Liverpool 3-2 Tottenham Hotspur: Balotelli the hero in pulsating clash (video)

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Liverpool beat Tottenham Hotspur 3-2 at Anfield on Tuesday as Mario Balotelli jumped off the bench to score the winner late on.

[ RELATED: Watch full match replays ]

The Reds had twice taken the lead through Lazar Markovic and Steven Gerrard, but Spurs equalized twice through Harry Kane and Mousa Dembele before Balotelli tapped home to send Anfield wild.

With the victory Liverpool are now unbeaten in nine games (winning six of the last eight) and remain in seventh on 42 points, just three points off the top four. Spurs are in sixth place on 43.

[ RELATED: Latest Premier League standings ] 

A lively start played out at Anfield as Erik Lamela played in Kane and the latter seemed to be brought down by a combination of Simon Mignolet and Gerrard in the box but no penalty kick was given. That chance woke Liverpool up as Sturridge raced cleared but saw a tame effort saved by Hugo Lloris, moments later Gerrard curled a free kick from 25-yards just over the bar.

Sturridge then had an effort brilliantly palmed away by Lloris as Liverpool pushed hard for the opening goal. The opener arrived in the 14th minute as a long punt forward by Mignolet saw Markovic latch onto the loose ball and his tame effort somehow deceived Lloris and nestled into the back of the net. 1-0 to Liverpool. Sturridge got in behind Spurs’ defense soon after but his clipped effort went over as Liverpool were rampant in the first half.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

However the home side were to rue those missed chances as Kane (who else?) equalized for Tottenham. Christian Eriksen played a one-two with Lamela and the latter played in Kane who jinxed passed Mamadou Sakho and drilled home a low shot through Mignolet. 1-1.

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Kane scored one and set up the other but it wasn’t enough for Spurs.

The first half ended evenly as Jordon Ibe went close with an effort from outside the box and Sturridge hit the post with a cheeky backheel, while Spurs looked dangerous on the break. In the 53rd minute Liverpool went ahead as Gerrard slotted home a penalty kick after Sturridge was brought down by Danny Rose in the box. Rose’s outstretched leg just caught Sturridge and the England international went down somewhat easily in the box.

Lamela almost equalized right away but his powerful drive was tipped away brilliantly by Mignolet in front of the Kop. But soon after Spurs did make it 2-2 as Eriksen’s free kick was tipped away by Mignolet but Kane, who looked to be in an offside position, set up Dembele to tap home.

Eric Dier then bailed out Spurs big time, as Sturridge went clean through on goal but the young English defender timed his tackle perfectly to clear the danger. Superb defending.

Brendan Rodgers then sent on Adam Lallana and Balotelli and the duo combined to see “Super Mario” tap home in the 83rd minute for his first Premier League goal for Liverpool to make it 3-2 and seal a massive three points in their push for a top four finish.

LINEUPS

Liverpool: Mignolet, Can, Skrtel, Sakho, Markovic (Lallana, 79′), Henderson, Gerrard (Lovren, 68′), Moreno, Ibe, Coutinho, Sturridge (Balotelli, 74′)

Goals: Markovic (15′), Gerrard (53′), Balotelli (83′)

Tottenham Hotspur:  Lloris, Walker, Dier, Vertonghen, Rose, Bentaleb, Mason (Paulinho, 69′), Lamela, Dembele (Soldado, 85′), Eriksen (Chadli, 81′), Kane

Goals: Kane (26′), Dembele (61′)

With $2.7 billion reserves, FIFA has ‘duty’ to aid virus-hit soccer

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FIFA says it has a “duty” to use its vast financial reserves to assist a football industry ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic wiping out games and creating unexpected economic hardship in the world’s biggest sport.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

The spread of COVID-19 has impacted the wealthiest clubs, with Barcelona and Juventus players taking wage cuts; those in smaller countries, with Slovakian champion Zilina entering bankruptcy; and national football federations, with Uruguay furloughing hundreds of staff.

Having amassed reserves it last reported at $2.745 billion, FIFA has the resources to give much-needed financial help to the game at many levels. Now the organization has provided more details around the need agreed two weeks ago by FIFA President Gianni Infantino and his vice presidents to explore a “support fund” for the sport.

“FIFA is in a strong financial situation and it’s our duty to do the utmost to help them in their hour of need,” world football’s governing body said in a statement to The Associated Press on Tuesday.

“FIFA is working on possibilities to provide assistance to the football community around the world after making a comprehensive assessment of the financial impact this pandemic will have on football.”

FIFA is exploring the mechanism to provide the financial lifeline to the football industry with the six regional confederations and member associations to ensure there is an announcement “in the near future.”

“The football community around the world is experiencing, to a greater or lesser extent, serious financial problems on account of the coronavirus outbreak,” FIFA said. “This threatens to disrupt and impair the ability of FIFA’s member associations and other football organizations such as leagues and clubs to develop, finance and run football activities at all levels of the game, including professional, non-professional, youth and grassroots.

“It is foreseen that in many parts of the world a considerable number of persons involved in football including both men and women players will be left in extremely difficult economic conditions.”

FIFA already operates a “Forward” development program to redistribute its wealth to member associations. In the 2015-18 cycle, investment dedicated to the scheme was $1.079 billion, of which $832 million had been approved and committed to member associations, confederations or regions, according to the last published financial results.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Premier League TV schedule: April 4-5

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We have 16 hours of Premier League programming coming your way this weekend and here is your TV schedule for April 4-5

This Saturday and Sunday we will have eight hours of programming coming your way each morning from 6 a.m. ET to 2 p.m. ET on NBCSN on your TV.

