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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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City24212170185265
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd24165349163353
3Chelsea24155445162950
4Liverpool24138354292547
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs24136547222545
6Arsenal24126645311442
7Leicester CityLeicester249783632434
8Burnley249781921-234
9Everton2477102639-1328
10Watford2475123344-1126
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham2468103042-1226
12Bournemouth2467112536-1125
13Crystal Palace2467112237-1525
14Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2466121941-2224
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2465132234-1223
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2458111733-1623
17Stoke CityStoke2465132550-2523
18Southampton24410102435-1122
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom24311101931-1220
20Swansea CitySwansea2455141535-2020
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