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Liverpool 1 Tottenham 1: Kane hits equaliser but Leicester stay in control

SoccerNews in English Premier League 2 Apr 2016

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Harry Kane’s superb equaliser earned Tottenham a battling 1-1 draw at Liverpool on Saturday in a result that keeps Leicester City in control at the top of the Premier League.

An inspired display from Hugo Lloris ensured there were no goals in the first half, but Philippe Coutinho put the home side ahead with a low strike six minutes into the second period.

Spurs, though, levelled within 12 minutes as the in-form Kane became the first Spurs player to score 22 goals in a Premier League season with a lethal finish.

While a draw at Anfield is no disaster after Mauricio Pochettino’s men had only won once in their previous 21 visits, shock leaders Leicester now have the chance to move seven points clear at the top when they host Southampton on Sunday.

Liverpool, meanwhile, are ninth after a draw that means they are still waiting to record back-to-back home Premier League wins for the first time since last May.

Spurs initially made the brighter start and a patient passing move led to Kyle Walker laying the ball off for Christian Eriksen to sting the palms of Simon Mignolet in the home goal with a left-footed effort.

At the other end, Lloris had to react quickly to prevent Son Heung-min – starting for the injured Erik Lamela in Spurs’ only change – from inadvertently diverting Alberto Moreno’s cross into the bottom corner.

Kane dragged an effort wide after space had opened up for him inside the Liverpool box, but it was the hosts who should have gone into the break in front, with only a trio of Lloris saves keeping the scores level.

First to be denied was Sturridge – picked ahead of Divock Origi up front for Liverpool with Christian Benteke and Roberto Firmino injured – when he beat the offside trap and latched on to Coutinho’s clever pass but failed to beat Lloris, even though there were no defenders in sight.

The France captain then pushed away a goal-bound Adam Lallana strike, before producing an even better diving, one-handed stop to keep out the England international, who gathered Coutinho’s cross and scuffed a bouncing volley towards the top corner.

But even Lloris could not prevent the opener six minutes into the second half. Coutinho exchanged passes with Sturridge on the edge of the area and calmly sent a right-footed finish into the bottom corner.

Sturridge squandered his second big chance of the match when he headed just over from six yards from a magnificent Coutinho cross.

That proved costly for the hosts when, shortly after Son had volleyed wide after being picked out in a great position by Eric Dier’s lofted pass, Spurs levelled.

Eriksen superbly kept the ball in play and crossed from the left, allowing Kane to send an exquisite finish beyond Mignolet on the turn for his sixth goal in four league matches.

Both sides had chances to win the match, with Mignolet making an impressive diving save from Eriksen’s long-range drive, while Coutinho dragged a shot wide from a good opening created by substitute Origi.

Eriksen was then just off target with a free-kick and Mignolet denied Mousa Dembele as Spurs were unable to move within striking distance of leaders Leicester.

 

Key Opta stats:

– After going seven Premier League games without scoring, Philippe Coutinho has now scored in back-to-back games for Liverpool.

– Daniel Sturridge provided an assist for the first time in the Premier League since setting up Lazar Markovic against Spurs in February 2015.

– Liverpool have won five and lost none of their last seven Barclays Premier League meetings with Tottenham Hotspur.

– Tottenham have won just one of their last 22 Premier League visits to Anfield (W1 D7 L14).

– Tottenham have recovered the most points from losing positions in the top flight in 2015-16 (19), while Liverpool have dropped the most from leading positions (17).

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