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Rodgers happy with "good boy" Balotelli

Balotelli was cautioned for this incident at West Ham. Credit: PA

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has stressed he is enjoying working with Mario Balotelli.

The Reds recruited maverick Italy striker Balotelli from AC Milan last month and the former Manchester City player opened his scoring account for his new club in their 2-1 Champions League victory over Ludogorets on Tuesday.

Then on Sunday he was the victim of racial abuse on Twitter after he reacted to Manchester United's shock defeat to Leicester by tweeting: "Man Utd...LOL''.

But the manager did say about Balotelli:

Every player is different and individual, and I have really enjoyed working with him so far.

He is a good guy, he wants to do well for the club and he has shown me that he cares enough about the club (for me) to devote that time to him.

For me, he is not complicated - he is a football player who wants to do well in his life and his career, and if he continues to give everything and work tirelessly for the cause, then there will always be an opportunity here for him.

– Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers


Vincent Kompany suggests Frank Lampard's goal "could be crucial" in Premier League title race

Lampard came back to haunt his former club on Sunday. Credit: PA

Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany believes Frank Lampard's dramatic equaliser against former club Chelsea could prove to be a pivotal moment in the title race.

Premier League trophies are rarely won and lost in September, and never after five games of the season, but Kompany has plenty of experience at the business end of the competition and knows the trophy can be settled by little moments.

Ever since I have been at this club, seasons and big moments have been decided on small events like this one so I will never underestimate what it could mean to our season. It could be crucial.

Frank brings quality. The goal he scored you would have seen from him for the last 15 years in the Premier League.

He is clever and still extremely motivated.

He brings experience. It is not a word you make up, it is something that helps and it is like his goal: keeping your head cool in a moment when you are under pressure and down to 10 men - how many players would have scored that goal?

He has proven it himself in only a few minutes, which is good.

– Man City captain Vincent Kompany


Oviedo set to return for Everton in League Cup

Bryan Oviedo. Credit: PA

Everton full-back Bryan Oviedo is set to put eight months of injury frustration behind him on Tuesday with a return to first-team action against Swansea in the League Cup.

The Costa Rica international featured for the Toffees Under-21 side recently as he stepped up his rehabilitation from the broken leg he suffered in January which ruled him out of the summer's World Cup.

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