Reds boss angered by Balotelli behaviour.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers was unhappy that Mario Balotelli swapped shirts with Real Madrid defender Pepe at half time, according to BBC Sport.
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The Italian international was in poor form again for the Reds as Rodgers’ side were beaten 3-0 at home by the reigning European champions, who had strolled into a comfortable lead by half time.
Balotelli has been the focus of everything once again after another bad display for Liverpool, whom he joined this summer in a £16m move from AC Milan.
Brought in to replace the departing Luis Suarez, Balotelli has been a long way off the required standard, scoring only one goal so far and not doing enough to warrant a place in the side.
The 24-year-old was taken off by Rodgers at the break last night, replaced by Adam Lallana, and the Reds boss has revealed his reasons behind the change.
Although the Northern Irishman was unhappy with Balotelli’s behaviour, that was not his reasoning behind the substitution, which he explained was tactical, to give his side more in the way of off-the-ball movement upfront.
This, however, could still be seen as a criticism of a lack of energy in Balotelli’s performance, with Rodgers saying: “It was purely tactical – I felt we needed a bit more movement centrally to occupy their centre-halves a bit more and I thought Raheem Sterling would do that.
“Adam Lallana came on and was tireless in his work rate. That is the minimum here at Liverpool – you need to press, you need to work. Young Adam came on and did that very well.”
On the shirt swap, he said: “It is not something I stand for. If you want to do that, do it at the end of the game. It is something I will deal with on Thursday.”