Brendan Rodgers defends Mario Balotelli after Newcastle United loss

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Brendan Rodgers has defended his Liverpool players…

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has refused to single out individual players for criticism, following his team’s disappointing performance during the 1-0 defeat against Newcastle United.

Ayoze Perez scored the only goal of the game seventeen minutes from time, after he pounced on an error from full-back Alberto Moreno, who dwelled on the ball for far too long in his own penalty area.

Speaking to reporters after the game, Rodgers said: “We were punished for a mistake and that is what cost us the game. We passed the ball well.

The Anfield boss also failed to criticise striker Mario Balotelli, who struggled to create chances as the Reds lacked a cutting edge up front.

“The options in front of the ball were good but we probably lacked that little bit in the final third of the field. We did not create as much as we would have liked,” Rodgers explained.

“It is not about Mario Balotelli, it is about the team. We lost the game today. We collectively lost as a team and we are disappointed at that.”

The result, which is Liverpool’s fourth Premier League defeat of the season, leaves them seventh in the table ahead of the 3pm kick-offs, still a couple of points adrift of the top four.

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