Liverpool may have put in a fine rearguard action against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, but it was at the opposite end of the pitch where they fell short.
With Tottenham Hotspur, Southampton and Manchester United all dropping points this weekend, victory for Liverpool would have pushed them right back into the reckoning for a top-four finish; but Brendan Rodgers’ forwards fell short, most notably Mario Balotelli.
The Italian international has flattered to deceive since he arrived at Anfield in a surprising transfer last summer, and against West Brom he did little to suggest that form is about to change.
Balotelli has scored just four goals all season and is yet to provide a single assist, and against the Baggies his difficulty hitting the target was clear for all to see.
|Passing Accuracy||Key Passes||Shots||On Target Shooting Accuracy||Dispossessed||Forward Pass||Possession Lost||Mins Played|
The 24-year-old had five shots on Saturday but not a single one of them tested the opposing goalkeeper. He also disappointed with a 71 per cent pass-accuracy while he lost possession on 10 occasions and played only seven forward passes in the entire match.
Liverpool may have had a very different campaign if Daniel Sturridge had been fit all season, but the way Balotelli has performed in his absence, it would be surprising if the latter remained at Anfield much longer.