Last night we saw a similar incident to the Kevin Mirallas and Leighton Baines penalty incident not that long ago.
I can’t see why the media and football fans are making such a big deal out of what happened between Balotelli and Henderson.
Having been awarded the penalty late on against Besiktas in the Europa League, Liverpool had the opportunity to take a valuable 1-0 aggregate lead into the second leg.
Jordan Henderson stepped into the boots of Steven Gerrard and captained Liverpool for the night and immediately picked the ball up to take the penalty. In my opinion, Balotelli deserves little criticism for the way he appeared to take the ball away from Henderson to take the penalty himself. The Liverpool skipper gave up the ball to Balotelli in my opinion only to look disheartened as the Italian placed the ball on the spot. As the captain, he should have held onto that ball with more conviction and full confidence that was he was able to score the penalty himself. I don’t see where the criticism towards Balotelli is coming from as it is clear even the Liverpool fans wanted the Liverpool striker to take the spot kick. If Henderson wishes to become the Captain in the future, he needs to have more confidence in himself in order to become a leader. To be honest, without Gerrard on the pitch, Balotelli was the most recognised penalty taker and was labelled as the vice penalty taker.
I do, however, offer support to the idea that Balotelli took a selfish risk in what he did as something as simple as that can easily divide the dressing room. Such an incident at Liverpool would be a disaster given the visible unity and spirit throughout the team. Balotelli must ensure he does not disrupt that.
Overall, though, I have to oppose those who have made a drama out of what happened as I feel there was a clear misunderstanding regarding the roles of both Henderson and Balotelli while I feel the England International should have spoken up more and been more assertive if he had really wanted to take the penalty, which I don’t think he did. At the end of the day, it’s a team game and the penalty was scored, giving Liverpool an important win.