Liverpool take advantage in title race as wasteful Tottenham rue missed chances
The finish could not have been more dramatic.
Roberto Firmino with a bullet header in the 90th minute to decide an incredible, tense and nervous title showdown at Anfield.
It was heartbreaking for Tottenham but showed exactly why Liverpool are reigning champions because they never give up, they go right until the end and nearly always come out on top.
Liverpool will know that Tottenham came as close as anyone to ending their 66 game unbeaten home run in the Premier League as they wasted big chances in an end-to-end second half.
But Liverpool have the wonderful knack of finding a way to win. It is the hallmark of champions and, even when they are not at their absolute best, they hold their nerve and get the job done.
At the final whistle, the 2,000 fans inside Anfield made such a noise and Jurgen Klopp went over to the Kop to whip up the fans and enjoy a victory with them again.
Klopp will definitely know this was a huge moment in the season, a defining victory which was a statement of intent against a Tottenham team determined to fight them in the title race.
Jose Mourinho was adamant at the final whistle that the best team lost as his frustration getting the better of him.
Tottenham were resolute in the first half, played on the counter attack in the second half but it was Liverpool going gung-ho and risking everything in search of a victory.
That is maybe the difference and another reason why Liverpool have become the great entertainers while Tottenham are more pragmatic under Mourinho.
Liverpool are keen to repeat last season’s success – and you don’t want to miss a thing, surely?
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It’s been an extremely interesting start to the season for Jurgen Klopp’s men.
They got their title defence off to a shaky start as they edged out a seven-goal thriller against Leeds, before going on to conceded seven in a hammering by Aston Villa.
Virgil van Dijk’s season was ended by injury in the 2-2 draw at Everton, leaving the title favourites looking far less secure at the back – especially with Alisson’s injury worries too.
But there’s no slowing down in what is going to be a busy campaign – with Klopp ensuring his men continue at full pace as they bid for more title glory.
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But after the biggest game of the season so far, you came away thinking that Liverpool are in pole position again and are surely on course to retain their title no matter the huge challenges facing them this time.
They also have a group of players who know how to win, experienced campaigners with Mo Salah and Firmino on target,. Andy Roberston outstanding from left back and also Curtis Jones emerging as such an exciting young talent in midfield.
Tottenham were dangerous on the break, Heung-Min Son hitting them with a sucker punch but ultimately Liverpool deserved their victory even if it was incredibly tight.
It was Liverpool who started well and went ahead after after 26 minutes as Jones drove forward from midfield, Tottenham tried to crowd him out but the ball only fell to Salah on the edge of the box.
Eric Dier and Toby Alderweireld went to close him down, but Salah hit a shot which deflected off the Tottenham defenders, looped up and beat Lloris as the ball nestled into the far corner.
But just when it felt Liverpool might overrun Tottenham, the visitors stole an equaliser out of nowhere.
Giovani Lo Celso broke from deep in Tottenham territory, he then released Son with a precision pass and the South Korea forward raced away, kept his nerve and then slotted the ball down Alisson’s near side and into the net.
It was a brilliant finish. The Liverpool fans made such a huge noise from the Kop, suddenly there was a deathly silence. No-one could quite believe it. The goal survived the tightest of VAR checks for offside but suddenly it was game on.
Bergwijn missed a chance after the restart and went through again, hit the post when he should have scored. Harry Kane missed a glorious chance with a header from a corner.
It was nail biting stuff made even more tense as Liverpool kept pushing. Sadio Mane crashed shot against the bar but it looked as if time had run out.
Then Robertson put over a corner and Firmimo was there to head home and show why Liverpool will still take some stopping again.