Luis Suarez scored in his Liverpool debut, entering as a substitute and getting a goal in the 78th minute of a 2-0 win over Stoke on Wednesday night.

Suarez came in in the 63rd minute and scored on a left-footed shot that struck defender Andy Wilkinson and trickled over the goal line.

"Fantastic for him and great for the supporters," Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish said. "He will be all right, and there will be no problem with him. He has not even trained with the players yet because of the paperwork and work permit, so that is something to look forward to."

Suarez was acquired at Monday's transfer deadline from Ajax, and injured forward Andy Carroll was purchased from Newcastle. Liverpool also sold Fernando Torres to Chelsea, and he is likely to make his Blues debut against Liverpool on Sunday at Stamford Bridge.

"I've watched him in games for Ajax and at the World Cup and he is a top player," Stole manager Tony Pulis said of Suarez.

Raul Meireles scored in the 47th minute as Liverpool won its third straight Premier League match.

Manchester City remained eight points behind Premier League leader Manchester United, dropping into a 2-2 tie at lowly Birmingham when Craig Gardner scored on a penalty kick in the 77th minute.

Carlos Tevez scored his 15th Premier League goal this season in the fourth minute and Aleksander Kolarov got his first in the 41st to build a 2-1 lead for City, but Patrick Vieira's foul on Kevin Phillips led to the penalty kick. Nikola Zigic had scored for Birmingham in the 23rd.

"If we want to go up the table, we should play better than tonight," City manager Roberto Mancini said.

Tottenham maintained its challenge for the final Champions League spot with a 1-0 win at Blackburn as Peter Crouch scored in the third minute.

Manchester United (15-0-9) leads with 54 points, followed by Arsenal (15-5-4) with 49, Manchester City (13-5-7) with 46, Chelsea (13-6-5) with 44 and Tottenham (11-5-8) with 41.

Liverpool (10-10-5) is seventh with 35, two points behind Sunderland (9-6-10).

Daniel Sturridge scored in his Bolton debut, getting a goal in the third minute of second-half injury time for a 1-0 win over Wolverhampton. Damien Duff scored his first league goal since last Feb. 21, connecting against his former team to give Fulham a 1-0 win over Newcastle.

Robbie Keane scored in his West Ham debut and Victor Obinna had two goals in a 3-1 win at Blackpool.


MADRID (AP) — Real Madrid and Barcelona advanced to the Copa del Rey final on April 20, setting up the possibility the rivals could meet four times in a 16-day span.

Mesut Oezil scored in the 82nd minute and Emmanuel Adebayor added a goal in the 90th to lead Read Madrid to a 2-0 win over visiting Sevilla and a 3-0 victory in the home-and-home, total-goals series. Madrid, a 17-time champion, reaches its record 37th final but first since 2004.

"We have the usual desire that comes with playing in a final and we'll try to win it as always," Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho said. "After the difficult trajectory — winning all our games against Atletico Madrid and Sevilla — we deserve to be in the final."

Barcelona, a record 25-time winner of the competition, advanced to the final for the 35th time with a 3-0 victory over Almeria and an 8-0 aggregate win despite resting most of its regular starters.

The rivals have not met in the cup final since 1990. Madrid has not won the cup since 1993.

"We wanted to recover Real Madrid's prestige in this competition," Mourinho said. "History says favorites don't exist in finals. History says the team that has fewer chances of winning can win."

Real Madrid hosts Barcelona in the league on April 16 or 17, and the rivals meet in the Copa del Rey final on April 20. If both advance to the quarterfinals of the Champions League, they could be drawn to face each other on April 5-6 and 12-13.

Barcelona got goals from Adriano in the 35th minute and Thiago in the 56th. Newly acquired Ibrahim Affelay added his first goal for the Blaugrana in the 76th.

Barcelona, which has won the cup a record 25 times, has outscored Almeria 16-0 in three games this season and all opponents 108-22. Daniel Alves and Sergio Busquets were the only regulars in Barcelona's starting lineup.


ROME (AP) — Juventus' winless streak reached four matches with a 2-1 loss at Palermo on that dropped 27-time champion into eighth place in Serie A.

Former Juventus forward Fabrizio Miccoli put Palermo in front seven minutes in with a shot under the legs of goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, and Giulio Migliaccio doubled the lead in the 20th with a header off a corner kick.

Claudio Marchisio scored for Juventus in half in the 36th with a shot that went by four defenders.

Second-place Napoli (13-6-4) remained five points behind AC Milan (14-3-6) with a 2-0 loss at Chievo Verona, which got goals from Davide Moscardelli in the 20th and Gennaro Sardo in the 50th.

AS Roma was held to a 1-1 tie by visiting Brescia. After Marco Borriello put the hosts ahead in the 59th, Eder scored in the 69th.


GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) — Kyle Lafferty scored in the fourth minute to give Glasgow Rangers a 1-0 win over Hearts and close the gap on Scottish Premier League leader Celtic to five points.

Celtic (18-2-4) has played two games more than Rangers (17-3-2).

Also Wednesday, Kilmarnock won 1-0 at Motherwell and Hibernian beat visiting St. Mirren 2-0.


PARIS (AP) — Fifth-division Chambery won its third consecutive French Cup match over a top dvision club, rallying to knock out Sochaux 2-1 and reach the quarterfinals.

Brown Ideye headed home the opener for Sochaux in the 21st minute, but Fabien Tissot-Rosset tied it with a volley from a free kick in the 61st and Aissa Yahia Bey surprised goalkeeper Pierrick Cross with a 30-yard shot in the 71st.

Chambery beat Monaco and Brest in the previous rounds.

Guillaume Hoarau scored three goals as defending champion Paris Saint-Germain defeated fourth-division Martigues 4-1.