Liverpool 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur: Premier League – as it happened

Simon Burnton on 4 February 2018

Time for me to hang up my keyboard for the evening. It’s been a blast. Here’s a kind-of micro match report, with a fuller version to come any minute now. Bye!


I am not alone.

Harry Kane has a quick chat:

It’s crazy. 1-0 down, back into the game with a wonderstrike. We get the penalty, the keeper’s saved it, obviously I’m gutted which makes it even worse. You don’t expect another chance, especially deep into stoppage time.

Describing the second penalty, he says of Van Dijk: “He’s just wiped him out.” Penalty or no penalty, that’s just laughable.

“I’m with you Simon, neither of those looked like penalties to me,” writes Richard South. “Offside and dive for the first, dive for the second. Of course, the first on can’t be a dive because Kane’s English, so, yeah, penalty.”

The second penalty was awarded when Van Dijk tried to kick the ball, then realised he wouldn’t reach it and withdrew his leg. His raised knee brushed the back of Lamela, who went down as if someone had punctured his lumbar. I’ve seen several replays, and none of them convinces me it was a penalty. The referee made the same call, but his assistant saw things differently and was really very convinced about it.

Just a remarkable match. You couldn’t suggest that either side controlled the first half, so manic was it, but Liverpool had the better of it and by a distance. Which makes the manner of Spurs’s domination after the break all the more astonishing, and impressive. It ends with all fans in full voice and both sides annoyed they didn’t win, which is a sure sign of a really fun game.

There can be no doubt that Spurs deserved at least a point from that. And I must also acknowledge that I seem to be the only person in the entire world – or at least, on my Twitter feed – who didn’t think that second penalty was a penalty. However, I’m right and everyone else is wrong.

Final score: Liverpool 2-2 Tottenham

90+6 mins: Boos ring out as the final whistle blows, and Liverpool’s players head to the referee. They can’t reach him, though, because Pochettino got their first to give him a cheerful hug.

Klopp congratulates Kane at the final whistle.
Klopp congratulates Kane at the final whistle. Photograph: Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images


90+6 mins: Gary Neville on Sky is certain that was a penalty. It looked very, very soft to me.

GOAL! Liverpool 2-2 Tottenham (Kane, 90+5 mins)

This time Kane puts it low to his right, and the keeper goes the wrong way!

Kane strikes the penalty, this time he scores.
Kane strikes the penalty, this time he scores. Photograph: Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images
Kane celebrates.
Kane celebrates. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images


Spurs have another penalty!

90+4 mins: Lamela goes down. The referee waves play on, but the linesman keeps flagging!

Lamela goes down under pressure from Van Dijk.
Lamela goes down under pressure from Van Dijk. Photograph: Kieran McManus/BPI/REX/Shutterstock


90+3 mins: Spurs have brought Llorente on, replacing Son, for their late assault on goal.

90+3 mins: The penalty award, and miss, has absolutely changed the course of this match.

90+2 mins: Salah – possibly also offside – picks up the ball on the far right of the penalty area. He cuts inside Davies, he squares up Vertonghen, he ducks back towards goal, and he lifts the ball over Lloris!

GOAL! Liverpool 2-1 Tottenham (Salah, 90+1 mins)

What a goal! What a goal!

Salah scores his second to put Liverpool back in front.
Salah scores his second to put Liverpool back in front. Photograph: Jon Super/SilverHub/REX/Shutterstock


90+1 mins: Into stoppage time, of which there will be four minutes.

88 mins: The ball had gone through to Kane, who with Karius sliding out touched the ball to the side of the goalkeeper and went down. By this point Karius was in his way, so I suppose most observers would conclude that Kane didn’t exactly dive, even if there wasn’t any contact before he went over.

Karius saves the penalty!

87 mins: Kane hits it hard, down the middle of goal, and Karius stands tall and palms it away!

Karius saves the penalty.
Karius saves the penalty. Photograph: Jon Super/SilverHub/REX/Shutterstock


86 mins: It is a penalty!

86 mins: The referee is consulting his assistant. Kane was offside, says the assistant, unless Lovren touched the ball. He’s got no idea if Lovren touched the ball.

Tottenham have a penalty!

Harry Kane is a) offside; and b) dived. Other than that, good decision.

Kane goes over.
Kane goes over. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images


84 mins: On Sky they are debating whether Karius should have caught the cross, rather than punch it. He certainly shouldn’t have punched it low, and straight in front of goal.

