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Liverpool 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur: Luis Diaz equaliser sends Reds top

Son Heung-min celebrates
Son Heung-min is the first player to score more than 20 league goals in a season for Spurs without any being penalties since Gareth Bale in 2012-13

Liverpool moved top of the Premier League but dropped two precious points in the title race with Manchester City as they drew against a resilient Tottenham Hotspur side at Anfield.

Son Heung-min swept the counter-attacking visitors in front after 56 minutes following a link-up between Harry Kane and Ryan Sessegnon and with the Liverpool defence disorganised.

Virgil van Dijk and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg had both struck the woodwork in a tight contest before then and it took a heavily deflected shot from Luis Diaz 16 minutes from time to draw Liverpool level and set up a grandstand finish.

Spurs defended with resolution after the equaliser though and were also a threat on the break as they battled to take something from the game to aid their fight for a place in the top four.

The point takes Liverpool top on goal difference but Pep Guardiola’s side can move three points clear with three games remaining if they defeat Newcastle United on Sunday.

Liverpool fall short for once

Luis Diaz
Luis Diaz’s deflected effort pulled Liverpool level in the 74th minute

Liverpool maintained their unbeaten Premier League record – which now stretches to 16 games with 13 wins and three draws – but time will tell how damaging this failure to beat Spurs will be as the title race reaches its climax.

Jurgen Klopp’s team have set magnificently high standards but it was inevitable they could not find a way to win every time and they were up against a side brilliantly organised by manager Antonio Conte.

Liverpool swarmed over Spurs from the start but once the early storm blew over they could not quite find the spark that usually makes them such a formidable force.

Diaz was an outstanding contributor, as he has been since he arrived in January, and deserved his goal even if it was aided by a big deflection off Rodrigo Bentancur.

Liverpool were roared forward by a Kop desperate for another piece of late Anfield drama but too many crosses went astray and too many moves foundered on the rock of the Spurs defence.

Klopp’s side have relentlessly pursued City in the past two months knowing any slip-up would be damaging and after these dropped two points must now hope Guardiola’s side lose rather than merely draw one of their remaining games in order to reel them in.

Spurs show their steel

Conte once again showed his nous as a coach as he organised his players to execute a gameplan that frustrated Liverpool and which almost brought a memorable win.

Spurs had a rough ride early on as Liverpool, lifted by reaching the Champions League final and boosted by a buoyant Anfield, tore into the visitors but once they came through that they showed the qualities they have shown in patches since the Italian’s arrival.

They were fiercely well-disciplined and their ability to rise to the occasion is proved by the fact they have now come through their four league meetings with Liverpool and Manchester City undefeated this season.

Spurs showed two sides to their game as they were outstanding in defence but also carried a serious threat on the break, creating enough chances to perhaps regret not getting three points.

Son’s goal showed exactly what Spurs were all about as Kane controlled the ball brilliantly, passing up the chance to shoot and instead playing in Sessegnon and his cut-back was finished off by the South Korea forward.

In the context of the chase for the top four and a place in the Champions League, Conte will curse how Hojbjerg passed up a golden opportunity in the dying seconds.

Conte must have feared Spurs’ good work may go to waste once Diaz equalised but they held firm and Hojbjerg could have won it for them with a a chance right at the end.

Nevertheless the performance will give them heart going into Thursday’s potentially decisive north London derby at home to Arsenal.

Player of the match

Son Heung-MinSon Heung-Min

Line-ups

Liverpool

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Alisson
  • 66Alexander-Arnold
  • 5Konaté
  • 4van Dijk
  • 26RobertsonSubstituted forTsimikasat 64′minutesBooked at 69mins
  • 14HendersonSubstituted forJotaat 65′minutes
  • 3FabinhoBooked at 80minsSubstituted forKeïtaat 88′minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 6Thiago Alcántara
  • 11Salah
  • 10Mané
  • 23Díaz

Substitutes

  • 7Milner
  • 8Keïta
  • 12Gomez
  • 17Jones
  • 20Jota
  • 21Tsimikas
  • 27Origi
  • 32Matip
  • 62Kelleher

Tottenham

Formation 3-4-3

  • 1Lloris
  • 4Romero
  • 15Dier
  • 33DaviesBooked at 53mins
  • 12Emerson Royal
  • 30Bentancur
  • 5Højbjerg
  • 19R SessegnonBooked at 70minsSubstituted forD Sánchezat 78′minutes
  • 21KulusevskiSubstituted forWinksat 85′minutes
  • 10Kane
  • 7Son Heung-MinSubstituted forBergwijnat 90+1′minutes

Substitutes

  • 6D Sánchez
  • 8Winks
  • 14Rodon
  • 22Gollini
  • 23Bergwijn
  • 27Lucas Moura
  • 42White
  • 44Scarlett
  • 51Craig

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