Gallery: Mario steals the show as Liverpool take vital lead to Turkey

Anfield Kop

Mario Balotelli was at the centre of things as Liverpool won the first leg of their Europa League tie against Besiktas.

Liverpool left it late but they manage to take a 1-0 lead to Turkey for the second leg of their Europa League tie courtesy of a penalty from Mario Balotelli.

A lengthy run from teenager Jordon Ibe ultimately led to him being brought down when he was in a position to fire the ball across the box. Everyone knows what followed after as there was a discussion between Balotelli, Jordan Henderson and Daniel Sturridge over who would take the spot-kick but it was eventually left to the Italian to score his fourth goal for the Reds.

It wasn't the perfect performance for Liverpool but they managed to keep their first clean sheet in Europe this season and are favourites to make it to the next round. Despite a performance which some may say was a little below par, the home side may feel they could have won by more so they could enjoy returning to a ground which holds great memories for them in the Ataturk Olympic Stadium next week. 

Daniel Sturridge also made his first appearance in a Liverpool shirt in European competition as he continues to try and put his injury nightmare behind him while Raheem Sterling returned from an ankle injury for the Reds as he replaced Adam Lallana - who ought to have given the Reds the lead shortly after the break but fired over from close range.

Here are some of the best images from Anfield last night:

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