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Balotelli’s 1st league goal since April lifts Liverpool

Mario Balotelli scored the tiebreaking goal in the 83rd minute, nine minutes after entering the match, giving Liverpool a 3-2 win over Tottenham on Tuesday night that tightened the Premier League race for Champions League qualification.

Liverpool had given up the lead twice at Anfield when Balotelli came into the match for just his second appearance in a month. The Italian forward poked in a cross from fellow substitute Adam Lallana for his first league goal since last April 19 for AC Milan against Livorno in the Serie A.

Lazar Markovic had put Liverpool ahead in the 15th but Harry Kane tied the score 11 minutes later with his 23rd goal in all competitions this season. Steven Gerrard converted a penalty kick in the 55th after a foul by Danny Rose, and Kane set up Mousa Dembele in the 61st for a second equalizer. Gerrard left in the 68th with a hamstring injury.

Liverpool (12-7-6) extended its league unbeaten streak to nine and is seventh with 45 points, three behind Arsenal for the fourth and last Champions League berth. Tottenham (13-8-4) is one point ahead of Liverpool and one back of Manchester United (12-4-8), which hosts Burnley on Wednesday,

Arsenal (13-6-6) won 2-1 at home against last-place Leicester on goals by Laurent Koscielny in the 27th and Theo Walcott in the 41st. Andrej Kramaric scored in the 61st for Leicester.

Queens Park Rangers won 2-0 at Sunderland on goals by Leroy Fer and Bobby Zamora to an 11-game league road losing streak and climb out of the relegation zone. Hull beat Aston Villa 2-0, with Nikica Jelavic and Dame N’Doye scoring past American goalkeeper Brad Guzan. Hull climbed out of the relegation zone and dropped the Villans, who have lost five straight, into the bottom three.

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FRANCE

Saint-Etienne won 2-1 at third division Red Star and advanced to the French Cup quarterfinals.

Ricky Van Wolfswinkel scored on a free kick in the 18th minute and the visitors had a man advantage after Julien Ielsch was given a red card for tackling Van Wolfswinkel from behind in the 25th. Hameur Bouazza tied the score with a half-volley three minutes later, but Red Star defender Pierrick Cros diverted a cross into his own net in the 80th.

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