Mario Balotelli uses social media to prove he was too sick to play for Liverpool
Mario Balotelli has hit back at critics who doubted whether he was truly too ill to play in Liverpool's FA Cup tie at Blackburn tonight.
The Italian striker was ruled out of the game at Ewood Park after falling ill but his absence aroused suspicion among pundits ahead of the game.
Former Blackburn midfielder and BT Sport pundit Robbie Savage branded him "pathetic" for missing the game, saying: "You're going to miss an FA Cup quarter-final?
"I don't know how unwell he is, but to miss an FA Cup quarter-final when you're feeling a bit ill? Nonsense. I would have to be really, really ill to miss that game."
Balotelli issued his own riposte by posting a picture of himself holding a thermometer reading 38.7C - 1.7C above 'normal' body temperature.
It was the second time this season he has taken to social media to attack critics who have questioned his commitment to Liverpool, having also done so in March.
The striker's future at Anfield looks increasingly bleak as he has fallen out of Brendan Rodgers' first-team plans. He is widely expected to leave the club at the end of the season, just a year after signing for £16 million, provided Liverpool can find a buyer.
Liverpool did not miss the striker too much in Lancashire, winning the game 1-0 thanks to Philippe Coutinho's goal in the 70th minute.