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Brendan Rodgers on the win and Mario Balotelli's penalty decision


Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers was delighted after his side kept yet another clean sheet at Anfield.

Mario Balotelli's late penalty was enough to give the Reds the narrowest of leads over Besiktas in the Europa League.

And the Northern Irishman was again full of praise for his defensive department.

"Besiktas came here with big confidence and I believe they have scored in every away game they have played this season," Rodgers said.

"So it shows you the level of our defensive organisation that we kept a clean sheet. Simon [Mignolet] had a really good save in the first half, an outstanding save it was.

"On top of that, we created chances.

"We worked the ball much quicker in the second half. It sets us up perfectly, a great result for the second leg - a win and a clean sheet."

And there was late controversy at Anfield when striker Mario Balotelli took the ball off Jordan Henderson to take and score the winning penalty of the game.

But Rodgers was not interested in discussing the issue.

"I am clarifying we won the game 1-0," he said.

"I have a number of outstanding penalty takers with Jordan [Henderson] and Mario [Balotelli] and Rickie Lambert.

"It was the perfect result and sets up for the second leg next week."

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Brendan Rodgers, Mario Balotelli