81 mins: Karius dives forward to punch out a cross, and Wanyama, 25 yards out, runs onto the loose ball. The goalkeeper is out of position, but three of him wouldn’t have stopped that – Wanyama’s drive sets off wide of goal and curls right into the top corner, at killer pace. What a hit!

GOAL! Liverpool 1-1 Tottenham (Wanyama, 80 mins)

Cowabunga! Pick that one out of the net!

Wanyama scores the equaliser.
Wanyama scores the equaliser. Photograph: Kieran McManus/BPI/REX/Shutterstock


79 mins: Liverpool have gone to a central defensive three, with Salah’s space their best/only hope of success on the break.

79 mins: Spurs meanwhile bring Wanyama on for Dembele.

78 mins: Liverpool bring Matip on for Milner, and Can becomes their third captain of the day.

75 mins: Karius comes out to collect Lamela’s corner, but instead of catching he waves his arms in the air haplessly, and Kane, behind him, heads over. The referee very charitably awards Liverpool a free-kick.

Karius, challenged by Kane.
Karius, challenged by Kane. Photograph: Kieran McManus/BPI/REX/Shutterstock


74 mins: Spurs overhit a pass down the middle, a Karius collects. He kicks it long, and Spurs have it back again. This second half has been wildly lopsided.

71 mins: Spurs make their first change, bringing Lamela on for Sánchez.

70 mins: It’s Dembele who’s really orchestrating this, though. He’s entirely taken over central midfield.

68 mins: Alli breaks into the area and goes down under no challenge at all, and he accepts his booking with a nod towards the referee and a guilty trudge back towards the halfway line.

Lovren’s not impressed with Alli’s antics.
Lovren’s not impressed with Alli’s antics. Photograph: Andrew Yates/Reuters


67 mins: Alli, who spent the first half on the left of midfield and barely involved, has been influential since the break, mostly popping up just left of centre but doing a lot of roaming.

64 mins: Liverpool attempt to shut the door before the horse bolts, taking off Henderson Mané and bringing on Oxlade-Chamberlain and Wijnaldum.

63 mins: Spurs win another free kick, and pick out Kane and Dier, both running beyond the defence, but Kane is again offside.

Kane tries to connect with the ball.
Kane tries to connect with the ball. Photograph: Kieran McManus/BPI/REX/Shutterstock


62 mins: From a Tottenham corner the ball is cleared, and then shanked by Sanchez to Mane. Ahead of him Salah starts running, and the right pass would have set him free with an entire half of the pitch to run into. Mane doesn’t hit the right pass.

60 mins: From Eriksen’s free-kick, Kane heads too close to Karius. He’s offside, but the nearly-chance adds to the increasing tension.

57 mins: Milner is booked for a foul on Trippier.

57 mins: And here’s a chance! Alli’s excellent flick finds Son on the left, and he runs into the area before shooting at Karius, who has come out well. The ball rebounds to Alli, who half-volleys wide.

Karius saves the shot from Son.
Karius saves the shot from Son. Photograph: Kieran McManus/BPI/REX/Shutterstock


55 mins: Spurs are in control at the moment, the only team keeping the ball for any length of time – so much so, they have had 83% of possession in the last five minutes. They haven’t created any goalscoring chances, but if they keep this up they surely will.

54 mins: Henderson’s fine first-time pass sets Salah racing. He reaches the edge of the area and could have played in Firmino to his left, but he gets the pass wrong and Spurs clear.

52 mins: A decent move from Spurs, with Davies finding plenty of space on the left. He plays it inside to Eriksen, whose cross flies behind Kane.

50 mins: The pace hasn’t noticeably slowed in this half, with space available only occasionally, and even then on the wings. Henderson goes down the left, but then tries to pass inside, and fails.

47 mins: Vertonghen brings the ball out of defence, into Liverpool’s half, and runs right into Eriksen.

46 mins: Peeeeeep! Spurs repeat the kick-off routine that got them a goal inside 11 seconds against Manchester United. This time it gives Liverpool a throw-in.

The players are back out. Can Spurs rescue something here? We’re about to find out!

“Hello from America,” writes Marie Meyer. Hello! “I’ve got six hours of my schedule blocked off for the Super Bowl this evening. I anticipate it providing less entertainment than these 45 minutes.” There will certainly be more opportunities to pause, consider, draw breath and watch ridiculously overblown half-time entertainments.

Spurs have been poor, and on the balance of play might have been further behind, but for all the hard-fought possession turnovers inside Tottenham’s half Liverpool haven’t actually created much at all.

Half time: Liverpool 1-0 Tottenham

45+2 mins: Well that was fun.

