Tottenham Hotspur left it late to down nine-man Liverpool 2-1 and had an own goal by Joel Matip to thank for their stoppage-time win as the defender turned the ball home to leave Spurs second in the Premier League behind Manchester City.
Juergen Klopp’s Liverpool side had gamely battled to try to take home a point after Cody Gakpo cancelled out Son Heung-min’s opener with the visitors having Curtis Jones and Diogo Jota sent off in a feisty clash that was played at an electric pace.
Spurs took the lead in the 36th minute through Son, 10 minutes after Jones was sent off for a crunching tackle on midfielder Yves Bissouma, before Gakpo equalised just before halftime with a smart shot on the turn in the box.
The Dutch midfielder was injured in scoring though and did not come out for the second period, with Jota replacing him, but the Portuguese forward was dismissed in the 69th after a second yellow card and Liverpool held out until Matip’s own goal.
Tottenham’s victory puts them in second spot on 17 points along with third-placed Arsenal and both teams are now a point behind Manchester City who lost at Wolverhampton Wanderers. The defeat leaves Liverpool in fourth position on 16 points.
“Another challenge for us today,” Spurs unbeaten manager Ange Postecoglou told the BBC. “We had to cope with a fair few things and show a different side of our game today. Second half I thought we were really good.”
It was Tottenham’s first win over Liverpool since 2017 and only their second in 21 league games against the Reds but they made hard work of it after the visitors went down to nine men.
Spurs are making a habit of winning games in the dying minutes under Postecoglou though, having scored twice deep into stoppage time to beat Sheffield United 2-1 in their last home game, and Saturday’s affair was no less dramatic.
It started with Liverpool putting the hosts under pressure and Spurs goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario had to pull off a brilliant double save to keep out Gakpo and then Andy Robertson as the Reds applied the early pressure on the Londoners.
The game changed when Jones’s late tackle on Bissouma left the Tottenham midfielder nursing a sore ankle and although referee Simon Hooper allowed play to continue he was soon told by VAR to view the pitchside monitor and produced a red card.
Nevertheless, Liverpool thought they had taken the lead through Luis Diaz who got behind the defence and fired into the bottom corner past Vicario. However, the goal was ruled out by the referee for offside much to Klopp’s disgust.
The referees’ body, the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) later admitted it was the wrong decision to disallow Diaz’s effort, blaming human error, and “should have resulted in the goal being awarded through VAR intervention”.
“The offside goal. That is not offside when you see it, they drew their lines wrong. It is so tough to deal with it,” Klopp told Sky Sports. “I never saw a game like this with the most unfair circumstances, crazy decisions.”
Having had a lucky escape, Spurs then opened the scoring through Son after James Maddison played a defence-splitting pass through to Richarlison who squared the ball into the box for the South Korean to net his sixth league goal this season.
Richarlison then hit the post as Tottenham looked for a second goal but Gakpo equalised before halftime when he turned and fired home after Virgil van Dijk headed a Dominik Szoboszlai cross back into the box before being replaced at halftime.
Jota then got his marching orders after two bookings in quick succession and Liverpool were really up against it, with goalkeeper Alisson Becker making superb saves to keep out a trademark Maddison curler and Son’s fierce strike.
They held out until central defender Matip fired the ball into the roof of his own net in the sixth minute of added time trying to cut out a Pedro Porro cross. The deflated visitors then sank to their knees after another late, late show by Spurs.