Liverpool needed lady luck on their side to overcome Tottenham at Anfield on Sunday. Just as the game looked beyond the Reds, a 90th-minute winner came courtesy of an own goal.
After an international break, the task for Liverpool was simple – beat Tottenham and return to the summit of the Premier League. Easier said than done? On this occasion, yes.
The game started well for Jurgen Klopp‘s men, attacking from the very first minute the Reds powered past their visitors, who looked shaky after not registering a win in their last four Premier League games.
Liverpool could smell the danger emanating from their guests – both Andrew Robertson and the returning Trent Alexander-Arnold were creating havoc down the wings.
Spurs were unable to deal with the speed offered by the marauding wingbacks, doubly pleasing was the end product provided by both.
It was this end product that led to Liverpool’s opener. Robertson ripped down the left, glancing up he saw Roberto Firmino point to exactly where he wanted the cross.
The Scot duly obliged and the Brazilian forward nodded Liverpool into the lead after 16 minutes. Anfield erupted, it was the early goal the Reds needed.
What followed should have seen Liverpool increase their margin – but as previously for the Reds, chances didn’t equal goals.
As the first half ended it was Tottenham who began to show signs of a fightback, not the scenario wanted by the watching thousands inside Anfield.
The second half started slowly for Liverpool and the tempo never really increased. The midfield trio of Jordan Henderson, Gini Wijnaldum and James Milner looked laboured. Spurs began to roam through at ease, and on their terms.
Unsurprisingly the visitors soon equalised. Lucas Moura burst the Anfield Road end net after a wonderful move that exposed Liverpool’s mid third weaknesses.
Klopp went all out. On came Fabinho and Divock Origi, off went Milner and Henderson. It fired Liverpool into life but the end quality was still missing.
With the score at 1-1, Spurs broke two-vs-one; but that one for Liverpool was Van Dijk and the defender provided a masterclass on how to defend such situations, with Sissoko ultimately firing over.
Mohamed Salah had failed to score in his last seven appearances, finding the net just once in the last 10 games the Liverpool forward looked troubled – but he was to have a telling final say in the fixture.
As the Kop end scoreboard hit 90 minutes Liverpool looked destined to drop their 13th point in 12 games, but luck suddenly shot them back to the top of the table.
Salah pulled wide right and found himself in acres of space, Alexander-Arnold chipped the ball back into the danger area from a cleared corner.
Liverpool’s Egyptian forward opted to head across Hugo Lloris, somehow the Tottenham goalkeeper failed to keep hold of the ball.
The Frenchman’s fumble cannoned into Toby Alderweireld and rolled into the net – in what felt like slow motion.
The roof came off the old stadium, somehow Liverpool had captured all three points to climb back to the top of the Premier League.
After the final whistle, Salah spoke with Sky Sports on how he judged his contribution:
“The important thing was to get three points. I haven’t scored for a couple of games but there are some players who have the same number of goals as me but are having the season of their lives. I’m supposed to be having a bad season!!”
Liverpool must now wait to see how second-placed Manchester City fare midweek before they look to do it all again against Southampton on Friday night.