45+1 mins: Milner steals the ball inside Tottenham’s half and it breaks to Salah, who could have played in Mane but overhits it horribly, and Lloris comes out to claim.

45+1 mins: There will be one minute or so of stoppage time.

42 mins: Alexander-Arnold, running at pace, throws a leg towards a high ball, perhaps gets a slight touch, and then clatters Davies. There wasn’t actually a lot of contact, or intent, but at this kind of pace it’s hard for a referee to tell, and Moss shows Alexander-Arnold a yellow.

Alexander-Arnold fouls Davies and receives a yellow card.
Alexander-Arnold fouls Davies and receives a yellow card. Photograph: Carl Recine/Reuters


40 mins: Karius makes his first save. A free-kick is headed out and Dembele shoots low and hard from 23 yards, but it’s stopped.

39 mins: A long, high crossfield pass finds Lovren – this is not a misprint – scampering down the right wing. His hard, low cross is well cleared by Vertonghen – Phil Jones would have scored there.

37 mins: Alexander-Arnold is finding quite a bit of space on Liverpool’s right – Dele Alli, playing on the left of Tottenham’s midfield, isn’t doing as much tracking back as he might – and his delivery has been exceptional. He puts in another handsome cross, but it’s cleared.

35 mins: Kane, just inside his own half, picks out Son with a lovely low pass. He’s offside, but still – lovely pass.

34 mins: Liverpool get another free kick, Milner crosses, and again Van Dijk wins the header. This time his effort is on target, but Lloris saves.

32 mins: Liverpool have been far from gruntled with some of Jon Moss’s decision-making, and there’s already been a delay while Milner discussed matters with the referee. Anyway, he just gave Liverpool a free kick, which the fans cheered with enormous gusto and irony. From it, Van Dijk headed wide.

29 mins: Harry Kane has had a notable touch, though, collecting the ball 10 yards from the penalty area, carrying it forward and then hitting a shot, which deflected wide.

26 mins: This is pell-mell stuff, football played so fast and with such intensity that even exceptional footballers struggle to do the simplest, basic things.

26 mins: Kane has in fact touched the ball four times, but at least one of those was in his own area.

25 mins: A Spurs corner bounces off the wrong side of Robertson’s leg and back towards his own goal. For a moment it looks like Dier will get there first but instead he goes over, though he doesn’t appeal for anything and the referee his team-mates’ cries.

22 mins: Liverpool’s high press is turning every Lloris goal-kick into an opportunity. They’ve already stolen possession three times after Lloris clearances.

22 mins: Another fabulous ball in from Alexander-Arnold, but Firmino idn’t get enough contact on his flicked header, which goes wide.

Firmino heads wide.
Firmino heads wide. Photograph: Kieran McManus/BPI/REX/Shutterstock


20 mins: Ben Davies slides in to win the ball, just as Alexander-Arnold arrived to win it too. Davies sends his opponent flying, and the crowd bay for justice, but the referee waves play on. It seemed a decent challenge, impeccably timed when the margin for error was non-existent.

18 mins: The corner is played back to Robertson, who crosses. Kane heads clear – perhaps his first touch – and Alexander-Arnold’s shot is so wide it nearly sets up Salah for a second, but he doesn’t react in time and the ball skews off his foot and wide.

18 mins: Oooh! Alexander-Arnold hits a lovely pass into Milner, running into the penalty area. He’s probably trying to cross to Salah rather than shoot, but the ball deflects of Sanchez and loops just wide of the far post!

17 mins: Spurs find a gap in the Liverpool defence, picking out Son on the right side of the penalty area, but Van Dijk gets across to block his shot.

14 mins: Eriksen pokes the ball into the area, and though it’s too far in front of Kane it exposes some uncertainty in the home defence, as Karius comes for it and Alexander-Arnold slides in to boot it out of his hands and behind for a corner.

13 mins: Spurs chip the ball over the Liverpool defence and it runs through to Karius, who catches, strolls with it to the edge of his area, waves his defenders forward, ponders his options for a while, and eventually boots upfield. He had the ball in his fans for an absolute age there.

12 mins: Mane steals the ball from Sanchez on the Liverpool left and roars into space, but he can’t pick out a red shirt with his cut-back.

11 mins: “Re: the yoga mat setups in the Spurs dressing room. Shouldn’t there have been 11 of these, not 10?” asks Peter Oh. “Is this because Tottenham haven’t yet reached that top top level? Are you noticing one player in white who looks like he could have used more limbering up?” If anything the relaxing muscle-rolling devices have worked too well.

