A revitalised Liverpool welcomed Tottenham Hotspur to Anfield on Sunday, with the visitors looking to return to winning ways following a colossal blow last weekend. A win for Klopp’s men would see them leapfrog Spurs into 5th place, and mount a late bid to challenge Manchester United for Champions League football next season. Meanwhile, Ryan Mason would be hoping to pick up his side’s first win at Anfield since 2011.
LIV: Alisson; Robertson, Van Dijk, Konate, Alexander-Arnold; Fabinho, Jones, Elliot; Diaz, Gakpo, Salah
TOT: Forster; Davies, Dier, Romero; Perisic, Hojberg, Skipp, Porro; Son, Kulusevski; Kane
Much like their previous two games, Tottenham were under the cosh straight from kick-off. Just 3 minutes into the game, Alexander-Arnold continued his sizzling form in his new inverted role – whipping in a cross to find Curtis Jones who calmly side-footed it into the back of the net.
Two minutes later, the returning Diaz doubled Liverpool’s lead as he volleyed home from close range from Gakpo’s cross. Just before the fifteen minute mark, Liverpool had the chance to make it three as Romero’s clumsy sliding challenge caught Gakpo inside the box. Salah stepped up and converted, ending his dry spell from the spot and taking him past Robbie Fowler in the all-time scoring charts for Liverpool with 184 goals.
Liverpool were flying, while Spurs on the other hand have now conceded 13 goals in the opening 15 minutes of Premier League games this campaign. Only 3 teams in PL history have conceded more in this timeframe.
All things seemed to be going to plan for the hosts until Tottenham were given a glimpse of hope in the 38th minute. Kane played in Son, however the link-up play was denied by Van Dijk who cleared the goalbound shot off the line. This did not seem to matter too much though, as just a minute later Perisic sat Van Dijk down and clipped in a ball that Kane fired home to pull one back.
This brought a newfound life to Tottenham, who immediately proceeded to create more chances. Kulusevksi came closest in the 41st minute after nicking the ball off Robertson before firing a shot that Alisson saved brilliantly with his feet at full stretch. Son then came close to scoring on the stroke of half time, after his run in behind led to a shot on his left that struck against the post – however the Korean was ruled offside in his efforts.
This signalled the half-time whistle from the referee, and for the second time in 4 days, Ryan Mason’s side would have plenty of work to do in the second half if they wished to overturn the deficit. In similar fashion to Thursday’s encounter with Manchester United, Tottenham switched gears and started the second half by ramping up the intensity – putting Liverpool under pressure.
Tottenham came close on two occasions, with Son’s effort in the 54th minute from outside the box came off the post. Immediately afterwards, Romero’s acrobatic effort from Kane’s cross also clipped the post, keeping the score at 3-1.
Pedro Porro then forced a fingertip save from Alisson after a dipping, swerving effort from distance. Spurs held the lion’s share of possession in the opening 25 minutes of the second half, and were rewarded in the 77th minute when Romero clipped in a ball over the Liverpool defence to find an onrushing Son who coolly tucked it in. The Liverpool fans nervously looked on from the edge of their seat, as the visitors looked to pile on the pressure.
In the 85th minute, Konate seemed to have his hands all over Richarlison in the penalty area before pulling the Brazilian to the ground – but much to the defender’s relief, no penalty was given.
Six minutes of stoppage time was added at the end of the 90, and in the 3rd minute Tottenham were awarded a free-kick on the by-line. Son’s whipped cross found the head of Richarlison, who threw himself at the ball and his diving header looped over Alisson. That’s his first goal in nine months, and the Brazilian’s celebrations were certainly fit for the occasion as they looked to have rescued a dramatic draw on Merseyside.
From the restart, the ball was launched forward by Alisson. His pelted effort found Lucas Moura, who attempted to play it back to his team mate. Unbeknownst to him, Diogo Jota was in the way and intercepted the pass, before sending a left-footed effort past Forster in goal to once again give Liverpool the lead in the 94th minute – sending the Kop into a frenzy.
With this win, Liverpool now leapfrog Tottenham into fifth place. Jurgen Klopp’s side will face Fulham next time out. With four wins from their last four games, it certainly seems as though the Reds can mount a late push for Champions League football next season.
On the other hand, Tottenham fell short despite a spirited effort. They’ll host a reborn Crystal Palace side next, with the Eagles having won their last game against West Ham in spectacular fashion.