Liverpool’s Premier League title and quadruple hopes were dealt a blow on Saturday night as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield.
The draw means that while Jurgen Klopp’s side return to the summit of the table, they are only on top by virtue of goal difference and title rivals Manchester City still have a game in hand.
Liverpool are still in the hunt for an unprecedented quad, with a League Cup already in the bag and FA Cup and Champions League finals on the way. But a win for Pep Guardiola’s defending champions at home to Newcastle United tomorrow would give the Cityzens a three point cushion and give the Merseyside outfit a big mountain to climb.
The result isn’t much better for Spurs who had the chance to overtake Arsenal in fourth with a victory. Instead, they remain a point behind the Gunners, who have a game in hand themselves. Mikel Arteta’s side host relegation-threatened Leeds tomorrow.
The pattern for the game was set early, with the hosts dominating possession while Spurs elected for a more compact set-up. The match started at a frenetic pace and it was Antonio Conte’s side on the counter-attack that had the game’s first chance after eight minutes. Harry Kane tried to find Son Heung-Min with a cross, but Alisson got to the ball first and pushed it to the edge of the area. The ball rolled to the feet of Rodrigo Bentancur, but the midfielder couldn’t get enough power on his strike and the offside flag was subsequently raised.
Heung-min Son finishes a brilliant team move!
Kane had another chance to break the deadlock four minutes later after finding himself in a shooting position, but Jordan Henderson did brilliantly to make a crucial block in the nick of time. At the other end, Hugo Lloris reacted quickly to spare Ryan Sessegnon’s blushes after the defender’s header nearly looped into the path of the onrushing Mo Salah.
Liverpool’s pressure continued to build and in the 38th minute, Virgil van Dijk latched onto a Trent Alexander-Arnold cross but the Dutchman’s towering goalbound header came crashing off the crossbar. Soon after, Luis Diaz played a neat one-two with Sadio Mane before firing a low shot towards the bottom corner - Lloris was again quick to action and did well to dive to his left and get the ball away from danger. Spurs then hit the woodwork themselves just before the break when Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s low-drilled shot rattled the outside of the post and went wide.
Spurs opened the scoring through Son ten minutes into the second-half. Lloris played the ball over the top for the unchallenged Kane who played in Sessegnon on his left. With plenty of space and time, the defender then slid the ball into the middle for Son and the South Korean had little work to do in front of an open net.
Diaz has been in sublime form for the Reds since joining in January and the dazzling Colombian helped bring his side level with his side’s first shot on target after the break. He got a powerful shot away from long distance which deflected off Bentancur and flew into the back of the net past a helpless Lloris.
You can feel the frustration released when that hit the back of the net!
What a game!
Liverpool pushed for a winner with a flurry of corners amounting to nothing, but Spurs were far from out of it. Ben Davies fired over from a tight angle as Spurs threatened on the counter before a Salah effort on the stroke of full-time was deflected over the crossbar by Sanchez.
Next up for Liverpool is a trip to Aston Villa on Tuesday, while Spurs begin preparations for what will be the biggest North London Derby in years when they take on Arsenal on Thursday.
Speaking to BT Sport after the match, Klopp remained upbeat, saying: "We were unlucky in moments and not precise enough at times. We didn't anticipate certain moments well enough. We could have been a bit better there, but apart from that, it's incredibly difficult."
"The dressing room is now not flying in this moment, but come on - these things can happen. There a other games to play - we just have to keep going. I wish we'd have won this game.
"I am really happy with the performance and proud of the mentality we showed against an incredibly good opponent.
"It was always clear something like this could happen. There are games to play and we just have to keep going."
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