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# Finally Mario
Balotelli the unlikely hero with first Premier League goal for Liverpool
The Reds claimed a 3-2 victory over Spurs thanks to their misfit Italian striker and move three points closer to the top four.

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Liverpool v Tottenham Hotspur - Anfield Peter Byrne Balotelli blasts home the winner. Peter Byrne

Liverpool 3-2 Tottenham

MARIO BALOTELLIS SCORED his first Premier League goal for Liverpool as they boosted their hopes of a top-four finish in the Premier League with a 3-2 win over Tottenham.

Balotelli has endured a tough first season at Anfield, but picked an ideal moment to break his top-flight duck for the club with a well-taken late winner shortly after coming off the bench for Daniel Sturridge – who made his first Liverpool start since their 3-0 victory at Tottenham in August.

Despite lacking match sharpness, Sturridge was dangerous throughout his 74 minutes on the pitch and was heavily involved in Liverpool’s first two goals.

The England striker showcased strong hold up play to help set up Lazar Markovic for Liverpool’s 15th-minute opener, which was quickly equalised by red-hot Spurs frontman Harry Kane.

Britain Soccer Premier League Jon Super Kane was on target with his fifth goal in three games. Jon Super

Steven Gerrard restored Liverpool’s advantage from the penalty spot eight minutes after half-time after Sturridge had gone down under an ill-advised challenge from Danny Rose.

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Again Tottenham replied, though, as Moussa Dembele’s close-range leveller just after the hour was allowed to stand despite Kane appearing to have strayed offside from Christian Eriksen’s free-kick.

But there was one final twist in the tale as substitute Balotelli popped up seven minutes from time to smash home a low cross from fellow substitute Adam Lallana.

The win lifts Liverpool to within a point of Tottenham and just three points adrift of fourth-placed Arsenal.

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