Two stoppage-time goals, including a dramatic winner from substitute Diogo Jota, saw Liverpool’s 4-3 victory against Tottenham Hotspur come to a frenetic conclusion – so much so that manager Jürgen Klopp injured himself while celebrating.
Richarlison’s late header, which followed goals from Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min, appeared to have secured a crucial draw for Tottenham, who had trailed 3-0 after 15 minutes.
But Jota pounced on Lucas Moura’s mis-hit pass just 99 seconds later to restore Liverpool’s advantage, a moment Klopp celebrated by sprinting over to the fourth official before clutching his hamstring in pain.
“I’m not sure if it’s the hamstring, it could be the abductor as well but it’s painful, I got punished,” Klopp, who was yellow carded after the incident, told BBC Sport.
“I turned around for the celebration which was unnecessary because the fourth official did nothing wrong the whole time. I didn’t say anything bad … The muscle gave up in that moment.”
A week after Tottenham leaked five goals inside the first 21 minutes against Newcastle, Sunday’s game seemed to be heading in the same direction as Liverpool dominated the opening stages.
Trent Alexander-Arnold’s brilliant cross was turned in by Curtis Jones at the back post to give Liverpool the lead after three minutes, then Cody Gakpo set up Luis Díaz moments later to make it 2-0.
Cristian Romero’s foul on Gakpo sent Tottenham into further disarray as Mo Salah thumped a penalty high into the net, but Harry Kane’s goal five minutes before halftime offered the away side a glimmer of hope.
Romero and Son both hit the post in the second half before the pair combined on 77 minutes and Son’s 10th league goal of the season made it 3-2.
Having come from 2-0 down to secure a draw against Manchester United earlier in the week, Tottenham was looking to produce another comeback when Richarlison’s header bounced over Alisson.
Jota’s calm finish from Moura’s stray pass, however, ensured Liverpool had the final say and moved two points ahead of Spurs in the Premier League table.
For interim manager Ryan Mason, who took charge of Tottenham following the loss against Newcastle, the manner of the team’s latest defeat made it all the more painful – particularly as he felt Jota should have been sent off for a high challenge on Oliver Skipp.
“[It’s] probably one of the clearest red cards I’ve seen … I have to be careful what I say but ultimately that’s an impossible one to miss,” Mason told Sky Sports.
“When you talk about endangering an opponent, to draw blood from a stud when Skipp’s head is pretty much five-and-a-half feet in the air – it just baffles me. That type of decision is maybe the difference between winning the game or not.”
Mason wasn’t the only manager to feel aggrieved about the officiating. Klopp complained about a foul awarded in the buildup to Tottenham’s third goal and told Sky Sports he didn’t know “what this man [referee Paul Tierney] has with us.”
Refereeing standards body PGMOL later issued a statement saying it has “fully reviewed the audio of referee Paul Tierney from today’s fixture” and “can confirm he acted in a professional manner throughout, including when issuing the caution to the Liverpool manager.
“We strongly refute any suggestion that Tierney’s actions were improper,” the statement added.
In a late push to finish in the top four and secure a place in next season’s Championships League, Liverpool is seven points behind Manchester United having played one game more than its rival.
The Reds next face Fulham on Wednesday, while Tottenham, now without a win in four Premier League games, plays Crystal Palace on Saturday.