PHOTO: Liverpool striker Balotelli squares up to West Ham goalie

Mario Balotelli Italy

Mario Balotelli and Adrian had a mini flare-up at Upton Park this afternoon.

Liverpool took a massive gamble this summer when Brendan Rodgers decided to roll the dice on a £16 million flutter with Mario Balotelli. The former Manchester City striker was informed he was surplus to requirements by the Rossoneri this summer and Liverpool were after a replacement for Luis Suarez - who joined Barcelona.

Of course Balotelli comes with considerable baggage.

The Italian international spent more time on the front pages rather than the back during his last spell in England and his flamboyant and troublesome lifestyle has often put managers off his signature.

Rodgers is trying his best to tame the striker and overall he has managed to stay out of trouble so far.

Other then a misreport on him apparently kicking a Wolves player in the head in a behind closed doors friendly and a massive donation to the Manchester dog home, which was the victim of a sick arson attack this month, all the talking has been about his football so far.

But during the first-half of Liverpool's tie with West Ham in the Premier League today we got a glimpse of the old Balotelli.

He went into a challenge with Hammers keeper Adrian, catching the stopper late. And when Adrian decided to have a few words with him Balotelli remonstrated with the Spaniard - eventually going forehead-to-forehead.

However in reality it was Adrian looking for the needle in this matter and Balotelli's reaction would have been likely from any striker in the Premier League. Even Mark Noble was furious with his keeper, who clearly aimed to wind up the notoriously short fused attacker.

Balotelli and Adrian were booked, shared a reluctant hand-shake and moved on - but Liverpool fans will not want to see this become a regular occurrence.

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