9 mins: A bright start from Liverpool, but Spurs have been repeatedly error-prone, not just in the build-up to the goal. Alli has also given the ball away in his own half, and they just did it again from a Lloris clearance.

5 mins: Mane, at the front end of the centre circle, had flicked on to Firmino, who tussled with Sanchez for the bouncing ball. It broke back to Dier, whose first-time prod vaguely towards his goalkeeper set Salah scampering into space.

GOAL! Liverpool 1-0 Tottenham (Salah, 3 mins)

Mo Salah’s 20th Premier League goal, and it comes from a horrible mistake, a woefully underhit backpass from midfield allowing Salah to sneak in and sidefoot past Lloris!

Salah scores the opener.
Salah scores the opener. Photograph: Kieran McManus/BPI/REX/Shutterstock
And celebrates.
And celebrates. Photograph: Kieran McManus/BPI/REX/Shutterstock


1 min: Liverpool start full of vigour and attacking intent, and immediately pressure the Spurs defence. At least, until the ball is given to Mane, who stands still for a while inside the Spurs penalty area, and then passes to a white shirt.

1 min: Peeeeeep! James Milner gets the party started.

Christian Eriksen’s opener for Spurs on Wednesday was “the fastest goal scored at Wembley by a foreigner”, Sky tell me. Is that a thing?

The players are no longer in the tunnel. Kick off should be about 71 seconds away, as I type.

The managers greet ahead of kick-off.
The managers greet ahead of kick-off. Photograph: Michael Regan/Getty Images


The players are in the tunnel. Tottenham’s training tops really are spectacularly white. I commend their kit man.

The two managers discuss their selections, starting with Jurgen Klopp on whether he considered the last game against Spurs when selecting Lovren:

No, no. That’s too long ago. I don’t know when you had an average day, and hjopefully you don’t remind yourself every day. It wasn’t because of Tottenham, it was because we played bad as a team. I don’t even remember it properly, so it’s not the case that I thought about it.

And then Mauricio Pochettino, on why he has stuck with the side that beat Manchester United so convincingly in midweek:

I think everyone recovered well. I think the team played so well and I think no point to change. Keep going, trust them, trust the way we play, now it’s up to us to replicate the same performance. It’ll be tough because Liverpool are a great team, but of course trust in the players that did a very good game on Wednesday.

Dejan Lovren’s selection is the subject of much pre-match debate, thanks to his hideous half-hour against these very opponents at Wembley this season. Will he be inspired by his memories of that day, or haunted?

A gym attendee writes:

While we wait for kick-off, here’s the most ludicrous football-related question of the day:

Here’s a peek inside the Tottenham dressing room, where 10 people are going to … well … do something … I don’t know what, but it seems to involve bungee rope and an Amazon Echo.

The Tottenham changing room at Anfield
Inside the Tottenham Hotspur changing room prior to the Premier League match between Liverpool and Tottenham at Anfield. Photograph: Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

The teams

The team sheets have been handed in, and the names upon them were these:

Liverpool: Karius, Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk, Lovren, Robertson, Can, Henderson, Milner, Salah, Firmino, Mané. Subs: Wijnaldum, Moreno, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mignolet, Ings, Solanke, Matip.
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris, Trippier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies, Dier, Dembele, Eriksen, Alli, Son, Kane. Subs: Lamela, Wanyama, Vorm, Sissoko, Llorente, Aurier, Winks.
Referee: Jonathan Moss.

Hello world!

Well, isn’t this exciting? Two teams who favour high-intensity, high-entertainment football, with the two worst defences in the top five (though Liverpool’s is a weird one, in that they have conceded only seven at home, better than everyone except Manchester United, but then 22 away, worse than West Brom, Brighton, Crystal Palace, Swansea, Newcastle, Southampton, Bournemouth and Watford – or, more succinctly, fewer only than West Ham, Everton, Huddersfield and Stoke – which is the kind of home/away dichotomy that seems logically inexplicable). If ever a match guaranteed fun, it is surely this one.

Encouragingly for neutrals, while between 1969 and 1971 four successive matches between these teams at Anfield finished 0-0, since then there have been just three goalless draws between these teams in Merseyside, from 51 meetings, and never more than one per decade – and this decade has already had its bore draw, back in 2012, the game when Luis Suárez made his comeback from a nine-match suspension.

The only people who might be approaching this game with trepidation will be Spurs fans: in their last 23 league games at Anfield they have won five of a possible 69 points, with Liverpool winning 15 times. So to cheer them up, here’s Rafael van der Vaart’s lovely goal from that win, back in 2011:

Anyway, first things first. Hello! Let’s share these special moments together, shall we?


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