It was Kane versus Salah at an action packed Anfield. The all-important meeting ending square at 2-2 in a controversial and exciting Premiership tie.
Harry Kane netted his 100th premiership goal in the dying seconds of an enthralling Anfield battle to level the score at 2-2. Sharing the proceeds with Reds’ Mo Salah in a game more reminiscent of pinball than football at its’ dramatic climax.
An early Eric Dier back-pass lived up to its name to gift Egyptian Mo Salah the game opener in just two minutes. The crucial tie saw Spurs fail to find their game for much of the remaining forty three minutes. The nervous visitors did well to hold off a Liverpool that were utilising their lead. Klopp’s men stifled the midfield, particularly Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen. Thus leaving Harry Kane with no service and little to do.
An identical line up to that which beat Manchester United during the week hadn’t anticipated chasing the game so early on. If it wasn’t for one or two excellent stops from Captain and ‘keeper Hugo Lloris, it could easily have been more.
The break saw both sides unchanged. The early part of the half seemingly much the same as the first. However, persistence of Pochettino’s approach though began to pay off, as Spurs found their feet. More fluidity ensued, and space opened. Mousa Dembele resuming command, enabling Tottenham to grab hold of the mid section , and re-group.
Heung Min-Son and Dele Alli began causing defensive headaches. Spurs now looking more like the side that faced United. Headaches though cancelled out by Alli with a senseless dive, swiftly earning him a yellow card. The visitors continued to press, the home crowd sensing the danger.
The home side doggedly defended their lead despite the awakening of their attacking opponents. It took substitute Victor Wanyama though to pull out a show stopping blast from outside the area to break the deadlock. The ball rocketed into the back netting and out again, bringing the Londoners level.
The strike ignited Spurs into full attack, looking more like the side that buried their opponents 4-1 in their last meeting at Wembley. The solid defensive wall so far shown by Liverpool was beginning to weaken.
Kane pays the penalty for hesitation
What happened next was the stuff live Premiership football was made for. Tottenham were awarded a penalty when Kane was brought down by now favoured Liverpool ‘keeper Loris Karius.
When the country’s leading goal scorer steps up to give his side a 2-1 lead, Kane himself could be forgiven for thinking the outcome was inevitable. However, as Karius pulled out the save of the match to deny Kane his 100th premiership goal, exasperated Anfield exploded into noise.
The home side made the most of the Spurs shell shock. In a flurry Salah again broke, wriggling through to squeeze it in again. 2-1. Surely to seal the deal? With only a few minutes left on the clock, to their great credit, Spurs immediately responded
Breaking back a few minutes later, fresh sub Erik Lamela found space only to be clipped by Virgil Van Dyk just inside the area.
Controversial Smart move, but Moss remains sterling.
To the delight of the visiting fans and horror of Jurgen Klopp, referee Jon Moss pointed to the spot. However, linesman Eddie Smart blew his whistle and called the referee over. He could then be heard questioning as to whether Lovren had touched the ball. Hinting at an offside breach. Moss, however, dismissed his protest, pointing once again at the spot.
Despite his earlier miss, Harry Kane again stepped up, this time drilling the ball home to bag his Premiership goal century.
It was a controversial end to an excellent game, showing all the glory and drama of the English Premier League. Few would argue the result was fair, but both sides will be disappointed. Disappointed not to have a three point reward for such valiant efforts.
Spurs perhaps more-so, as a win would have catapulted them into third spot. A position safer for when they welcome arch rivals Arsenal to Wembley next week.
With the points evenly distributed, the race for the top four for continues its ferocity.
Proud to join the @premierleague 100 club.
— Harry Kane (@HKane) February 4, 2018