Mario Balotelli comes off the bench to snap goalless streak and spark late Capital One Cup victory

Brooks Peck
Dirty Tackle

Given the amount of overly harsh scrutiny Mario Balotelli has endured from the press, fans, and even his own manager at the start of his time with Liverpool, it seemed likely that he was only brought off the bench with Liverpool down 1-0 to Swansea in the Capital One Cup so he could be blamed for the loss. But then Mario did what he wasn't able to in his previous eight appearances for the club: score a goal.

Balotelli's 86th-minute equalizer ended a personal scoreless run that included a number of shocking misses and was treated like it had gone on for years even though he only just joined the club at the end of August and scored against Ludogorets in the Champions League last month.

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The goal did inspire his Liverpool teammates, though. With extra time suddenly appearing likely, Dejan Lovren scored his first Liverpool goal in the final seconds of  injury time to give them a 2-1 win. And now Brendan Rodgers has to find someone else to blame for his club's troubles.

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Brooks Peck is the editor of Dirty Tackle on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him or follow on Twitter!

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