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Balotelli ‘happy’ at Liverpool

Mario Balotelli LiverpoolMario Balotelli’s agent Mino Raiola has told Sky Sports News HQ that the Italian striker is “happy at Liverpool” and gets on well with Brendan Rodgers.

Liverpool and Balotelli have struggled to adapt to the needs of the other, but the Italy striker is happy at the club according to his agent.

Mino Raiola, who also includes Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic as clients, believes the Italy international will return “stronger than ever”.

“Yes, he is happy at Liverpool,” said Raiola after Balotelli was left out of the squad to face Bolton in the FA Cup at the weekend.

Rodgers: “We gave everything we had”

BR v ChelseaBrendan Rodgers insisted his Liverpool side gave everything in their unsuccessful pursuit to overcome Chelsea in the Capital One Cup semi-finals.

The Reds were thwarted at Stamford Bridge in their attempts to reach Wembley on Tuesday night, with the home side securing a victory in extra time.

Long after the likes of Philippe Coutinho and Alberto Moreno had been denied an opener in London, Branislav Ivanovic nodded home on 94 minutes.

Rodgers’ team were unable to produce a response in the moments that remained, and therefore it was Chelsea who progressed 2-1 on aggregate.

skrtelvterryLiverpool were left heartbroken as an extra-time goal from Branislav Ivanovic sent Chelsea through to the Capital One Cup final.

Brendan Rodgers’ side held their own throughout an absorbing contest, and had chances themselves, particularly during an excellent first-half.

But they tired as the game wore on, and were punished by Ivanovic’s header just four minutes into extra time, after the 90 minutes had ended goalless. Chelsea will face Tottenham or Sheffield United at Wembley in the final.

SturridgeLiverpool striker Daniel Sturridge says he is a “happy man” after his first day back in training.

The England striker has not played for the Reds since the 3-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane in August.

An injury picked up on international duty and subsequent setbacks during his rehabilitation have kept him out of action for almost five months.

Last week, Brendan Rodgers highlighted the importance of getting Sturridge back into first-team contention.

And now he looks close to that return after taking part in a training session on Sunday morning.

Rodgers: Balotelli fit but not selected

Mario Balotelli LiverpoolBrendan Rodgers admits he overlooked Mario Balotelli for Liverpool’s FA Cup fourth round 0-0 draw with Bolton Wanderers at Anfield because the Italian forward is not working well enough in training and does not fit in with his current style of play.

Balotelli was “not well” in the past week and, as such, was not available to be selected for the League Cup semifinal first-leg against Chelsea on Tuesday.

However, he was fit for selection for Saturday’s match but Rodgers opted against bringing him in despite the continued absence of Daniel Sturridge due to injury.

At Least We Are Still In The Cup

new-Brendan-RodgersGiven what went before earlier on Saturday, then I guess Liverpool will feel they’ve had a result. Of sorts.

Their name at least goes into the hat for the FA Cup fifth round draw, but that really is the only real positive they can take from a frustrating tie against Bolton, which highlighted the tenacity and organisation of the vistors…and very little else.

Never can Liverpool under Brendan Rodgers have passed the ball so poorly, and even worse, so lazily. There was no urgency to the tempo of their game, and absolutely none of the fizz which typified the brilliant midweek performance against Chelsea.

Liverpool Turn Down Offer For Borini

Fabio-BoriniLiverpool have rejected Parma’s loan offer for Fabio Borini, but Italian football journalist Gianluca Di Marzio reports that the Serie A side remain keen to sign the striker this month.

Borini has spent most of the season so far on the fringes of the Liverpool squad, but he has started up front in both of their last two league games, and he scored his first goal for the club since April 2013 in the 2-0 win against Aston Villa last weekend.

Rodgers: Coutinho a class act

coutinho-liverpoolLiverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes playmaker Philippe Coutinho has come into his own in the last few weeks. The Brazil international struggled to find his form in the early part of the season but the Reds boss believes that was down to a readjustment process the youngster was going through after the sale of Luis Suarez and the long-term injury to Daniel Sturridge.

brendan-rodgers-lfcLiverpool manager Brendan Rodgers thinks his team will be ready to challenge for the title again next season.

Having run Manchester City a close second in May their chances of repeating the feat dipped after the sale of Luis Suarez, the introduction of half-a-dozen new players and injury to Daniel Sturridge.

However, Rodgers’ side have started to find their form – including a number of the summer arrivals – in recent weeks and Rodgers believes it is a sign of what they are capable of.

costa-hendersonThe second leg of the Capital One Cup semi-final at Stamford Bridge next week got a little tastier as news broke that Diego Costa was involved in an angry tunnel bust-up with Jordan Henderson after Tuesday night’s game.

The pair reportedly pushed and shoved each other, before they were separated by a Liverpool member of staff. Henderson and Costa also shouted at one another, but no punches were thrown.