How the Italian press reacted to Mario Balotelli's first Premier League goal for Liverpool

Mario Balotelli Italy

Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli scored his first Premier League goal of the season against Tottenham.

 

Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli began to answer his critics with a simple but crucial goal against Tottenham Hotspur.

The £16 million summer signing netted his first Premier League strike of the season on Tuesday night, coming off the bench to score from close range, the winner in a 3-2 win. 

While a straightforward chance, Balotelli has missed those types of opportunities earlier in the season, and the goal is bound to be a weight off of his shoulders, even if his laid back reaction to scoring suggested otherwise.

The striker's application has been questioned this season along with his suitability for manager Brendan Rodgers' style of football, but his goal provides the opportunity for him to begin to change the narrative on his underwhelming season, with Liverpool now just four points outside the Champions League qualification places.

His goal was not only notable for fans in England, but over in his native Italy, news of him breaking his duck hit the headlines.

Newspaper Il Sole wrote: "The same fans who went crazy yesterday, in the stands, screaming "Mario, Mario" as if they were a deep love and never cracked. The Reds manager, Brendan Rodgers, after the goal, exhibited exultation and clenched fist as if to confirm that he, in Mario Balotelli, has always believed.

"It is only to open yet another chapter in a story that we do not know how it will end: every time you think he is at the turning point, it is the signal of a change of course by an immense talent sacrificed on the altar of recklessness." 

Italian Magazine Pragma simply expressed their delight the striker could start creating headlines for the right reasons: "Finally we will talk about Mario Balotelli, for his exploits on the turf."

Website SportCafe24 paid tribute to the former Inter and AC Milan man's qualities which so often lead to trouble: "Balotelli is an catalyst. For everyone. Not only for journalists with him always have something to write. Also for all the others.

"For the fans, who have been patient for months and never stop believing that one day, that talent reckless, would come back to the fore.

"For the coach, who has defended to the hilt, he held despite there seemed little hope of awakening from a slumber seemingly endless. For his teammates, and this is seen by all in their total embrace, which means many, many things. Balotelli is a natural leader unintentionally. Does not have the air of a leader, perhaps even the personality, nor the ambition to be. But it's an automatic thing."

They are right on one aspect, the Mario Balotelli tale has a lot more to come throughout his career, and likely this season alone. If he can become a regular contributor in terms of goals, he can continue to switch the focus around towards his talent.

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