Liver­pool beats Tot­ten­ham, 2-1

Team takes a six-point lead in Premier League, thanks largely to Salah

The Peterborough Examiner - - SPORTS - ROB HAR­RIS

LIVER­POOL, ENG­LAND — Mo­hamed Salah com­pleted the re­cov­ery after Liver­pool con­ceded in the first minute against Tot­ten­ham on Sun­day, clinch­ing a 2-1 vic­tory from the penalty spot and restor­ing a six-point Premier League soc­cer lead.

Salah’s 75th-minute win­ner — after Serge Aurier clum­sily clipped Sa­dio Mane — was the striker’s eighth goal of the ti­tle chase.

But Liver­pool’s equal­izer had come from the less likely source of Jor­dan Hen­der­son, who net­ted for the first time at An­field in four years in the 52nd minute. The Eng­land vice-cap­tain can­celled out the opener from Eng­land cap­tain Harry Kane, who took only 47 sec­onds to send Tot­ten­ham into a shock lead after a lack­lus­tre start to the sea­son for the 10th-place Lon­don club.

It was a re­verse of the last meet­ing be­tween Tot­ten­ham and Liver­pool in June in the Cham­pi­ons League fi­nal, when Salah net­ted an early penalty.

Liver­pool’s break­through on its way to a sixth Euro­pean Cup came when Mousa Sis­soko han­dled after 22 sec­onds to con­cede a penalty in Madrid.

Re­demp­tion came after 148 days for the French mid­fielder — and al­most as quickly.

Launch­ing a coun­ter­at­tack after 30 sec­onds, Sis­soko’s surg­ing run left a trail of red shirts in his wake be­fore he picked out Son He­ung-min on the left wing.

The South Korea for­ward brushed past Hen­der­son be­fore his shot hit the bar, helped by a de­flec­tion off De­jan Lovren.

Kane was primed to con­nect with the re­bound, send­ing a stoop­ing header past Alis­son Becker with only 47 sec­onds on the clock.

It was some­thing of a rar­ity: no op­po­si­tion player has scored here in the league in the first minute of a game this cen­tury. As Tot­ten­ham man­ager Mauri­cio Po­chet­tino shuf­fles the de­fence and mid­field from game to game, Kane seems the one cer­tainty to start.

So too, for now, Paulo Gaz­zaniga, with first-choice goal­keeper Hugo Lloris out un­til the new year with an el­bow in­jury. The un­der­study more than lived up to the task.

There was a dou­ble save to deny Salah and Roberto Firmino be­fore get­ting a fin­ger­tip to Vir­gil van Dijk’s header.

Not even the power of Trent Alexander-Arnold’s shot from out­side the penalty area was enough to find a way past Gaz­zaniga ap­proach­ing the halfhour.

He was proving a frus­trat­ing bar­rier to the equal­izer, scram­bling away Firmino’s header and then Lovren’s at­tempt from the re­sult­ing cor­ner at the start of the se­cond half.

Hav­ing swarmed Tot­ten­ham since con­ced­ing in the first minute, Liver­pool switched off again to al­low Son to em­bark on a coun­ter­at­tack.

Round­ing Alis­son, Son reached a tight an­gle and could only hit the cross­bar.

How costly it proved.

Danny Rose failed to clear the ball and then only helped Fabinho’s cross onto the un­marked Hen­der­son, who volleyed the ball past the Tot­ten­ham left back into the net.

Gaz­zaniga was fi­nally beaten, and he was again by Salah’s penalty after Aurier dis­pos­sessed Mane be­fore foul­ing the Sene­gal for­ward as he tried to clear.

With Kane hav­ing a header blocked with al­most the fi­nal move of the game, Tot­ten­ham was left with only 12 points from 10 points in Po­chet­tino’s worst start since tak­ing charge in 2014.

Liver­pool, which was held by Manch­ester United last week­end, has 28 points from a pos­si­ble 30 as it chases a first ti­tle since 1990. Juer­gen Klopp’s side is six points ahead of Manch­ester City ahead of the sec­ond­place cham­pi­ons’ visit to An­field in two weeks.


Liver­pool’s Mo­hamed Salah, right, cel­e­brates with team­mate Jor­dan Hen­der­son after scor­ing his side’s se­cond goal Sun­day. Liver­pool has 28 points as it chases a first ti­tle since 1990.

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