Liverpool regains top spot after late Alderweireld goal at Anfield

Written By: BBC/Hunja Macharia
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Toby Alderweireld’s late own goal gave Liverpool a priceless victory and put them back on top of the Premier League.

Visitors Tottenham looked on course to earn a point – and even wasted chances to go in front – after Lucas Moura deservedly equalised Roberto Firmino’s first-half header for the home side.

Liverpool were on the brink of losing ground to Manchester City – 2-0 winners at Fulham on Saturday – until the title race took another dramatic twist in the closing moments in front of the Kop.

Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris failed to hold Mohamed Salah’s routine far-post header and the ball ricocheted into the net off Alderweireld.

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It was sheer elation for Liverpool, who are now two points clear of City having played a game more, but misery for Spurs, who are in a real fight for a top-four place and were left to regret Moussa Sissoko’s glaring miss when through on goal minutes earlier.

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Liverpool are simply refusing to be denied in their Premier League title battle with Manchester City – no matter how late they have to leave it to get the three points.

They were fortunate victors here but once again they dug deep, rode their luck, and were the beneficiaries of another dramatic conclusion at Anfield. And not for the first time this season, a visiting goalkeeper was culpable.

Everton’s Jordan Pickford and Crystal Palace’s Julian Speroni have both had nightmare moments in front of the Kop that have resulted in tight home wins; now Lloris can add his name to the list of those who might be privately cursed by Pep Guardiola’s reigning champions.

There was little degree of difficulty about the save the France World Cup winner needed to make from Salah’s header, which was on target but hardly laced with menace, in the final minute of normal time.

He fumbled the routine save and it was the unfortunate Alderweireld who got the final touch. Liverpool had the win, just as it looked as if they would have to settle for a point and hand the title advantage to City.

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And yet credit to Klopp’s side. Just as they did by winning 2-1 with a late penalty at Fulham in their last league game, they refused to lose the belief that they could win. They did so in a game where their opponents were the stronger side for much of the second half.

As Klopp went through his mandatory fist-pumping in front of the home support, you could sense just how significant this late show might prove to be.

Spurs miss killer instinct

Tottenham’s players slumped to the ground in anguish at the final whistle; they clearly felt they had been denied their just reward.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side may actually have been unhappy with a point but suffered for their own flaws in front of goal, especially when Sissoko missed that huge chance with the score level and Spurs on top.

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There was not a shred of conviction as he bore down on Liverpool keeper Alisson. Instead there was almost a desperation to get rid of the ball to the adjacent Son Heung-min, but the responsibility was his and he choked by hoisting a hopeless finish well over the top.

Dele Alli was then inches off target and as long as this potent Liverpool side were in contention there was always the threat of that last-ditch hammer blow.

Spurs, after a tame first half, were outstanding in the second, but they are now without a Premier League win since 10 February and are embroiled in the fight for a top four place – with a Champions League quarter-final against Manchester City to come.

There is so much quality in this side but they wasted a huge chance here and ended up with an unwanted statistic to their name; it is the first time they have lost four consecutive Premier League away matches since a sequence under Harry Redknapp between December 2008 and January 2009.

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