Liverpool 2 Tottenham Hotspur 1
It may prove to be the most important goal that Liverpool score all season and it wasn’t even one of their players who put the ball into the Tottenham net.
Toby Alderweireld’s late own goal sealed Liverpool’s 2-1 win over their visitors at Anfield on Sunday, a result that moves them back to the top of the Premier League above Manchester City.
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The Reds, who have played a game more than the Sky Blues, are two points clear of their rivals with six games to play.
Had Alderweireld not turned the ball past Hugo Lloris in the Tottenham goal, City would have been hot favourites to take the title, but the pressure is back on them as they prepare to host Cardiff City on Wednesday night.
As they showed in the day’s earlier game against Chelsea, there’s still plenty of fight in Cardiff and Pep Guardiola’s side now have to keep their nerve as Liverpool did on Sunday.
Roberto Firmino headed home Andrew Robertson’s cross to put Liverpool one up but Tottenham equalised after the break when Lucas Moura buried Christian Eriksen’s pass.
Then with 25 seconds remaining of the 90 minutes, Tottenham keeper Lloris flapped Mohamed Salah’s header against Alderweireld and the ball rebounded into the net.
The blunder by the Spurs No.1 cost his side a point. While they remain third, they will be leapfrogged by Arsenal on Monday night if the Gunners beat Newcastle at the Emirates.
Reds manager Jurgen Klopp admitted his team were fortunate in the final few minutes but it was a reward for a season of perseverance.
“We needed luck – apologies – but we still take it,” he said. “We are top of the table [but]... if we are there at the end of the season it will be down to will, desire and attitude. We compete with Man City, tell me two better teams at the moment, and we compete with them.”
Spin not win
Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino did his best to put a bullish spin on the scoreline but despite his best efforts it was obvious that the defeat hurt.
“It is not easy to come here and dominate them,” he reflected. “After the first half we conceded a goal when there was not too much happening in the game. That was tough for us. It is very tough to lose the game in that way but I feel I am happy because the emotion and feeling we have got today will help us.”
Cardiff City 1 Chelsea 2
Chelsea picked up a valuable three points in Cardiff and remain in sixth spot, but it was an ugly performance that did little to endear manager Maurizio Sarri to the Blues’ fans.
Trailing 1-0 with six minutes remaining, Chelsea snatched a late victory with goals from Cezar Azpilicueta and substitute Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
Sarri said he believed his side “deserved to win” but barely anyone else watching would have endorsed that view.
Cardiff were not only the better side but Azpilicueta was clearly offside when he headed the equaliser. Referee Craig Pawson then made another blunder when a short while later he showed Antonio Rudiger a yellow card for bringing down Kenneth Zohore when a red card was in order given the Cardiff man’s proximity to goal.
Got away with murder
Cardiff boss Neil Warnock was understandably incandescent at the final whistle as the result leaves his side five points away from safety in the relegation zone.
“The biggest and best league in the world but probably the worst officials at the minute,” he stormed. “It hurts... it is so disappointing. Chelsea know they have got away with murder today.”
Sarri was right to be pleased with the way his side came from behind after seeing the hosts take the lead through Victor Camarasa’s strike, but if the Italian was in any doubt about the depth of ill-feeling towards him at Stamford Bridge, he was reminded by the travelling fans.
They serenaded their manager with chants of “we want Sarri out” and “you don’t know what you’re doing”, but he tried to brush aside the criticism.
“I can understand, I can understand very well,” he said. “I am getting used to this.”
Premier League results, midweek fixtures and TV guide
- Fulham 0 Manchester City 2
- Brighton & Hove Albion 0 Southampton 1
- Burnley 2 Wolverhampton Wanderers 0
- Crystal Palace 1 Huddersfield Town 0
- Leicester City 2 AFC Bournemouth 0
- Manchester United 2 Watford 1
- West Ham United 0 Everton 2
- Cardiff City 1 Chelsea 2
- Liverpool 2 Tottenham Hotspur 1
Monday 1 April
- Arsenal vs. Newcastle United (8pm, live on Sky Sports)
Tuesday 2 April
- Watford vs. Fulham (7.45pm)
- Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. Manchester United (7.45pm, live on Sky Sports)
Wednesday 3 April
- Chelsea vs. Brighton & Hove Albion (7.45pm)
- Manchester City vs. Cardiff City (7.45pm, live on Sky Sports)
- Tottenham Hotspur vs. Crystal Palace (7.45pm)
Friday 5 April
- Southampton vs. Liverpool (8pm, live on Sky Sports)
Saturday 6 April
- AFC Bournemouth vs. Burnley (3pm)
- Huddersfield Town vs. Leicester City (3pm)
- Newcastle United vs. Crystal Palace (3pm)
Sunday 7 April
- Everton vs. Arsenal (2.05pm, live on Sky Sports)
Monday 8 April
- Chelsea vs. West Ham United (8pm, live on Sky Sports)
FA Cup semi-final fixtures
Saturday 6 April
- Manchester City vs. Brighton & Hove Albion (5.30pm, live on BBC One)
Sunday 7 April
- Watford vs. Wolves (4pm, live on BT Sport)
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