Gerrard blast for Mario after late penalty drama

Ross McLean
Follow Ross
SIDELINED Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard accused Mario Balotelli of disrespect after the maverick striker grasped the ball from designated penalty-taker Jordan Henderson to give the Reds a 1-0 win over Besiktas in their Europa League last-32 first-leg match last night.

Balotelli proved the match-winner for the second successive Anfield clash and his successful late spot-kick ensured Liverpool hold a slender advantage ahead of the second leg at the Ataturk Stadium next Thursday.

“Jordan is the captain and Mario showed a bit of disrespect there,” said Gerrard, who was ruled out with a hamstring injury. “Rules are rules. Jordan should have taken the penalty. Mario has been a bit mischievous. Credit to Mario, he’s scored a very important goal, but it’s not nice to see when footballers are arguing.”

Belgium forward Romelu Lukaku scored his first Everton hat-trick as the Toffees all but guaranteed progress to the last 16 with a comprehensive 4-1 first-leg victory over Swiss side Young Boys in Bern.

Everton were rocked by an early opener from former Paris Saint-Germain striker Guillaume Hoarau, who later fired a second-half penalty over Tim Howard’s bar after John Stones was shown the first red card of his career.

By that stage the visitors were firmly in the ascendency following £28m striker Lukaku’s treble – only the fourth scored by an Everton player in Europe, after Alan Ball, Andy Gray and Yakubu – and a Seamus Coleman strike.

On-loan Manchester City forward John Guidetti climbed off the bench to score a stunning last-gasp leveller as Celtic drew 3-3 with Inter Milan at Celtic Park.