Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Liverpool: Spurs edge past nine-man Liverpool in dramatic affair

A huge game took centre stage at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in Saturday’s teatime kick-off. Ange Postecoglou’s Spurs picked up a admirable point at North London rivals Arsenal last time out and eyed another home win, while Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool came from behind to beat Wolves and – following Manchester City’s defeat to the same opponents earlier in the day – were looking to go top of the Premier League.

TOT: Vicario; Porro, Romero, van de Ven, Udogie; Sarr, Bissouma; Kulusevski, Maddison, Son; Richarlison

LIV: Alisson, Gomez, Matip, van Dijk, Robertson; Jones, Mac Allister, Szoboszlai; Diaz, Salah, Gakpo

An overcast late afternoon in North London saw Liverpool start the more aggressive of the two sides as Mo Salah received the ball down the right hand side and drilled it in low towards Luis Diaz, whose shot from the edge of the box was saved well by Vicario. The following corner saw Alexis Mac Allister fire the ball just wide of the bottom corner. 

It was then Tottenham’s turn to get forward as Yves Bissouma’s wonderful pass found Richarlison down the left hand side. The Brazilian then delivered a dangerous ball into the Liverpool box, but Dejan Kulusevski couldn’t get to it in time to steer it home at the far post.

Liverpool’s Cody Gakpo found himself in the Spurs box just moments later, as the Dutch forward turned and finish past Vicario – only for the Italian to make a brilliant double save from that effort and Andy Robertson’s close-range rebound.

With just over 25 minutes of the first half gone, the game’s most controversial moment took centre stage as Liverpool midfielder Curtis Jones was sent off for a studs-up challenge on Yves Bissouma. The midfielder originally received a yellow card for the foul, but after VAR consultation, referee Simon Hooper then gave Jones his marching orders.

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Spurs then looked to pile more misery on their opponents as James Maddison made a run towards goal and curled the ball towards the far corner, only for the ball to instead be collected comfortably by Alisson in the Liverpool goal. Richarlison then received the ball from Kulusevski just inside the box, but the Brazilian’s attempt floated just over the bar.

In the 34th minute, Luis Diaz thought he had put 10-man Liverpool in front as he fired past Vicario into the far corner, but the Colombian was judged to have been offside making his run towards goal. 

With Liverpool ruing fine margins, Spurs would take the lead in the 37th minute, and with a wonderful team goal. James Maddison found Richarlison down the left hand side with a brilliant pass, and the Brazilian then pulled the ball back towards Heung-Min Son, who steered the ball home to give his side the lead.

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Spurs were in the ascendency and the home side could have doubled their slender lead just minutes later, only for Richarlison’s shot from close-range to fly over the bar. The Brazilian went even closer moments after, but his low shot came back off the post and out.

In the dying moments of first-half stoppage time, 10-man Liverpool equalised. Szoboszlai’s cross in from the right hand side found Virgil van Dijk. The Dutch centre-back then headed back across goal towards his international colleague Cody Gakpo, who turned and slammed the ball home past Vicario. In terms of attacking threat, it was no more than Liverpool deserved, even with a numerical disadvantage on the turf.

The second half almost started perfectly for Spurs, with Cristian Romero’s clever pass finding James Maddison, whose curling effort was saved wonderfully by Alisson. It was then Heung-Min Son’s turn to test Alisson, but his excellent volley was kept out sensationally by the Liverpool stopper again!

Spurs were beginning to get on top in this contest, and they could have retaken the lead as Pape Matar Sarr found some space outside the box and unleashed a fierce low effort towards goal, only for Alisson to collect comfortably.

Ange Postecoglou’s side thought they had gone in front again in the 59th minute, but Son’s second goal of the game was denied by the offside flag.

With just over 20 minutes to go, Liverpool were reduced to nine men, and it was Diogo Jota who was given his marching orders by Simon Hooper after being booked just moments earlier; both fouls being committed on Spurs left-back Destiny Udogie.

But in an incredible twist of events, it was to be heartbreak for nine-man Liverpool as Spurs won it late on. Pedro Porro fired the ball in from the right hand side, and in the most devastating of moments for a resilient, albeit weakened, Liverpool, the ball was steered past Alisson by Joel Matip for an own goal.

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With a hard-fought win under their belts, Spurs will now travel to Luton Town on Saturday. Liverpool must first see off Union Saint-Gilloise at Anfield on Thursday, before venturing to Brighton on Sunday.