Balotelli Sinks Tottenham with First EPL Goal, Arsenal go Fourth

Balotelli Sinks Tottenham with First EPL Goal, Arsenal go Fourth

Tuesday, February 10, 2015 11:09 pm

Mario Balotelli came off the bench to score his first ever Premier League goal and help Liverpool defeat Tottenham Hotspur 3-2 in a pulsating match at Anfield on Tuesday night.


Balotelli pokes home the winner vs. Spurs

The match was poised to end 2-2 when much maligned Italian popped up in front of goal to steer home a cross-shot from Adam Lallana and give the Reds a third win in four matches.

An even opening to the match however saw Liverpool begin to dominate proceedings after Daniel Sturridge was denied twice in five minutes by Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.

First the England striker pounced on a poor Spurs pass only to see his effort smothered by Lloris in the ninth minute, before forcing a cornerkick off the French goalkeeper in the 13th minute after being set up by Lazar Markovic.

It would be the latter to break the deadlock for Liverpool two minutes later at the end of a counterattack by the Reds, sending a low shot past Lloris who could have done better with his effort to keep the ball out.

The response to going behind was robust from Spurs, with Christian Eriksen and Nabil Bentaleb efforts blocked in quick succession though the Londoners didn’t have to wait much longer before restoring parity.

An Eriksen pass evaded the Liverpool and found its way to an unmarked Harry Kane who took a touch before smashing the ball past Mignolet in the 26th minute for his fifth goal in the last three matches and 13th in the league.

Liverpool ended the half on a high with Jordan Ibe forcing Llloris into another top notch save in the 38th minute before Sturridge saw his goalward backheel come off the post in first half stoppage time as both sides went into the break level.

The Reds regained the lead six minutes into the second half through captain Steven Gerrard’s penalty – his fifth penalty this season – after Sturridge was brought down in the area by Danny Rose.


Gerrard after scoring a penalty

But just as in the first half, Spurs’ response to going behind left Liverpool on the backfoot just a minute later, with Erik Lamela pouncing on a loose ball on the edge of the area and send a rasping drive goalwards only to be denied by Mignolet.

Spurs again scored an equaliser 11 minutes after going behind, this time through Moussa Dembele who steered the ball home from close range with his chest after being set up by Eriksen and Kane.

Albert Moreno saw an effort kept out by Lloris 20 minutes from time, before the high intensity of the match began to tell on both sides who made substitutions.

It was two of Liverpool’s substitutes that combined to score the winner, with Lallana bursting free on the flanks via a one-two with Ibe before sending a shot across the area for Balotelli to score the winner.

The result sees Liverpool go within three points of the top four at the moment, lying in seventh place with 42 points while Spurs dropped out of the top four to sixth place, a point ahead of Liverpool.

Meanwhile at the Emirates Stadium this evening, Alexis Sanchez returned from injury to start for Arsenal but had to go off with a niggle in the Gunners’ 2-1 win over bottom side Leicester City.


Sanchez went off with a niggle

Midfielder Aaron Ramsey also suffered an injury as Arsenal held on for victory gained through first half goals from Laurent Koscielny and Theo Walcott.

Elsewhere, Joey Barton became the first ever player in the Premier League to pick up a booking in seven successive matches as Queens Park Rangers came away from the Stadium of Light with a 2-0 win over Sunderland; QPR’s first away win this season.

And Hull City eased their relegation concerns while compounding Aston Villa’s in a 2-0 win at the KC Stadium, leaving Villa with the record of having scored the fewest number of goals by this stage of the season in the Premier League era.

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