Mario Balotelli came off the bench to help bolster Liverpool’s Uefa Champions League ambitions with a 3-2 English Premier League victory over fellow top four hopefuls Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield on Tuesday. The Reds took the lead in the 15th minute, as a long pass from goalkeeper Simon Mignolet was brought down by Sturridge and layed off fortuitously to Lazar Markovic who coolly struck it past Hugo Lloris. The Frenchman managed a touch on it but could not keep it out.
Tottenham responded well and found the equaliser in the 26th minute when good interchanging passing between Erik Lamela and Christian Eriksen led to Lemela finding Harry Kane unmarked in the box and there was only going to be one result as the Spurs golden boy levelled matters. The half ended with the sides level but you just knew there were more goals coming. Mauricio Potchettino’s side began the second half better, however it was the home side who regained their lead when tidy dribbling in the box by Daniel Sturridge drew a challenge from the Spurs left back Danny Rose.
Referee Phil Dowd initially resisted, but his assist raised his flag and a penalty was awarded to Brendan Rodgers’ men. Skipper Steven Gerrard converted in the 53rd minute. Mousa Dembele equalised for the visitors in the 61st minute through a close range finish from a Kane pass in what was turning out to be a rollercoaster affair.
The match looked like it was headed towards a stalemate but a late goal from engimatic substitute Mario Balotelli in the 83rd minute ended up as the match winning goal. The result left Rodgers’ side seventh on 42 points with Pochettino’s team one position and one point better off.