Sports Desk, Dec 16 (efe-epa).- Liverpool got a goal in the 90th minute to nip Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Wednesday to displace the London side atop the Premier League and extend their home unbeaten streak in the league to 66 matches.
Expectations were high ahead of the contest between the defending champion Reds and their main challengers a third of the way through the 2020-2021 season.
With encouragement from the 2,000 supporters in the stands at Anfield, Liverpool played with the ball for 76 percent of the time and put 11 shots on target to two for the visitors.
Yet the counter-attacking Spurs had the better chances and might have prevailed if Harry Kane’s down-angled header in the box in the 65th minute hadn’t bounced over the cross-bar.
Kane earlier forced a tremendous save from Reds goalkeeper Alisson, while Steven Bergwijn squandered two great opportunities for Jose Mourinho’s squad.
Mohamed Salah put the home team up in the 26th minute after Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg inadvertantly poked the ball into the Egyptian’s path.
The shot took a deflection en route, leaving Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris no chance to make the stop, but the World Cup winner dealt easily two minutes later with an effort from Curtis Jones.
Mourinho stuck to his strategy and the payoff came in the 33rd minute, when Giovani Lo Celso stormed down the field on the counter and threaded the ball to Son Heung-min for the equalizer.
Liverpool’s Sadio Mane hit the post in the 73rd minute and the sides were level at 1-1 in the final minute of regulation when the Reds won a corner.
Andrew Robertson lofted the ball into the box and Roberto Firmino headed-in to snatch all 3 points for Jürgen Klopp’s men, who took sole possession of first place with 28 points, 3 more than Spurs and 4 better than Southampton and Leicester City.
The Saints had a chance to go top – if only for a few hours – after taking a 1-0 lead Wednesday against Arsenal with former Gunner Theo Walcott’s goal in the 18th minute.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang broke his scoring drought early in the second half to bring the hosts level 10 minutes before they were reduced to 10 men with the ejection of Gabriel for a second yellow card.
Arsenal hung on to avoid what would have been a record fifth straight defeat at London’s Emirates Stadium. Indeed, only the cross-bar stopped Rob Holding from winning it for the hosts in the 92nd minute.
The Gunners continue to languish in 15th place with just 14 points from 13 matches.
Leicester City’s hopes of contending with Spurs and Liverpool for the top spot were thwarted by Everton, who beat the Foxes 2-0 at King Power Stadium.
The hosts enjoyed 61 percent possession, but managed only two shots on target, reviving concerns about the Leicester attack that had seemed to be a thing of the past after the side thrashed Brighton & Hove Albion 3-0 last weekend.
At the back, the Foxes displayed the same weaknesses that were in evidence in their home losses to Fulham, Aston Villa and West Ham United.
Everton, who came into the contest without injured star James Rodriguez and having won just once in their last four outings, went ahead in the 21st minute on a goal by Richarlison.
Mason Holgate added an insurance goal in the 72nd minute and the Toffies moved up to fifth with 23 points, 1 behind Leicester and Southampton, who sit third by virtue of scoring more goals than the Foxes.
West Ham United overcame conceding a goal to Christian Benteke in the first half to secure a 1-1 draw on Sebastien Haller’s bicycle kick in the 55th minute.