Since arriving from AC Milan in the summer for £16 million Italian international Mario Balotelli has been a flop for Liverpool until last week when he came on as a substitute against Tottenham and scored the winning goal.

Last night he again looked good in the 2-1 win away to Crystal Palace in the 5th round of the FA Cup, when he came on for Daniel Sturridge and produced a blistering free-kick that enabled Adam Lallana to latch on to the rebound for the Reds winning goal.

Even Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has seen a change in him telling the talkSPORT: “Mario has been working really hard in training and I think now the penny’s dropped.”

“I assess players in training every day, no matter how good they are, and they have to put the work in.

“It has been difficult for him, because he’s come into a style maybe he’s never been in before, but one thing he has got is quality, and he’s got big quality and the last couple of games he’s come off the bench and been effective for us.”