Liverpool 1-1 Tottenham: Luis Diaz equaliser takes Reds top but title hopes suffer major setback with draw

Liverpool came from behind to move top of the table with a 1-1 draw against Tottenham at Anfield but this was still a setback for their Premier League title hopes.

Heung-Min Son’s goal early in the second half had threatened to bring a first Premier League home defeat of the season for Jurgen Klopp’s side, before Luis Diaz levelled things up late on. But two points dropped puts Manchester City in charge in the title race.

The defending champions can move three points clear with three games to play with a win over Newcastle on Sunday. And though Liverpool will be disappointed with that outcome, Spurs worked hard to earn the point that takes them within one of fourth-placed Arsenal.

Player ratings

Liverpool: Alisson (6), Alexander-Arnold (6), Konate (6), Van Dijk (6), Robertson (6), Fabinho (6), Henderson (7), Thiago (6), Salah (5), Mane (6), Diaz (8).

Subs Tsimikas (6), Jota (6), Keita (n/a).

Tottenham Lloris (6), Royal (7), Romero (8), Dier (7), Davies (8), Sessegnon (7), Hojbjerg (6), Bentancur (6), Kulusevski (7), Kane (7), Son (7).

Subs: Sanchez (6), Winks (n/a), Bergwijn (n/a).

Man of the match: Cristian Romero.

The pattern was set from the start, Liverpool dominating possession and Spurs threatening on the counter-attack. Mohamed Salah, on his 250th appearance for the club, had a shot deflected wide, while Harry Kane had an attempt blocked by Jordan Henderson.

Liverpool’s best chances of the first half came from the head of Virgil van Dijk – both from left-wing corners. He missed the target with the first when left free before striking the crossbar with a more difficult chance towards the end of the opening 45 minutes.

Pressure appeared to be building when the impressive Diaz played a smart one-two and forced Hugo Lloris into a save but Spurs went up the other end and promptly struck the foot of Alisson’s right post through Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s drilled shot from distance.

Team news

Jurgen Klopp made two changes to the Liverpool team that beat Villarreal in midweek with Jordan Henderson and Luis Diaz coming in for Naby Keita and Diogo Jota.

Tottenham boss Antonio Conte made just one change to the team that beat Leicester last time out, an expected one as Dejan Kulusevski replaced Lucas Moura on the wing.

Klopp’s side had gone in goalless in their previous two games at Anfield and with Conte’s plan working there was no onus on the away side to change the approach – this would surely require patience and ingenuity, perhaps even the will of the home crowd.

But Spurs had other ideas. Harry Kane found space for the first time in the match, fed Ryan Sessegnon on the flank and the young wing-back kept a cool head to find Son unmarked in the middle of the penalty box to slide beyond Alisson and silence most of Anfield.

Klopp turned to his bench, bringing on Diogo Jota for Henderson, but with Tottenham defending so deep it was awkward for Liverpool to find any openings. When Salah thought he had, his fierce shot was heroically blocked by Ben Davies.

When the 73rd minute equaliser did come, it was via a deflection. Unfortunate for Rodrigo Bentancur and Spurs but no more than Diaz deserved for being the most enterprising player on the pitch for much of the game. It restored belief that the game could still be won.

But Spurs held firm, their fans chanting Conte’s name throughout, and Cristian Romero up to anything that Liverpool threw at him, with the Kop begging for the ball to hit the net again. It did not. And their hopes of that historic Quadruple may have all but gone.

Klopp’s verdict: The boys are disappointed

On the game…

“It was always clear, Tottenham would show like they show, with individual quality and a game plan, it was clear it would be incredibly difficult.

“It doesn’t get easier when you concede a goal. But I was really happy with a lot of things I saw in the game.

“We said at half-time we could have shown more initiative. I thought we did that in the second half and then we conceded a goal.

“Anything can happen after that. Nothing happened. The stadium was there, the boys kept calm, increasing the pressure without opening up too much. We scored a goal.

“We could have won, but we could have lost as well, with their insane counter-attack.”

On the title race…

“It is an important point because it is one point more than before the game. That is how it is. But we all know the situation. We are now top of the table.

“If you ask me, my favourite situation would be if it stays like this, on the same points total because City and us lose the rest of the games in the Premier League. That would be great. But we all know this is not going to happen.

“The boys are more disappointed than I am. That might be because of my age and because I have seen pretty much everything in my life. But we will go again.”

Conte’s verdict: The draw is fair

On the game…

“It is not easy to play in this moment against an amazing team, especially at Anfield with lots of noise. It is not simple.

“For sure, to have a good result was positive. On the other hand, I think maybe we have to be a bit disappointed. I have seen, in the eyes of my players, disappointment because we had the chance to win the game.

“But I repeat, a good performance. I asked my players to be good defensively and I don’t think we conceded any chances. We conceded a goal to a deflection.

“With the ball, I asked my players to show courage, because Liverpool press you in a good way. If you can play through that you can find space and have chances to score.

“But I think the draw is fair.”

On top-four race…

“There are three games to go for us, four games for Arsenal. Not easy for us, not easy for Arsenal. In November, not many people could believe Tottenham could fight to the end for the Champions League.

“On Thursday, we have an important game, a London derby against our rival, our rival in this race. I want to get the points because it is important to have hope of the Champions League.”

What’s next for Liverpool & Spurs?

Tuesday 10th May 7:30pm

Kick off 8:00pm

Liverpool’s push for the Premier League title continues at Aston Villa on Tuesday night, live on Sky Sports, as they are reunited with former captain Steven Gerrard; kick-off at 8pm. There is little rest time for Jurgen Klopp’s quadruple-chasers before Saturday’s FA Cup final against Chelsea at Wembley; kick-off at 4:45pm.

Thursday 12th May 7:00pm

Kick off 7:45pm

Spurs are also in action in midweek as they face a monumental north London derby fixture, welcoming rivals Arsenal to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Thursday night, live on Sky Sports, with Champions League qualification on the line; kick-off at 7.45pm.

Liverpool’s fixture schedule

May 10 – Aston Villa (a) Premier League, live on Sky Sports

May 14 – Chelsea (Wembley) FA Cup final

May 17 – Southampton (a) Premier League, live on Sky Sports

May 22 – Wolves (h) Premier League

May 28 – Real Madrid (n) Champions League final

Spurs’ fixture schedule

May 12 – Arsenal (h), live on Sky Sports

May 15 – Burnley (h)

May 22 – Norwich (a)

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