Roberto Firmino’s 90th-minute header sparked wild scenes at Anfield as defending champions Liverpool returned to the top of the Premier League table with a 2-1 win over previous incumbents Tottenham.
In a victory reminiscent of so many which carried them to their first title in 30 years last season, the hosts’ relentlessness was rewarded when the Brazil international powered home a header from Andy Robertson’s corner with the seconds ticking down.
Spurs boss Jose Mourinho looked sickened, having assumed his side had done enough to earn the point which would have kept them at the summit.
Liverpool had comfortably out-shot their opponents during the 90 minutes, in which they enjoyed 76 per cent possession, but saw Mohamed Salah’s goal cancelled out by Son Heung-Min in the first half.
It appeared they would be frustrated by a Mourinho game-plan which everyone predicted and which the Portuguese seemed satisfied enough with to replace midfielder Steven Bergwijn, who hit the post in the second half and looked a threat on the counter-attack, with left-back Sergio Reguilon with 15 minutes to go.
But Jurgen Klopp’s men have seen this sort of thing before and encouraged by their opponents’ passivity continued to drive forward and that eventually brought its reward.
How much the victory meant was evident as Klopp, having had words with Mourinho, raced onto the pitch at the final whistle and lifted Sadio Mane clean off his feet before embracing each and every one of his players before producing his trademark triple fist-pump for the supporters on the Kop.
That’s a wrap for tonight, but we’ll have more news, reaction and analysis to tonight game bright and early tomorrow morning. Bye for now.
Klopp: Liverpool deserved the win
“We have already gone through a tough period and playing a game like this was absolutely exceptional. Top game. Deserved three points.
“We didn’t have too many times in the season where we had late moments. I have no problem starting it again scoring late if it is needed.
“I really felt we deserved the three points. Of course Tottenham had chances, they scored a goal with a unbelievably tight offside decision.
“They had other chances and we can’t defend Harry Kane for 90 minutes but around these moments we were completely in charge of the game.
“I don’t think we struggle with confidence. We are a good football team and we are in a difficult situation (with injuries).
“We don’t have to make a story of it, for all of us it is difficult, but throwing in a performance like this is pretty special so it gives us confidence.”
Mourinho: ‘We had it there to kill it but we missed it’
“I think even a draw would have left us not with the best taste because we had them there to win it.
“It was not just about the big chances, it was the moments of the big chances and the moment was when they were in trouble in their worst moment and we had it there to kill it but we missed it.
“We were in the face of the keeper two or three times and we just have to kill it.
“Bergwijn was face-to-face with the keeper twice, Harry was there with the header, we had it, we knew how to hurt them and we should do much more than we did.
“Normally in matches at this level you pay and I thought we would pay just taking a point but in the end we didn’t even take a point so it is very disappointing.
“Sometimes you cannot play better than you did because of the opponent and I thought in such a difficult game against such a good team the boys were very good and we got punished.”
Klopp mystified by Mourinho
“Then my English is worse than I thought. I thought he said to me the better team lost and nothing about my behaviour on the touchline, so I have no idea what it is.”
Mourinho suggests Klopp gets preferential treatment
“I told him the best team lost and he disagreed, but that’s his opinion – if I behave the same way he does on the touchline, I do not stay there. That’s animated? For some reason I am different…”
Mourinho: ‘The best team lost’
Jose Mourinho and Jurgen Klopp had a brief, heated chat at full-time – and the Spurs coach has revealed that he told the Liverpool boss: “The best team lost.”
Gracious in defeat, as always…
Full-time! Liverpool 2-1 Tottenham
91 mins: Into three minutes of added time – Reguilon gets a cross in from the left, but it’s just blocked away. Now Spurs have a corner…
GOAL! Liverpool 2-1 Tottenham | Roberto Firmino, 89 mins
That could be the winner! It’s a wonderful header from Firmino, who gets the run on Alderweireld and Kane and powers a header into the top right-hand corner!