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Liverpool boss Rodgers had no problem with Villa targeting Balotelli

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers had no problem with Aston Villa's targeting of Mario Balotelli during Saturday's defeat at Anfield.

Balotelli found himself on the receiving end of some rough stuff from Philippe Senderos and Alan Hutton at the weekend but Rodgers does not envisage a similar problem in Europe.

"We expect the referee to protect all our players, not just Mario," said the Reds boss.

"It is a man's game. It is a competitive game but if it oversteps the mark when he's not involved in the build-up then we would expect the referee and officials to look at it.

"But there are no complaints for me. Football is competitive and strong and we ask the players to be that in our team but be fair in the way we work."

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