Late drama as Liverpool, Spurs draw 2-2
Mohamed Salah scores superb goal in 91st minute, but Spurs level through controversial Kane penalty
Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp was fuming at the decision to award Tottenham Hotspur a last-gasp penalty in the 2-2 Premier League draw at Anfield on Monday morning (Feb 5, Singapore time) and the linesman bore the brunt of his ire.
The hosts looked on course to go five points clear of fifth-placed Tottenham after Mohamed Salah had put them 2-1 ahead in stoppage time before Spurs were awarded a spot-kick.
Referee Jon Moss pointed to the spot after consulting his linesman, who had seen a foul by Virgil van Dijk on Erik Lamela, and Harry Kane converted to score his 100th Premier League goal and snatch a point for his side.
The penalty was Tottenham’s second of the match after Kane was adjudged to have been fouled in the 83rd minute. Replays showed the striker to be in an offside position when he received the ball, but the linesman’s flag stayed down, ruling that the pass into Kane had come off Dejan Lovren.
“The softest touch in the whole game decides the game,” Klopp said of the second penalty. “It is not a penalty.
“Lamela ran into van Dijk, he sees him at the last moment, Lamela is already on the way down. Referee says keep on going, the linesman makes a decision, that’s how it is.
“It was obviously not his (the linesman’s) day. The first penalty was one of the clearest offside decisions I saw. I don’t know if there is a new rule. When the ball left the foot of the Tottenham player, Harry Kane is offside. It is good defending to play him offside."
Klopp said Lovren had not played a pass but merely touched the ball.
“If I would say what I think, I would pay the biggest fine in world football. I have no problem with making mistakes, but it is offside,” the German added.
Mohamed Salah had capitalised on a mistake from Eric Dier to put Liverpool in front in the third minute, taking his tally to 20 league goals for the season.
Substitute Victor Wanyama thundered home an equaliser 10 minutes from time before Kane missed from the penalty spot in the 87th minute.
In the most dramatic of finales, Salah thought he had won it in the 91st minute, only for Spurs to win another penalty which Kane converted to leave his team fifth in the table, two points behind third-placed Liverpool.
“It is difficult to get every decision right,” Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino said. “When they are right and show character I needed to congratulate them.”
Defender van Dijk, returning to the Liverpool starting line-up, did a fine job of keeping an unchanged Spurs quiet for the majority of the first half.
Liverpool’s task was made easier by their early opener. Dier, in attempting to make an interception, diverted the ball into the path of Salah, putting the Egypt international clean through to break the deadlock.
Tottenham’s only shot on target in the first 45 minutes came via the boot of Mousa Dembele, but his half-volley was easily saved by Loris Karius.
Spurs improved after the break and almost equalised through Son Heung Min in the 58th minute, but Karius stood tall to make the block.
The visitors equalised out of the blue when Wanyama thundered the ball into the net from distance before the drama unfolded.
Kane’s tame penalty was easily saved by Karius after the England striker had been felled in the box before Salah danced his way past two Spurs defenders and fired into the net to score what looked likely to be the winner.
However, the linesman spotted a foul by van Dijk on substitute Erik Lamela in the box, giving Kane the chance to make amends. – REUTERS