Liverpool 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur: Reds get themselves out of jail as another late goal keeps their title-credentials on track 
(Getty Images - Robbie Jay Barratt)

Liverpool 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur: Reds get themselves out of jail as another late goal keeps their title-credentials on track 

Toby Alderweireld's late own goal earnt Liverpool a priceless victory and put them back on the summit of the Premier League.

joshuakerr97
Joshua Kerr

The clock was counting down at an alarmingly and excruciatingly fast pace when finally the 90th-minute mark struck and another final decisive moment sparked Anfield into utter chaos and euphoria. Liverpool were minutes away from a potential collapse that threatened to upset their illustrious title credentials.

But when the ball was lofted high towards Mohamed Salah there seemed a sense of deja vu with this Reds side refusing to fall in the face of adversity.

Salah, a player who still hasn't scored in his last eight appearances forced Hugo Lloris into a save but the Egyptian's header was too hot to handle for the Tottenham goalkeeper. The loose ball bounced off Toby Alderweireld before trickling beyond the goal-line. The Belgian defender desperately tried to recover his blunder and spare himself of embarrassment but instead, almost in slow motion, kicked the ground as he watched his effort trickle in. This was a goal of vital significance and one that may be severely cherished come May.

Jurgen Klopp did his usual running fist pump to the Anfield faithful at the final whistle with his team returning to the summit of the Premier League.

The story of the match

Every team striving for league glory needs lady luck on their side along the way and Liverpool were certainly gifted that with their third successive league win. 

Liverpool's fortune was typified a few minutes before their own delirium with the score deadlocked at 1-1 and Moussa Sissoko and Son Hueng-Min springing at goal in a two-on-one breakaway. Fortunately for the Reds, their imperious centre-back Virgil van Dijk expertly concluded that it would be better allowing Sissoko to take aim denying the Frenchman his desired pass to Son who was escaping wide right. It was an utterly brilliant piece of play in the art of defending as Sissoko's wild shot flew over at a stage where the game looked to be turning the other way for Liverpool. 

Moments later, Anfield was sent into raptures. No wonder the home support celebrated how did following a win that looked to have escaped them. It was paramount that this second-versus-third encounter went Liverpool's way with too much at stake to surrender a three-point gap and an inferior goal difference to champions Manchester City

More than that, Klopp's troops had to demonstrate the resilience and steel for whatever is thrown at them next. They passed that test again with distinction, but, boy, they put their fans through the wringer before everything eventually fell into place. 

With the second half seeming an ordeal for Liverpool - who completely dominated the visitors in the opening 45. As for Salah, the Reds leading goalscorer was looking just as desperate as he was dangerous. His longest drought in Liverpool colours continues with this period certainly reflecting the most difficult phase of his Anfield career. He almost seemed too determined to put that right, seeming afflicted by the occasion. Ironically though it all turned out for the forward in the end with the 26-year-old having the final say on the outcome of this latest title-race instalment.

However, the point remains: if Liverpool are to end 29 years of hurt and win their first league title since 1990, they desperately need Salah to reignite his best form and remove whatever is currently troubling him.

The first half was anything but the excitement and topsy-turvy affair of the second with Liverpool opening proceedings with such determination and flair. The full-backs once again were attack minded and caused Spurs numerous problems. It was disappointing that the Reds didn't utilise their full-back duo of Andrew Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold to the same devastating effect in the opening period with the hosts seeming to settle with what they already had.

The defensive pair now how 17 assists between them with both players virtually operating as auxiliary wingers. Robertson's inclination on the left was executed to perfection when he sniffed out Roberto Firmino's run in between Davison Sanchez and Alderweireld that led to the opening goal 16 minutes in. 

The Scotland captain's delivery was so inviting that it became impertinent for the Brazilian to squander the chance. Lloris's kick was intercepted by Georginion Wijnaldum inside Tottenham's half, with Kieran Trippier being almost too committed and allowing Robertson too much space, allowing the left-back to line up his target with the freedom of no-one being able to close him down. The trajectory of the cross was exquisite and Firmino did the rest finding space between the two centre-halves before guiding his downward header past a helpless Lloris.

Tottenham's notoriously bad record at this ground was well known and despite three defeats in their previous four league outings, a point would have seen them register their best ever total at this stage of a Premier League season.

They were preying on mistakes early on and some erratic goalkeeping from Alisson Becker was the invitation they were craving. Dele Alli was a ghostly figure in the opening exchanges and Christian Eriksen's decision making was also certainly off the pace.

Spurs were desperate for something to change. Mauricio Pochettino, serving his touchline ban, looked to deliver some tactical impetus and was in contact with his coaching staff via a mobile phone and surprisingly enough, from then on he saw improvement from his team.

The equaliser was a testament to Pochetinno and his coaching staff. Harry Kane took a quick free-kick and found Trippier with a marksman like pass. The full-back spotted the run of Eriksen and slotted through the playmaker whose deft touch did enough to find Lucas who fired past Alisson on the edge of the six-yard box.

Liverpool were suddenly on the back foot and had to go for the winner. Their desire to snatch a goal left them agonisingly vulnerable and exposed at the back, Sissoko let the Reds off the hook and set the stage for yet another late goal in this fascinating and tantalisingly close title race.

Over to you City!

 

 

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