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Liverpool player ratings vs Tottenham Hotspur

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Mario Balotelli scored his first Premier League for Liverpool as his side battled to a 3-2 victory against Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield.

Lazar Markovic opened the scoring for the Reds in the 23rd minute when his left-footed effort was enough to beat Hugo Lloris. 

Spurs were soon back on level terms through in-form striker Harry Kane, who scored his 23rd goal in all competitions this season.

Soon after the break Daniel Sturridge - who was making his first start since the two side's met on August 31 - was brought down inside the Tottenham box and Steven Gerrard converted his penalty to re-establish Liverpool's lead.

The north London club soon pegged the home side back once again when Mousa Dembele fired home from close range to square things up.

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With just seven minutes remaining Balotelli - making his first league appearance in exactly one month - latched on to Adam Lallana's fizzing cross to snatch the three points for his side and see Liverpool move just one point behind Spurs in the Premier League.

Starting XI

Simon Mignolet 6.5

Made a few decent stops and met crosses well. However, failed to tip Christian Eriksen's free-kick around the post and instead parried it back into play which lead to Dembele's goal.

Emre Can 8

A very good display all around. Controlled the threat of Kane when playing at the back as well as using the ball smartly and was powerful within the midfield when prompted up the pitch in the second-period.

Martin Skrtel 7

Came out on top of so many defensive battles against Kane, winning headers and challenges throughout the game.

Mamadou Sakho 5

Caught ball watching for Kane's goal and slipped over when trying to make amends for his error. Followed that effort with miss-timed tackles and looking uncomfortable on the ball.

Jordan Ibe 7

A solid home debut from the youngster. Inflicted pace on the right-hand side making several skipping runs and created plenty of chances. Directly involved with Balotelli's strike.

Steven Gerrard 6.5

Gave the ball away too often in the first-half but made up for those efforts when winning it back for his side. Almost scored with a free-kick early on.

Jordan Henderson 7

Full of energy throughout and looked to be on the serge to get forward constantly. Never shied away from challenges and usually came out on top.

Alberto Moreno 7

Offered Liverpool plenty of width and looked to inflict his pace into the game on the counter-attack.  Also defended with purpose.

Lazar Markovic 7

Took his goal well and added to that by running at Spurs' defence with skill and pace.

Philippe Coutinho 6.5

Unusually quiet in this game that looked set up for him. Didn't see enough of the ball but when he did he looked to penetrate Spurs' defence and was successful several times.

Daniel Sturridge 6.5

Missed two glorious chances in the first-half that should have been buried. Didn't look as sharp as in the past but his quick feet won his side a penalty.

Substitutes

Dejan Lovren 6.5

Didn't have to do too much when he replaced Gerrard but did what he needed to do well.

Mario Balotelli 6.5

Some poor touches but showed excellent movement to score his first Premier League goal.

Adam Lallana 7

Bubbly when he replaced Markovic and his pass to assist Balotelli was inch-perfect.

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Liverpool
Tottenham Hotspur
Mario Balotelli

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