It was a game of two halves when Liverpool hosted Tottenham at Anfield a few hours earlier. The Reds were looking to extend their two-point lead over Spurs who are their closest competitor for a top-four finish and started the game really well with their pressing.
Liverpool forced Spurs into making a mistake as Eric Dier’s bad touch resulted in the ball falling kindly for Mohamed Salah who neatly finished to give the hosts the lead inside the opening three minutes. Jürgen Klopp’s side kept the pressure but couldn’t double their lead as Spurs held on in the first half.
The second half saw Pochettino making a tactical change that saw the away side domination possession and testing the Liverpool backline. A long-range Victor Wanyama stunner got the equalising goal but Liverpool retook the lead in injury time via Salah again.
Just when it seemed Liverpool had snatched it, Spurs were given a penalty, the second of the night, which Harry Kane converted to make it 2-2.
Here are the main talking points from the game…
Another imperious second-half display from Spurs
Credit where it’s due. While the match reports will be overshadowed by the refereeing decisions, about the penalties, Spurs and Pochettino should be credited for turning it around in the second half.
The North Londoners changed their setup to a diamond which saw them overload the midfield and counter Liverpool’s press – no mean feat.
With quality players like Eriksen and Dembele at the heart of everything, it was only a matter of time before they scored their equalising goal. Though it was a touch lucky with Karius’ weak clearance having a say, Victor Wanyama’s finishing was something and deserved not to end up on the losing side.
Liverpool’s inability to keep the ball
There was an edginess around Anfield as Liverpool were outplayed in the second half. It’s not as if they were overly jaded or anything, their opposition just raised their game, something not many teams have managed to do at Anfield.
The second half saw too many turnovers as Liverpool gave the ball away way too cheaply in attempting to score a second on the break. Perhaps they needed someone like Coutinho to bring a bit of composure with his ability in the attacking third.
The refereeing decisions…
While most of the calls were more or less okay, the ones that led to the penalties were a bit iffy. The first penalty was pretty soft as Harry Kane went down with almost a feather touch off Karius, but the play before that was what got on the fans’ nerves.
Though Kane was offside when Eriksen made the pass, Lovren was also involved in the play and missed his clearance. However, the Croatian’s involvement made Kane passive, which according to the FA rules, doesn’t hold good for being adjudged offside. So the penalty stood. Karius, though, stood firm and saved the first one.
The second was more of a clear-cut penalty as Virgil van Dijk took a tired swipe at Eric Lamela who went down in the penalty spot.
Harry Kane and Mo Salah’s records…
The two top scorers in the league once again found the back of the net. While Salah had a better game, Kane showed his desire and dispatched the second penalty to join the 100 Premier League goals club, an incredible feat considering he’s still only 24.
Mo Salah, on the other hand, did his best impression of Lionel Messi when he squeezed past Jan Vertonghen and Hugo Lloris to score Liverpool’s second. His first goal came from a Tottenham mistake but it was his 20th Premier League goal for Liverpool.
Salah managed it in just 25 league games, the fastest to do so in a Liverpool shirt, ahead of Fernando Torres and Daniel Sturridge.