Spurs in costly implosion
LIVERPOOL, England (AP):
Liverpool returned to the top of the English Premier League yesterday with a 2-1 victory over Tottenham, gifted by Toby Alderweireld’s 90th-minute own-goal for the third-placed London club.
Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris could not hold a header from Liverpool winger Mohamed Salah, instead sending the ball on to Alderweireld, who then diverted it back into his own net.
Liverpool moved two points clear of Manchester City, having played a game more.
“I was not happy that we conceded a goal, of course, but we needed it a little bit because first half we had fantastic chances, scored a wonderful goal ... (and) second half we looked heavy-legged,” Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp said.
“After the goal, we started playing again a little bit more. We compete with the best team in the world, I would say; Man City, and we play against one of the best teams in the world, Tottenham. A tough task, I would say.”
Liverpool secured a 16th-minute lead when Andrew Robertson’s cross from the left was perfect for Roberto Firmino, who took up a position between the Tottenham centre backs and nodded in from 10 yards.
It was a second half short of clear-cut chances, but Tottenham began to apply more pressure on the Liverpool defence and made its breakthrough after 70 minutes.
Harry Kane hit a perfect ball forward from a quick free kick to find Kieran Trippier, the right back steered the ball into Christian Eriksen, whose square ball was sent in from close range by Lucas Moura.
Tottenham, potential title contenders until February, should have put a huge dent in Liverpool’s hopes of ending a 29-year wait for the title, but have not won a league match since mid-February.
Tottenham are only ahead of fourth-place Manchester United on goal difference and a point ahead of London rivals Arsenal and Chelsea.
“I am happy because the emotion and the feeling we got today is going to help us,” Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino said. “Now we start a mini-league, (with) seven games ahead.
“We are in the top four, we need to keep our position, it’s in our hands and with all the circumstances that happen this season, they (the players) are more than heroes and we need to keep the trust and the confidence.”