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English Premier League

'I Held Balotelli Back Because He Was Ready To React'

The Liverpool supporter that was seen holding Mario Balotelli back during his confrontation with Manchester United's Chris Smalling, said he did it because he was worried that the striker would get sent off.

Balotelli Thanks Fans That Held Him Back

Liverpool were already down a man before the incident, thanks to Steven Gerrard getting himself sent off for stamping on Ander Herrera.

Shaun Leatherbarrow told reporters that Mario Balotelli showed that he wanted to react and he decided to grab the Italian before he did something silly.

"I was worried he'd get sent off, the way I saw it Smalling sort of shoved Mario off the pitch and Mario grabbed him just to have something to grab on to,” he told the Liverpool Echo.

"I could tell from Mario's body language he was ready to react and I knew he'd already had a yellow card.

"I was saying 'calm down, leave it, leave it and he was saying 'OK, OK.' I'm only 5 feet 8 and he's a big lad so I was struggling to get my arms around him.

"Peter, the lad who sits next to me at the ground, helped me and he's a police officer who sometimes works at Anfield on match days.

"Afterwards all the lads were laughing and patting me on the back as well as having a go at Smalling."

Balotelli thanked the supporters for holding him back after the game on his Facebook account.

Watch: Balotelli Flashes Middle Finger At Man Utd Fans

Do you think the supporters did they right thing by calming Balotelli down? Have your say in the comments section below. 

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