Liverpool X - Y Tottenham
Liverpool: Jones 3’, Díaz 5, Salah 15’, Jota 94’
Tottenham: Kane 39’, Son 77’, Richarlison 93’
The Reds start with a familiar lineup, though there are a couple of changes from what we’ve seen over the last few matches. Harvey Elliott will get the start over Jordan Henderson, and despite Diogo Jota’s goalscoring form picking up of late, he’ll start on the bench in favor of Luis Díaz.
The lineup and Liverpool’s home form bode well for their chances to extend the winning streak to four. Of course, the wild card that is referee Paul Tierney, who is both very bad at his job and very bald, is cause for some slight concern ahead of kickoff.
Liverpool lead early! Trent Alexander-Arnold swings a cross in to an unmarked Curtis Jones on the backpost who coolly slots it home . 1-0 after just 3 minutes.
And before I can even finish summarizing the first goal Díaz makes it two! Gakpo manages to get his foot around the ball on the endline to hit it towards the Colombian, and he makes a tough finish look simple as he one touches it over Fraser Forster's shoulder. Two-nil to the Reds inside the first five minutes! Spurs fans are already singing about wanting their money back again.
It's a penalty for Liverpool! Cristian Romero slides in and brings down Gakpo just as he receives a pass at the top of the box. It was so clear even Tierney couldn't wave it off.
Salah steps up having missed his last two spot kicks, but he makes no mistake on this one as he goes up the middle and tucks it under the bar! Liverpool lead 3-0 in the first quarter of an hour and the cameras cut to a few away fans already making their way towards the exits.
Tierney fails to call a foul on a pretty ugly challenge from Oliver Skipp on Díaz. He lunged in and caught the forward straight on with his studs to the ankle, but Tierney misses it and VAR declines to give it a look despite probably being red card worthy. Pathetic but not surprising from Tierney.
Getting away with that challenge and the delay in play as Díaz got treatment seems to have woken Spurs up after they looked lost for the first half hour.
They get a chance soon after play resumes but van Dijk stops a sure goal from Son. Unfortunately, the visitors come back almost immediately and make it look way too easy as Perisic crosses into two unmarked attackers. Kane scores and it's 3-1.
Minutes later they nearly cut the lead to one as Kulusevski bears down on goal after a bad giveaway in midfield. Fortunately, Alisson is able to stick a leg out and make the save.
Now Son gets a chance just before halftime. He curls one in from the right side and bangs it off the post, but he's offside anyway. Still, the Reds are playing with fire here on the verge of halftime.
Van Dijk screams for a penalty after believing Spurs handled in the box on a corner kick just before the halftime whistle, but Tierney isn't interested and we go to the half 3-1.
After 30 minutes of dominance, the Reds really let Spurs back into the game. It was fortunate they were able to limit the damage to a single goal.
While there's plenty of deserved criticism for the lapses, its hard to forget the turnaround came immediately after a poor excuse for a referee declined to even consider punishing Skipp for a tackle that could very easily have earned him a sending-off from a ref that isn't a complete coward.
Tierney earns himself a sarcastic cheer from the home fans early in the half for actually displaying some level of competence. Son clearly pulled Gakpo back to slow an attack in midfield and he actually went back and carded the South Korean after letting the Reds play on with advantage.
Spurs get the best chance of the opening minutes when Son hits the post again. The Reds luck out as that one was definitely onside.
Then Romero hits the post with an acrobatic shot moments later. He looked offside, but they play on anyway. Spurs are attacking in waves now and Klopp's side really need to settle down and shore things up at the back.
Liverpool seem to have settled back in at the hour mark as they make a few promising forays into the attacking third. Tierney waves off an obvious yellow as Højbjerg catches Elliott with his studs on the follow-through of a sliding tackle on the sideline.
With 27 minutes left, Klopp makes a pair of changes and goes back to the lineup that's worked so well recently. Henderson and Jota are on for Elliott and Díaz.
The sides seem to have settled into a weird status quo as we approach the final 15. There's some sloppiness from both teams and Liverpool are seeing more of the ball, but no one is really creating much of note. So, Klopp pulls Gakpo off for Núñez to try and create a little chaos.
Well, it's going to a be nervy finish. Son finally gets his goal as he just stays onside. The lead is cut to 3-2 with 13 minutes to go. Spurs then come right back down and Højbjerg gets a header that goes well wide. He screams for a PK after throwing himself to the ground upon feeling Alexander-Arnold's hands on his back, but VAR says no penalty.
Oh, yikes. Jota is probably lucky to still be on the pitch after catching Skipp (who, in fairness, should have been sent off in the first half) with a high boot to the forehead. VAR reviews it but elects to not recommend Tierney change the yellow card to red.
Play resumes after a lengthy delay for Skipp to receive treatment, and Spurs get a penalty shout almost immediately. Konaté was draped over Richarlison's back and the Brazilian went down, but Tierney and the VAR judge he went over a little too easily when it was clear he wouldn't get on the end of a cross from the right wing.
Just 6 minutes of stoppage time left and Tottenham are throwing everything at the Reds. Milner gets a yellow for an unnecessary challenge on Kane and Richarlison scores the equalizer on the ensuing free kick in the 93rd minute. LFC appears to have given this one away.
OH MY WORD! Jota rescues the victory in the 94th!!! It felt like the match was finished after conceding such a deflating equalizer, but Jota flew in down the left wing and slotted a beauty low to the far post. 4-3 Liverpool!
Tottenham coming back to equalize in stoppage time after the game looked over at 3-nil in the first 15 minutes was a gut punch, but Jota saved the day. It was nowhere close to perfect, but all that matters is the three points. Top four is still a (slim) possibility, and Spurs was a team Liverpool needed to leapfrog to keep that dream alive.