Liverpool FC 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur


While the hosts may have closed the first half in ascendancy, Spurs were quicker off the blocks after the restart. The reinvented Dejan Lovren had largely held Kane in check over the first 45 minutes, but Kane’s supporting cast, in the form of Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen, were now probing Liverpool’s defence with new menace and intent. Following a desperate series of rearguard pinging and ponging from Liverpool, Sturridge and Coutinho combined brilliantly to slice open the opposition, with Lallana contributing by cleverly drawing his defender. Coutinho made no mistake with his shot, and both Anfield and Leicester City erupted in celebration.

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This was not a match for the faint of heart, however, and Spurs came back with a vengeance. A good move from the visitors found Son receiving the ball over the top, with space to unleash a shot from a good position, but the final effort eluded both goalkeeper and the goal. The reprieve was short-lived. A long ball found the increasingly influential Eriksen, who in turn found Kane. The England striker did very well to turn in close quarters and finish past Mignolet.

In keeping with the spirit of this contest, Liverpool were undeterred and pushed on, with Coutinho always at the heart of almost every good from the hosts. Drifting in from the left, the Brazilian tantalizingly lashed the ball mere inches across the face of the Spurs goal, but like a Phillips screwdriver against a slotted screw, it just wouldn’t go in (perhaps it was a Philippe screwdriver?).

With less than twenty minutes to go in the match, Sturridge was summoned off the pitch and Divock Origi was sent in the opposite direction. Eriksen and Alli continued to show guile and enterprise against a perceptibly stretched Liverpool back four, leading to more half-comical, half-catastrophic clearances, but to their credit, the hosts held firm. Nacer Chadli, Ryan Mason, Joe Allen and Jordon Ibe turned out to be the final rolls of the dice from the two managers, but none of those substitutions were ultimately decisive. Spurs had a chance in the dying minutes to steal the points from an almost perfectly central direct free kick outside the Liverpool box, but Eriksen could not conjure up more magic.

It was a furious battle, but in the end both sides shared the points. For Spurs, the stalemate would perhaps represent the title dream slipping out of their grasp, while Liverpool could say the same for their faint hopes of a top-four finish. Pending the results of their match against Southampton, the true winners here might be Leicester City. It would be ungenerous for Liverpool supporters to begrudge their opposition a share of the spoils, but given how evenly matched the teams were in their head-to-head contests this season, and bearing in mind the relative disparity in league position, a better question for the Anfield faithful to ask might be: why can’t that be us?

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