Liverpool 4-2 Tottenham: Hosts survive late fightback from spirited Spurs

Goals from the returning Mohamed Salah, Andy Robertson, Cody Gakpo and a screamer from Harvey Elliott secured a 4-2 victory for Liverpool over a spirited Tottenham Hotspur side at Anfield.

Meanwhile, a fourth consecutive league defeat leaves Spurs trailing Aston Villa by seven points in the race for the final UEFA Champions League qualification position – meaning Ange Postecoglou’s side now need to win all three remaining matches – including their game in hand against defending champions Manchester City – to stand any chance of toppling Unai Emery’s side.

As it happened

On the losing side in only one of the previous 17 Premier League matches against the familiarity of a sold-out Anfield, Liverpool flew out of the blocks, as Salah beat Spurs keeper Guglielmo Vicario with an outrageous effort with the outside of his boot, but not the crossbar before Cristian Romero cleared Elliott’s goalbound rebound off the line with his midriff.

However, Klopp’s side’s unparalleled attacking dominance paid-dividends soon after as Salah headed home Gakpo’s deliciously-dinked delivery to the back post past Vicario shortly following the quarter-hour mark.

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Vicario’s busy afternoon, which included picking the ball out of the back of his net continued not long after, as he denied Luis Díaz a hat-trick of head-to-head home goals with a smart save at his near post.

Referee Paul Tierney inconspicuously waved away Gakpo’s appeals for a penalty after the Dutchman went over from the challenge of Dejan Kulusevski, as Liverpool – in all truth never looked under any danger of conceding an equalising goal – doubled their lead on the stroke of half-time.

On the scoresheet against West Ham United last weekend, Robertson found the back of the net again as he fired home the rebound from close range after Vicario could only push Salah’s initial effort into the path of the fast-arriving full-back.

On course to make Klopp’s penultimate match as Liverpool manager at Anfield – before the German departs for pastures new this Summer – an unforgettable one, Gakpo made sure of the three points after only five minutes of the second half as he authoritatively rose above Romero to head home Elliott’s inswinging cross.

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It then did not take long for the provider to turn into a goalscorer, as Elliott netted the pick of the hosts’ four goals with a screamer from outside of the area that flew into the top corner past the outstretched dive of Vicario.

In an attempt to perform a miraculous comeback, Postecoglou introduced James Maddison, Oliver Skipp and Richarlison into the fray shortly after the hour-mark, with one of his alterations pulling back a consolation goal in the 72nd minute as the latter of the trio expertly fired Brendan Johnson’s cross beyond Alisson.

Son Heung-min made it an intriguing conclusion at Anfield as he became only the second player, after Jamie Vardy, to score in five successive matches against Liverpool with a smartly-taken finish.

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Ultimately, Spurs’ valiant attempts to salvage something from what looked like an impossible position after an hour ended in vain as Klopp’s men survived the attempted late comeback to remain on the outer rim of this season’s three-pronged PL title race.

The lineups

LIV: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, van Dijk, Quansah, Robertson; Mac Allister, Elliot, Endō; Díaz, Gakpo, Salah

TOT: Vicario; Porro, Romero, van de Ven, Royal; Bissouma, Sarr, Bentancur; Kulusevski, Johnson, Son