Liverpool 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur
Liverpool are back on top of the Premier League tonight after a dramatic late winner courtesy of Spurs defender Toby Alderweireld.
With six games to go the Reds have nudged ahead of Manchester City who have a game in hand, against Cardiff City on Wednesday. City is still a firm favourite with the latest Premier League 2019 betting odds pointing to the trophy returning to the Etihad. But for now Jurgen Klopp’s side can relax after Spurs gave them a huge test.
When the earlier Premier League 2019 updates came through with the news Chelsea had grabbed a late win over Cardiff put more pressure on Mauricio Pochettino’s team, as four teams are now separated by a single point in the hunt for two Champions League places. They responded well but lady luck just wasn’t on Spurs’ side.
Highlights of the game
The Reds were almost gifted an early goal when Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris made a shocking clearance, straight to the feet of James Milner who passed to Mo Salah on the edge of the box. The Egyptian has been on a dry run of late and he fired way over.
There was a nervy atmosphere inside Anfield as Spurs began to play the ball around neatly and started to look the better side, but the roof came off the stadium when Roberto Firmino scored the opener, against the run of play, to lift the tension. Andy Robertson collected a pass on the left side and swung a tempting ball into the box, between two Spurs defenders and onto the head of Firmino who made no mistake, heading down and into the net.
Liverpool quickly got into their stride, knowing that a one goal lead is rarely enough against Spurs and were pushing on for a second, but their keeper almost dropped a clanger to give the visitors an equaliser. As they threw a ball over the top Alisson called for it, but then looked to back out before finally getting his head to clear as Dele Alli prepared to pounce.
And Alli came so close, just after the half hour, with a dipping volley from distance which flew just over the bar.
Sadio Mane has been in scintillating form for the Reds, scoring 11 of Liverpool’s last 20 goals in all competitions. And he thought he’d bagged another, on 38 minutes, picking the ball up on the edge of the box and firing one towards the far corner but as he expected the net to bulge it curled an inch wide.
Spurs ran out for the second half in attacking mood and came very close again. Harry Kane stung Alisson’s palms with a cross shot and the ball fell to Christian Eriksen who looked certain to score but Roberson put in a superb block.
As the game swung from end to end Mo Salah charged into the Spurs area after a fast break but his shot was blocked when maybe he should have passed.
Spurs were right back in the game and Liverpool’s defence had to stand firm as crosses flew into the danger area. And the pressure paid off with 20 minutes to go, when Kane swung a free-kick over to Kieran Trippier on the right flank, and his cross was helped on the way by Eriksen to Lucas Moura who slammed the ball home.
Suddenly the tension was a fever pitch again and Liverpool threw men forward in a desperate hunt for a winner. But they were almost hit on the counter attack as Spurs broke brilliantly but Moussa Sissoko blasted over.
And then, as so often happens at Anfield, the late dramatic goal came. As the ball swung over Salah headed towards goal and Lloris could only palm it out giving Toby Alderweireld no time to react as the ball bounced off him and crept over the line.
Liverpool was at odds of 1.59 to win this game with us but it was never that comfortable.
But the Reds are unbeaten in 50 games when they have gone ahead and have now scored their 400th goal under Klopp.
They have also reached 79 points, matching the tally they reached when they last won the league back in 1990.
Spurs’ difficult run continues and they have now lost four away games on the run while picking up just one point from the last 15.
Spurs has another tough game next week, a London derby against Crystal Palace. Roy Hodgson’s Eagles are climbing away from the relegation zone. And then it’s Manchester City in the Champions League. That’s not one to miss!
The Sky Blues went back to the top of the Premier League with a win over Fulham on Saturday and are still on for an historic quadruple.
Liverpool is away to Southampton next, another team in good form in the lower reaches of the table, before continuing their Champions League campaign against FC Porto.
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