Tottenham celebrated another jaw-dropping 2-1 stoppage-time victory as Joel Matip’s own goal finally broke nine-man Liverpool’s resistance.
Saturday evening’s box office battle pitted together exciting, resurgent sides that had both begun the new Premier League season unbeaten having bounced back from chastening campaigns last term.
Jurgen Klopp’s men were seconds away from leaving north London with a fantastic point after Cody Gakpo cancelled out Son Heung-min’s opener in a match which saw the visitors have two players sent off.
Curtis Jones and half-time introduction Diogo Jota were sent off at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, where Spurs finally beat Liverpool at the fifth time of asking.
Just like in their last home game against Sheffield United a fortnight ago, Ange Postecoglou’s men triumphed thanks to a stunning stoppage-time conclusion.
This time it was Liverpool defender Matip providing the key touch, inadvertently turning home Pedro Porro’s cross to spark wild celebrations in the sixth minute of added time.
This game is sure to dominate the agenda over the coming days after the Professional Game Match Officials Limited admitted after the match that a “significant human error” saw Luis Diaz’s opener for Liverpool wrongly ruled out for offside.
Tottenham’s dramatic late winner was a fitting end to a breathless encounter, which had started in an intense, open fashion.
Diaz and Alexis Mac Allister had attempts for Liverpool before Dejan Kulusevski failed to reach Richarlison’s tantalising cross at the other end.
Spurs were looking dangerous but Liverpool were getting more shots aways, with home goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario receiving an ovation after denying Gakpo and Andrew Robertson.
The helter-skelter theme continued before the dynamics shifted on a VAR review in the 26th minute.
Jones had been booked for a poor, clumsy challenge that saw his boot go over the ball and plant in Spurs midfielder Yves Bissouma’s shin.
Referee Simon Hooper was advised to watch the challenge back and, after reviewing it, upgraded the card to red.
There was a collective gasp inside the stadium when the replay was shown on the big screen, but Liverpool did not appear happy with the decision.
James Maddison saw a shot held and Richarlison lasered over as Tottenham attempted to capitalise on their numerical advantage, only for the Reds to seemingly make the breakthrough.
Mohamed Salah did well under pressure to slip through Diaz to strike across Vicario and into the far corner of the net, sparking wild celebrations in the away end that continued long after offside was called.
The travelling support eventually realised it had been ruled out – albeit wrongly, referees’ body the PGMOL acknowledged after the game – and to add to their disappointment, then had to watch the home fans around them go wild as Spurs took a 36th-minute lead.
Maddison slipped Richarlison behind with an excellent pass and the former Everton forward’s smart first-time squared pass was turned home from six yards by skipper Son.
Spurs smelt blood and Richarlison drilled in a low shot which struck the post and overconfident Son shot rather than passed to Maddison.
It looked a poor decision rather than a costly one until the fourth minute of stoppage time, when Liverpool equalised after Virgil van Dijk’s header back across goal was controlled by Gakpo and struck home on the turn.
The goalscorer hurt himself in the process and did not return for a second half that Liverpool could have started in the lead, had Diaz met Salah’s exquisite pass just before the break.
Postecoglou’s outfit returned with the bit between their teeth and it looked a case of when rather than if they would score as they laid siege to Liverpool’s goal.
But Alisson was in inspired form between the sticks, stopping Maddison finding the top left-hand corner from 20 yards in the 49th minute before tipping over Son’s volleyed snapshot two minutes later.
The Liverpool goalkeeper also dealt with a Pape Matar Sarr strike down the throat and was saved by an offside decision when Maddison fed Richarlison to cross for what would have been Son’s second goal of the night.
Tottenham’s pressure was unrelenting and the incline on the visitors’ uphill battle increased in the 69th minute.
Half-time substitute Jota had just been booked for fouling Destiny Udogie and was soon handed a second yellow for trying to win the ball back from the Spurs left-back.
Klopp made a triple change in a bid to tighten up against a Tottenham side struggling to break down the visitors.
The away end was making more noise than the frustrated home faithful as the Reds looked set to hang on for a fantastic point in trying circumstances.
But Spurs have a never-say-die attitude under Postecoglou and their patience paid dividends in the sixth minute of stoppage time.
Cristian Romero played wide to Porro on the right and his driven ball was slammed into his own goal by Matip.
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