Rodgers on late Balotelli miss: It was a perfect ball

Mario Balotelli Italy

Despite admitting the striker's late effort was disappointing, the Liverpool boss had good things to say about his player.

Liverpool's stuttering Premier League form continued on Saturday against Hull City, with the Reds drawing blanks against Steve Bruce's hardworking side.

Much of the press will inevitably surround Mario Balotelli's performance against the Tigers, as the striker was chosen to start despite the fallout from his display against Real Madrid.

The Italian was far from the worst performer for Liverpool in what wasn't the tidiest attacking display, and he certainly put in a showing much improved from Wednesday's game.

Unfortunately for the 24-year-old, he missed a huge chance at the death when Philippe Coutinho crossed for him inside the six-yard-box, with the ball coming under his right boot before being cleared by the Hull defence, summing up the way things are going at the moment for the former Inter man.

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers admitted that it was a big chance for the Reds to have taken all three points, saying: "He will be disappointed with that. The cross came in, it was a perfect ball, he just opened his foot up too far and the chance was gone."

But the Northern Irishman did have words of encouragement for his forward, despite Balotelli again failing to find the back of the net. 

"I thought Mario worked very well and very hard," Rodgers said. "He maybe thought he wasn't going to play today. You saw that he is working hard and at the moment he's doing his best.

"Unfortunately, it's about confidence sometimes when you don't get the goal. He kept going and kept getting into the areas, and I thought he and Rickie Lambert worked very well when [the substitutes] came on."

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