A thrilling last ten minutes at Anfield saw a share of the spoils in this clash between two teams gunning for a top-four spot in the Premier League. Here are five things we learned:
Salah has been an incredible signing
Mohamed Salah has shown signs of this all season, but he really showed his brilliance with his second goal in injury time in this game.
His initial cross was blocked, but he reacted faster than any of the Spurs defenders, picked up the loose ball, took it past three outstretched Tottenham players’ legs and lifted the ball over Hugo Lloris. It was a goal that had him dubbed ‘Lionel Salah’ on social media after the game.
Having scored two in this game with just the one for Harry Kane, Salah has shown he is definitely not to be ruled out of contention for the Golden Boot just yet.
The race for top 4 is still wide open
After this result, the top of the table is as follows: Manchester United on 56 points, Liverpool on 51 points, Chelsea on 50 points and Tottenham on 49 points. Manchester City are above the pack on 69, and Arsenal definitely not out of the running on 45 (a win in the North London derby will put them one point behind Spurs).
Two points currently separate 3rd from 5th, which means none of Liverpool, Chelsea and Spurs can afford to slip up over the next couple of months if they want to earn the right to play in the Champions League next season. One win or loss could be the difference between Europe’s elite and the Europa League.
Mistakes prove to be costly
Mistakes from both sides lead to avoidable goals being conceded.
For Salah’s first, Eric Dier lazily passed the ball back, just for it to be pounced on by the Egyptian which he then scored with ease.
Victor Wanyama’s screamer could’ve been avoided if Liverpool’s defenders had been stronger in clearing the ball after Loris Karius had punched Christian Eriksen’s cross away.
Both of the penalty decisions, although contentious from an officiating perspective, were the fault of Liverpool defenders, being sloppy and allowing doubt to enter the officials’ minds. Lovren scuffed a clearance to play Kane onside, and Virgil Van Dijk had no need to make any kind of challenge on Erik Lamela to even give the impression that he had committed a foul.
Mistakes like these need to be cut out for both these teams to achieve their ambitions this season.
Officiating is not an easy job
Jon Moss had his work cut out for him with the crazy last ten minutes of the game. He had earlier booked Dele Alli for simulation, rightly, and later gave two penalties to Tottenham, both of which could be seen to not be fouls.
The linesman was key in both of Moss’ penalty-giving decisions, discussing the first one with him and awarding the second one himself after Moss had waved away protests.
Although there was a lot of doubt around both decisions, officiating is extremely difficult and you can never please everyone, all the time.
Don’t overcelebrate too early
Jurgen Klopp was left red-faced when he went racing down the touchline after Salah put away his second, going crazy in his celebrations.
Just a couple of minutes later, Kane dispatched his second penalty and it was Mauricio Pochettino’s turn to celebrate.
The moral of the story? Don’t get carried away until the 90 minutes are up, you never know what could happen.