With the current 2019-20 Premier League season suspended until April 30 due to the coronavirus pandemic, we have a lot of programming treats planned for you in the coming weeks and will keep up fully updated with a TV schedule posted every single week.

[ MORE: Sign up for NBC Sports Gold ]

Remember, during the season you can watch every single second of every single game live online via NBC Sports.com,the NBC Sports App and by purchasing the new “Premier League Pass” via NBC Sports Gold.

Gold also includes an extensive selection of shoulder programming such as Premier League News, Premier League Today, Sky Sports News, NBC Sports originals such as Premier League Download and much more.

[ STREAM: Premier League live here ] 

If you’re looking for full-event replays of Premier League games, you can find them here for the games streamed on NBCSports.com and here for the games on NBC Sports Gold.

Below is your full Premier League TV schedule and stream links for Saturday and Sunday as we have classic matches, Goal of the Season, Behind the Badge, a focus on Liverpool v. Man City and much more coming up.


FULL TV SCHEDULE FOR NBCSN

Saturday, April 4
6-6:30 a.m. ET: Soccerbox – Matt Le Tissier [STREAM]
6:30-7 a.m. ET: Soccerbox – John Barnes [STREAM]
7-7:30 a.m. ET: Soccerbox – Sol Campbell [STREAM]
7:30-8 a.m. ET: Soccerbox – Ryan Giggs [STREAM]
8-9 a.m. ET: PL Goals of the Season: 2001-02 [STREAM]
9-10 a.m. ET: PL Goals of the Season: 2002-03 [STREAM]
10-10:30 a.m. ET: Classic Match: Liverpool v. Tottenham, Feb. 2015 [STREAM]
10:30-11 a.m. ET: Classic Match: Chelsea v. Man United, Feb. 2012 [STREAM]
11-11:30 a.m. ET: Classic Match: Tottenham v. Chelsea, Jan.  2015 [STREAM]
11:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. ET: Classic Match: Man United v. Arsenal, Aug., 2011 [STREAM]
12-12:30 p.m. ET. ET: Behind the Badge – Watford, Episode 1 [STREAM]
12:30-  p.m. ET. ET: Behind the Badge – Watford, Episode 2 [STREAM]
1-1:30 p.m. ET. ET: Behind the Badge – Watford, Episode 3 [STREAM]
1:30-2 p.m. ET. ET: Behind the Badge – Watford, Episode 4 [STREAM]

Sunday, April 5
6-7 a.m. ET: PL season in review 1998-99 [STREAM]
7-8 a.m. ET: PL season in review 1999-00 [STREAM]
8-10 a.m. ET: Match of the Week, Man City v. QPR, May 2012 [STREAM]
10 a.m. – 12 p.m. ET: Match of the Week, Everton v. Liverpool, Nov. 2013 [STREAM]
12 p.m. – 2 p.m. ET: Match of the Week, Chelsea v. Arsenal, Oct. 2014 [STREAM]

VIDEO: Top 25 moments in Premier League history

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It’s time to take a trip down memory lane and countdown the top 25 moments in Premier League history.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

There have been so many memorable goals, incidents, performances and players throughout the league’s history and back in 2017 we celebrated its 25th anniversary by counting down our top 25 moments.

From Wayne Rooney’s bicycle kick, the arrival of Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho, Leicester’s title win and Man City’s dramatic last-gasp success, there are so many wild moments packed into this video.

In truth, it was so tough to narrow down the best moments in PL history to just 25 moments.

Click play on the video above to replay some of the greatest moments in history.

Daniel Levy calls for all players, clubs to cut wages

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Tottenham chairman has called for Premier League players and staff to take wage cuts to help clubs cope with the suspension during the coronavirus pandemic.

Levy revealed he is among 550 non-playing staff at Tottenham who have taken pay cuts as he pointed to the likes of Barcelona, Juventus and Bayern Munich as their players and officials had taken wage cuts in order to make sure every individual at the club was paid and costs did not spiral out of control during the suspension of leagues.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule

Levy confirmed that the “club’s operations have effectively ceased” and “has an annual cost base running into hundreds of millions of pounds” before adding that clubs and players should do their part as clubs, leagues and players’ unions meet on Wednesday in England to work out a way forward.

“We hope the current discussions between the Premier League, PFA and LMA will result in players and coaches doing their bit for the football eco system,” Levy said.

Levy in particular will be scrutinized as he was the highest-paid Premier League executive, paid $3.7 million in 2018 and $8.7 million in 2019 after a hefty bonus for Tottenham completing their move to a new stadium.

Tottenham’s chairman also explained exactly what Spurs are doing to help them deal with the new financial reality all soccer clubs are facing, as the UK government is paying 80 percent of wages of staff who have been furloughed (basically told they still have a job but aren’t needed right now) by their employers.

“We have seen some of the biggest clubs in the world such as Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Juventus take steps to reduce their costs. Yesterday, having already taken steps to reduce costs, we ourselves made the difficult decision – in order to protect jobs – to reduce the remuneration of all 550 non-playing directors and employees for April and May by 20 per cent utilising, where appropriate, the Government’s furlough scheme. We shall continue to review this position,” Levy added.

Soccer will of course have to adjust to its new reality and the longer the suspension goes on, tougher decisions will have to be made about players and staff taking significant pay cuts to help keep costs down with no matchday revenue coming in. Tottenham’s stadium is being used to help prepare food for vulnerable people in the local and it has been offered to the NHS to be used any way it can help.

Plenty of clubs across the Premier League have vowed to pay temporary staff used on matchdays but many are making use of government help with wages and many are doing plenty for their local communities too. These are unprecedented times and players and clubs are stepping up to make sure the most vulnerable are looked after.