liverpool against Tottenham

Striker was taken off on the hour mark

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The Independent Online

While a goal eluded him on his Liverpool debut, Mario Balotelli instantly gelled with his new team-mates and impressed against Tottenham at White Hart Lane.

He lasted 60 minutes in the Premier League match, before being replaced by Lazar Markovic.

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The £16m Italian, who was signed from AC Milan last week, nearly scored within two minutes of the game but his header was well saved by Hugo Lloris.

The 24-year-old got another free header soon after but steered his effort wide.

A strong challenge from Eric Dier drew gasps from the crowd, but he got up quickly and carried on without any complaint.

Then after half an hour the former Manchester City man missed an open goal, but to his credit it was from nearly 30 yards. His perfect chipped pass put in Raheem Sterling but the advancing Lloris then made the clearance right into Balotelli's path. He took a touch but scuffed his shot well wide with the goal at his mercy.

 

On the brink of half-time, straight from a corner, he skied a half-volley over.

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