A 90th minute own-goal handed Liverpool a crucial Premier League win over Spurs
A 90th minute own-goal handed Liverpool a crucial Premier League win over Spurs

90th min madness hands Reds title boost

'That is crazy.'

Commentators were left aghast, Anfield erupted as a 90th minute own-goal from Spurs defender Toby Alderweireld kept Liverpool alive in the Premier League title race.

A mix-up with keeper Hugo Lloris, who committed a major error, meant the Reds emerged with a dramatic 2-1 victory to put the pressure back on Manchester City in what is proving one of the most ridiculous title tussles in recent times.

Lucas Moura cancelled out Roberto Firmino's opener, and an incredible moment from Virgil van Dijk combined to set up a thrilling finish.

Elsewhere, Chelsea pulled off an incredible escape act to sneak past Cardiff 2-1, in a major blow for the Bluebirds survival chances. Maurizio Sarri's side scored twice in six minutes to cancel out Victor Camarasa's opener as the Blues nabbed the win.

HERE'S A FULL WRAP OF THE OVERNIGHT ACTION:

LIVERPOOL 2-1 SPURS

Liverpool moved back top of the Premier League in dramatic fashion as Toby Alderweireld's last minute own goal beat Tottenham 2-1 at Anfield on Sunday.

Jurgen Klopp's side move two points clear of Manchester City once more at the top of the table, but City have a game in hand.

Liverpool's hopes of ending a 29-year wait to win the title looked set to be dealt a massive blow as Lucas Moura's strike 20 minutes from time cancelled out Roberto Firmino's early opener.

Tottenham players react at full time
Tottenham players react at full time

However, Hugo Lloris could only palm Mohamed Salah's header into the path of the unfortunate Alderweireld to condemn Tottenham to a fourth defeat in five Premier League games.

Spurs are now in serious danger of crashing out of the top four as they remain level on points with Manchester United and could be usurped by north London rivals Arsenal into third should the Gunners beat Newcastle on Monday.

And the visitors will be left to regret a huge missed chance by Moussa Sissoko five minutes from time when Liverpool were wobbling.

The hosts had got off to the perfect start when Firmino headed home the opener on 16 minutes from a delightful Andy Robertson cross.

That was Robertson's 12th assist of the season from left-back and the Scotland captain was involved again in a flowing move moments later as he forged down the left and neat touches from Salah, and Georginio Wijnaldum teed up Sadio Mane to curl just wide.

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino was serving the last of a two-game touchline ban and without the guiding hand of the Argentine, they lacked inspiration in the final third.

Jurgan Klopp, Manager of Liverpool celebrates victory
Jurgan Klopp, Manager of Liverpool celebrates victory

However, Liverpool were often causing their own problems by gifting away possession inside their own half and Dele Alli pounced on a slack pass by his England teammate Jordan Henderson to power a volley that dipped just over the bar with Spurs' best effort of the first-half.

Virgil van Dijk had a great chance to double the hosts' lead at the start of the second period, but the Dutch defender headed over after a well-worked short corner between Trent Alexander-Arnold and James Milner.

However, Liverpool were thankful again to Robertson at the other end as he made a vital block to prevent Christian Eriksen firing home the rebound after Alisson Becker was forced into his first save of the afternoon by Harry Kane.

When these two sides met at Anfield last season, Salah scored one his many goal of the season candidates amidst an incredible 44-goal campaign.

The Egyptian still has a respectable 20 this season, but only one of those has come in the last 11 games and he passed up a great chance to give Liverpool some badly needing breathing space when his shot was blocked by Alderweireld with Mane better placed and begging for a pass.

Liverpool players celebrate after Tottenham's Toby Alderweireld scores an own goal
Liverpool players celebrate after Tottenham's Toby Alderweireld scores an own goal

That missed opportunity looked costly as Tottenham struck back. Kane's quick thinking and excellent long-range pass picked out Kieran Trippier, who fed Eriksen and his scuffed shot fell perfectly for Moura to turn home.

As Liverpool surged forward in search of a winner, Spurs could have picked them off as Sissoko blazed over with just Alisson to beat before Alli clipped a shot inches wide.

Instead, there was delirium in front of the Kop end as Lloris should have handled Salah's header, but instead parried the ball into Alderweireld and the ball ricocheted over the line to breathe fresh life into Liverpool's title challenge.

CARDIFF 1-2 CHELSEA

Maurizio Sarri rode his luck as Chelsea narrowly avoided humiliation at Cardiff to hit back and snatch a controversial 2-1 win on Sunday.

Blues boss Sarri was on the brink of a loss that would have pushed him closer to the sack after Victor Camarasa swept struggling Cardiff ahead early in the second half.

Chelsea's travelling fans had made their feelings clear as they chanted "We want Sarri out" in the second half.

But Sarri's luck was in as Cesar Azpilicueta headed Chelsea's equaliser even though clearly offside with just six minutes left.

Chelsea's fightback got another boost when Antonio Rudiger escaped a red card when he hauled down Kenneth Zohore.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek capped Chelsea's sorely-needed escape act with a last-gasp winner.

The result keeps sixth placed Chelsea in contention for a top-four finish in the Premier League, leaving them just one point behind fourth as Sarri battles to salvage a wretched first season in charge.

Cardiff remain third bottom, with boss Neil Warnock visibly furious at the decisions that pushed his team closer to relegation.

The pressure on Sarri will reduce a little with this victory, but the performance was so unconvincing that it would be no surprise if Wednesday's clash with Brighton is another close affair for the former Napoli boss.

Despite the clamour for Callum Hudson-Odoi to be given his first league start for Chelsea after his fine England performances, Sarri was unmoved.

The 18-year-old was named among the substitutes, with Eden Hazard - scorer of a hat-trick against Cardiff back in September - also surprisingly on the bench alongside N'Golo Kante.

Chelsea controlled the early stages but the nearest they came to a threat was a long range shot by Pedro which dipped over the bar.

Cardiff's response was to create their own first opportunity. Harry Arter's neat pass let Josh Murphy have a run at Marcos Alonso and when the winger cut inside, his shot curled the wrong side of the far post.

Chelsea were remarkably lacklustre in attack and Marcos Alonso's tame side-foot effort summed up their drab efforts in the first 45 minutes, highlighting how blunt their attack can appear when Hazard is absent.

Within a minute of the re-start Camarasa gave the home side a shock lead. A long throw-in by Aron Gunnarsson was only half-cleared by the Chelsea defence, giving the Icelander the time to find Arter.

The midfielder clipped a pass to the unmarked Camarasa who struck a crisp half-volley from 15 yards past a startled Kepa Arrizabalaga in the Chelsea goal.

Sarri's response was to send on Hazard, just as Chelsea supporters started to chant for their manager to be sacked.

The Belgian was straight into the action as Chelsea looked for their talisman to turn things around.

An increasing desperate Sarri also sent on Loftus-Cheek and then Olivier Giroud.

But there was no introduction of Hudson-Odoi despite his impact for England. Hazard was unable to impose himself and there was a chorus of "You don't know what you're doing" aimed at Sarri as the final whistle loomed.

But with six minutes left, Chelsea finally forced their dubious equaliser as Azpilicueta headed in from Alonso's flick.

It was the defender's first goal for almost a year, but it could prove so precious to both Chelsea and Sarri's future.

That gave Chelsea the confidence to pour forward and Loftus Cheek produced a composed stoppage-time header from Willian's cross just when Sarri needed it most.

News Corp Australia


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