Liverpool moved top of the Premier League but dropped two precious points in the title race with Manchester City as they drew against a resilient Tottenham Hotspur side at Anfield.
Son Heung-min swept the counter-attacking visitors in front after 56 minutes following a link-up between Harry Kane and Ryan Sessegnon and with the Liverpool defence disorganised.
Liverpool naturally flooded forward for an equaliser and it took a heavily deflected shot from Luis Diaz 16 minutes from time to draw the home side level and set up a grandstand finish.
Spurs defended with resolution after the equaliser though and were also a threat on the break as they battled to take something from the game to aid their top-four challenge.
The point takes Liverpool top on goal difference but Pep Guardiola’s side can move three points clear with three games remaining if they defeat Newcastle United on Sunday.
Liverpool fall short for once
Liverpool at least maintained their unbeaten Premier League record – which now stretches to 16 games, including 13 wins and three draws – but time will tell how damaging this failure to beat Spurs will be as the title race reaches its climax.
Jurgen Klopp’s team have set magnificently high standards but it was inevitable they would not be able to find a way to win every time and they were up against a side brilliantly organised by visiting coach Antonio Conte.
Liverpool swarmed over Spurs from the start but once the early storm blew over they could not find many clear openings through a resolute defence, in which Cristian Romero was outstanding.
Virgil van Dijk struck the woodwork before the break – as did Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg – but Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane were kept largely quiet, as they were after the break too.
Diaz was the main threat, as he arguably has been since he arrived in January, and deserved his goal even if it was aided by a big deflection off Rodrigo Bentancur.
Liverpool were roared forward by a Kop desperate for another piece of late Anfield drama but too many crosses went astray and too many moves foundered on the rock of the Spurs defence.
Klopp’s side have relentlessly pursued City in the past two months knowing any slip-up would be damaging and after these dropped two points must now hope Guardiola’s side lose rather than merely draw one of their remaining games in order to reel them in.
Spurs show their steel
Conte once again showed his nous as a coach as he organised his players to execute a gameplan that frustrated Liverpool and which almost brought a memorable win.
Spurs had a rough ride early on as Liverpool, lifted by reaching the Champions League final and boosted by a buoyant Anfield, tore into the visitors but came through that and showed qualities that have been witnessed in patches since the Italian’s arrival.
They were fiercely well-disciplined and their ability to rise to the occasion is proved by the fact they have now come through their four league meetings with Liverpool and Manchester City undefeated this season.
Spurs showed two sides to their game as they were outstanding in defence but also carried a serious threat on the break, creating enough chances to perhaps regret not getting three points.
Son’s goal showed exactly what Spurs were all about as Kane controlled the ball brilliantly, passing up the chance to shoot and instead playing in Sessegnon, whose cut-back was finished off by the South Korea forward.
In the context of the chase for a place in the Champions League, Conte will curse how Hojbjerg passed up a golden opportunity in the dying seconds.
Nevertheless the performance will give them heart going into Thursday’s potentially decisive north London derby at home to Arsenal.
- 4van Dijk
- 26RobertsonSubstituted forTsimikasat 64′minutesBooked at 69mins
- 14HendersonSubstituted forJotaat 65′minutes
- 3FabinhoBooked at 80minsSubstituted forKeïtaat 88′minutesBooked at 90mins
- 6Thiago Alcántara
- 33DaviesBooked at 53mins
- 12Emerson Royal
- 19R SessegnonBooked at 70minsSubstituted forD Sánchezat 78′minutes
- 21KulusevskiSubstituted forWinksat 85′minutes
- 7Son Heung-MinSubstituted forBergwijnat 90+1′minutes
- 6D Sánchez
- 27Lucas Moura
Match ends, Liverpool 1, Tottenham Hotspur 1.
Second Half ends, Liverpool 1, Tottenham Hotspur 1.
Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Emerson Royal.
Naby Keïta (Liverpool) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Naby Keïta (Liverpool).
Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Steven Bergwijn replaces Son Heung-Min.
Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Davinson Sánchez.
Attempt blocked. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Luis Díaz.
Substitution, Liverpool. Naby Keïta replaces Fabinho.
Attempt missed. Ben Davies (Tottenham Hotspur) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is just a bit too high. Assisted by Son Heung-Min following a fast break.
Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Pierre-Emile Højbjerg.
Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Harry Winks replaces Dejan Kulusevski.
Foul by Luis Díaz (Liverpool).
Dejan Kulusevski (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Thiago.
Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Ibrahima Konaté.
Fabinho (Liverpool) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Fabinho (Liverpool).
Son Heung-Min (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
- Our coverage of your Premier League club is bigger and better than ever before – here’s everything you need to know to make sure you never miss a moment