Steve Bruce: Mario Balotelli has become Liverpool's "whipping boy"

Hull City boss Steve Bruce defends Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli by claiming that he has unfairly become the "whipping boy" for the Anfield club's troubles.

Hull City boss Steve Bruce has claimed that Mario Balotelli has unfairly become Liverpool's "whipping boy".

The Italian striker has struggled to make an impact at Anfield following his £16m move from AC Milan in the summer, and spurned a glorious late chance as the Tigers held the Reds to a goalless draw on Saturday afternoon.

Bruce told reporters after the game: "I have to be fair to Balotelli, he was their best player. The kid is a talent and it seems he is the whipping boy at the minute.

"If you play well, you will take something out of the game. We are delighted and it is a good result here for a club like us."

The draw leaves Bruce's side ninth in the Premier League after nine games this season.

Mario Balotelli of Liverpool is challenged by James Chester of Hull City during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Hull City at Anfield on October 25, 2014
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