Harry Kane’s 100th Premier League goal earned Tottenham a 2-2 draw at Liverpool in a contender for the game of the season, the striker stepping up to snatch a point from the spot in a hugely dramatic match at Anfield.
Kane had been denied by Loris Karius from 12 yards shortly after Victor Wanyama’s long-range blockbuster cancelled out Mohamed Salah’s opener, and Liverpool looked to have snuck a win thanks to the Egyptian’s wonderful solo effort in the first minute of stoppage time.
But referee Jon Moss pointed to the spot again when Virgil van Dijk challenged Erik Lamela and Kane stepped up to send Karius the wrong way and give a thrilling contest a fitting climax.
Salah had given Liverpool the lead in the third minute, becoming the quickest Reds player to reach 20 Premier League goals, beating club icons including Michael Owen, Luis Suarez and Fernando Torres to the landmark.
But the drama came at the very end, with three goals and a missed penalty all coming in the final 10 minutes.
The draw leaves Liverpool in third, two points clear of Spurs, with the race for Champions League qualification heating up over the second half of the campaign.
100 – Harry Kane has scored 100 goals in the Premier League in just 142 appearances – only Alan Shearer (124) reached the 100 goals in the competition in fewer games. Ton. pic.twitter.com/Y5MopxdAV3
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 4, 2018
A breathless end followed a suitably fast start as Liverpool took the lead in just the third minute. Sadio Mane pressed Eric Dier into making a dreadful pass and Salah took advantage to race through on goal and calmly beat Hugo Lloris for another landmark goal in a special season.
Van Dijk, on his first Anfield start in the Premier League, made a fine block to deny Son Heung-min, before two delightful Trent Alexander-Arnold passes did not receive the finishes they deserved.
Spurs finally worked Karius five minutes before the break, a rifled Mousa Dembele 20-yard drive forcing a decent save down to the goalkeeper’s right.
Karius raced off his line to deny Son after 55 minutes, with Dele Alli sending the rebound wide of the post. The England midfielder was soon after shown a yellow card for simulation in the Reds box, but later penalty decisions would go Spurs’ way.
Mauricio Pochettino introduced Lamela and Wanyama as Spurs hunted an equaliser and the Kenya international immediately came up with a memorable strike.
Karius’ firm punch ran to Wanyama 25 yards from goal and he strode on to the loose ball, thumping a powerful drive out of the goalkeeper’s reach.
Four minutes later, Kane went down under Karius’ challenge, only to hit his penalty straight at the goalkeeper as a frantic finale hit overdrive.
Salah had wasted a number of counter-attacking chances in the second half, but he showed another glimpse of his genius with a sensational solo effort to put Liverpool back in front.
Salah 25 games
Torres 27 games
Sturridge 27 games
Fowler 37 games
Owen 39 games pic.twitter.com/359m6kINGx
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 4, 2018
The winger danced inside a series of half-hearted challenges to clip a brilliant finish past Lloris, a goal that deserved to win the game, although it was not to be.
Moss pointed to the spot again – both decisions following a lengthy delay – after Van Dijk’s clumsy tackle sent Lamela crashing to the ground.
Kane this time made no mistake, finding the corner to bring up a century of Premier League goals, but more importantly keep Spurs in the race for a top-four place.
KEY OPTA STATS
– Only Alan Shearer (124) reached 100 Premier League goals in fewer games than Harry Kane’s 141.
– Spurs have only won two of their 26 games at Anfield in the Premier League (8%) – among sides they’ve played away from home at least five times, only at Stamford Bridge do they have a worse win percentage away from home (0 wins in 25 games).
– Mauricio Pochettino’s side are winless in their last 11 away games against ‘top six’ opponents in the Premier League (D5 L6), and have won just one of their 19 such games under the Argentine (D7 L11).
– The Egyptian is just the second Liverpool player to score 20 or more goals for the club in his debut Premier League campaign, after Fernando Torres in 2007/08 (24).
– Salah’s opener after two minutes and 16 seconds was Liverpool’s quickest goal in the Premier League since April 2016, when Daniel Sturridge scored inside two minutes against Newcastle United (1:07).
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