By Matt Ramirez – @Matt_J_Ramirez
A last-gasp own-goal from the visitors saw Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool side regain top spot in the Premier League in a nervy 2-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield.
After scoring whilst on international duty, Roberto Firmino continued his good form by netting the opener for the Reds. Lucas Moura equalised for Tottenham, before Toby Alderweireld scored past his own goalkeeper, allowing Liverpool to escape with all three points.
Klopp made two changes from the side that beat Fulham two weeks ago. Adam Lallana and Fabinho both made way in midfield for the reliable duo of James Milner and Jordan Henderson.
The opening ten minutes of the game saw neither side dominate the ball, with both teams sharing possession in the middle of the pitch and failing to test either goalkeeper. With this being said, it didn’t take Liverpool too long to get into their rhythm which saw them take the lead in the 16th minute.
Henderson sprayed the ball wide down the left flank to the flying full back Andrew Robertson. The Scotsman proceeded to do what he does best, picking out an inch perfect cross into the opposing penalty area for an on-rushing Firmino. The Brazilian number nine leaped highest and nodded the ball past a helpless Hugo Lloris from point blank range. 1-0 Liverpool.
The goal seemed to help Liverpool’s confidence, lifting an air of pressure around Anfield – with the stadium quickly springing to life along with its players.
Despite having the upper hand immediately following the goal, Liverpool were unable to capitalise and double their lead which in turn saw the visitors’ confidence rise.
Although capable of playing an intricate and attractive brand of football, Tottenham’s game-plan became quite apparent early on with the London-based side looking to utilise the long ball over the top.
This tactic, at the very least, seemed to be causing the hosts some relative concern, with Alisson in particular looking less than confident on more than one occasion during the half.
Fortunately for the Reds, despite having the lion share of possession, Tottenham were unable to breach their rear-guard thus allowing them to go into the break still 1-0 up.
Immediately following the break, the visitors started the stronger of both sides, keeping possession and penning Liverpool back into their penalty area for a prolonged spell of pressure.
Not for the first time this season, Reds fans had Robertson to thank for saving them in a game. Renowned for his attacking ability, the Scottish captain did the business down the other end to ensure Christian Eriksen didn’t tap the ball in following an Alisson save from Harry Kane.
Liverpool seemed to be dealing with Tottenham’s advances well, but it proved too much to handle in the 69th minute when Lucas equalised.
Quick thinking by Kane saw the England skipper drill the ball wide towards Kieran Trippier who was in acres of space down the right. The full back found an arriving Eriksen who seemed to scuff a shot which landed at the feet of Lucas.
The Brazilian, who managed to wriggle free of Joel Matip, found himself alone in front of Alisson before proceeding to silence Anfield by blasting it into the back of the net and levelling the score.
The goal seemed to shake Liverpool awake as the Reds quickly sprung back into attacking action. Klopp brought on reinforcements, calling upon Fabinho and Divock Origi to try and swing the game back in his favour.
With the addition of Fabinho and Origi, Liverpool found themselves gain some more control in the midfield and some attacking power which proved crucial as they looked for the winner.
Entering the final few minutes Origi escaped down the wing and won a corner for the Reds which ultimately secured their win.
Like so many times before, the initial cross into the box was dealt with, however, a second ball in by Trent Alexander-Arnold found an unmarked Salah in the Spurs box. The Egyptian headed the ball towards Lloris who spilled it against his own centre back.
The Kop roared in relief as the ball seemed to slowly bundle its way into the back of the net with both Lloris and Alderweireld sprawling helplessly.
The goal marked the 400th for Liverpool under Klopp and was enough to see them regain the top spot in the Premier League. Liverpool’s next game sees them travel down to the South Coast when they take on Southampton on Friday.