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Mario Balotelli thanks Liverpool fans for restraining him during Smalling incident

Mario Balotelli has expressed his thanks to the Liverpool fans who restrained him during the match against Manchester United and thus helped him avoid a potential sending off.

Smalling and Balotelli had a heated exchange during the match

Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli has taken to social media to thank the Liverpool supporters who restrained him from getting into an altercation with Chris Smalling during his team’s 2-1 loss to Manchester United on Sunday. The Italian also expressed his disappointment at the result of the game.

The loss left Liverpool five points behind fourth-placed United and delivered a huge blow to their ambitions of a Champions League spot. The turning point of the match came when Steven Gerrard was sent off only 38 seconds after coming on at half-time.

Balotelli could have followed his captain as 10-man Liverpool were chasing the match. The Italy international, who was already on a yellow card, almost came to blows with United defender Smalling following a challenge near the touch-line.

The nearby Liverpool fans restrained Balotelli to stop the event from escalating and the Italian took to Facebook to express his gratitude to the fans.

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