Tottenham 2 Liverpool 2: Reds' title bid dented in game of the season contender as Kane finally scores but misses hatful

WELL we’re certainly going to miss the spectacle of packed-house football if this afternoon of high-octane lunacy is anything to go by. 

If you want a brief synopsis, then here goes. 

Harry Kane scored, then escaped a stonewall red-card, then missed a hat-trick of chances either side of a Diogo Jota equaliser. 

Then Andy Robertson – the victim of Kane’s horror tackle – put Liverpool in front, as Spurs appealed for a penalty at the other end, but soon got sent off for wild challenge on Emerson Royal, after Son Heung-Min had levelled after a shocking blunder by Allison.

As the Covid clouds loom over football and life in general, here was 90-odd minutes of glorious, chaotic escapism.

It was a match which had everything except a winner – high quality, low farce, raging controversy and sporadic outbreaks of wanton violence. 

What a game of football.   

Liverpool’s eight-match winning streak was halted as much by the match officials as by Antonio Conte’s pumped-up Tottenham – and Jurgen Klopp was rightfully fuming as Manchester City extended their lead to three points. 

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Robertson was sent off for a wild kick on Emerson RoyalCredit: Richard Pelham / The Sun
Diogo Jota headed Robertson's cross in to make it 1-1Credit: Richard Pelham / The Sun
Jota levelled the scores with 10 minutes to go in the first-halfCredit: Richard Pelham / The Sun

With four men out with Covid and three key decisions going against him, the Anfield chief had every right to go berserk.

The chances of this contest even happening had seemed remote when Liverpool suffered three positive tests before Thursday’s defeat of Newcastle. 

Yet only Thiago Alcantara had joined Virgil Van Dijk, Fabinho and Curtis Jones on the red list since then, with Jordan Henderson also ruled out – through non-Covid illness.

Klopp handed teenage midfielder Tyler Morton a first league start, while Antonio Conte named not just one but three ‘forgotten men’ in Dele Alli, Ryan Sessegnon and Harry Winks.    

For Spurs, it was a first outing in a fortnight after three successive Covid postponements and, not long before that, the very old-school scenario of a match called off because of bad weather.

The start was frenetic and the atmosphere wild – as if 22 players and 61,000 fans were determined to make the most of packed-house football while it lasted.  

Andy Robertson squandered a free header from a cross by Trent Alexander-Arnold, who was soon having a 20-yarder pushed wide by Hugo Lloris. 

But it appeared as though Conte had spent the past fortnight feeding his players rare meat and continually kicking them up the backside.

Because, suddenly, Spurs were wild-eyed, dangerous – and in front.

Winks won a 30-70 tackle against Naby Keita, Tanguy Ndombele slotted a pass into the path of Kane, who slid his shot inside the far post for only his second Premier League goal of the season.

Kane, looking utterly pumped, led a breakaway and squared for Son Heung-Min who duffed 

his shot at the back post. 

Son was then sent clean through but was denied by Allison as he tried to round the Liverpool keeper although the South Korean looked offside.

Then the flashpoint moment when Kane lunged late at Robertson, missing the ball and catching the Scot’s foot. 

Ref Paul Tierney gave one of those yellow cards reserved for the captain of England, when those of lesser rank would surely have got a red.

Lloris made a scrambling save from Keita, who then directed a free header wide from Robertson free-kick. 

But then Spurs should have scored again. Winks produced a gorgeous chipped pass to release Son, who failed to control it properly but rescued the situation by slipping an artful ball to Alli.   

Yet the former England man looked to have dragged his shot wide even without a fingertip from Allison.  

And predictably Spurs paid for their wastefulness when Ben Davies failed to properly clear danger, allowing Robertson to cut back a cross for Jota to head in his sixth goal in seven appearances.

For the second time in the half, Liverpool were robbed by the officials when Emerson Royal shoved over Jota only for Tierney and his VAR Chris Kavanagh to let him off the hook.

Klopp was soon yellow-carded for a heated rant – giving Tierney two sarcastic bows and then jabbing his finger in the referee’s face, yet escaping a red. 

Lloris saved smartly at his near post from an Alexander-Arnold and then Kane miscued a shot after some excellent work from Sessegnon, to end a half of extraordinary excitement.

It did not calm down too much after the restart – Jota looped a header wide, then Alli was released by a Dier through-ball only to miscontrol and square for Kane, who was thwarted by an advancing Allison.

Kane spurned a glorious headed chance, nodding over from four yards out after a Son corner had been glanced on by Mane.

And then more mayhem as Alli fell under a shove from Alexander-Arnold, only for Tierney to wave away penalty appeals and Liverpool to go straight down the other end and score. 

Jota centred and as Mo Salah tried to bundle home, there looked to be an element of handball, but Lloris pushed out, Alexander-Arnold whistle in a low cross and Robertson was almost almost decapitated as he netted a stooping header. 

If the Scot had thought he might have scored the winner he was sadly mistaken – within minutes it was 2-2 and Robertson was having an early shower.


Winks capped an outstanding display with a through-ball that beat the offside trap and as Allison slid out of his area to intercept he missed the ball and allowed Son to find an empty net.

Then a wild challenge from Robertson on Emerson was initially met with a yellow card from Tierney, then upgraded by VAR Kavanagh who seemed to have woken up after snoozing through the first half. 

It took a couple of minutes for Robertson to complete a slow trudge off the pitch – but like the rest of us, he was probably out of breath. 


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