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Liverpool’s title hopes fade after Spurs stalemate

Liverpool’s title hopes fade after Spurs stalemate

FOOTBALL: Jurgen Klopp said Liverpool cannot give up hope in the Premier League title race after a 1-1 draw against Tottenham yesterday (May 7) despite admitting he cannot see Manchester City slipping up.

FootballPremier-League
By AFP

Sunday 8 May 2022, 09:50AM


Son Heung-Min wheels away to celebrate his opener against Liverpool. Photo: Paul Ellis / AFP

Son Heung-Min wheels away to celebrate his opener against Liverpool. Photo: Paul Ellis / AFP

Klopp’s side edged ahead of City on goal difference after dropping points at Anfield for the first time since February.

But the English champions can now afford to draw one of their remaining four games and still retain their title.

Pep Guardiola’s men can retake top spot and open up a three-point lead when they host Newcastle later today.

“It is an important point but we all know the situation,” said Klopp.

“We are now top of the table and if we and City lose all the rest of our games then great, but we all know that will not happen.

“I would love to sit here and say yes City will drop points, the problem is I can’t see it.”

A share of the spoils took Tottenham to within a point of fourth-placed Arsenal, but their chance of a top-four finish now also rely on the Gunners dropping points in two of their final four games.

Son Heung-min rounded off a brilliant team move to put Spurs in front on 56 minutes.

Luis Diaz’s deflected shot levelled 16 minutes from time, but Liverpool failed to find a winner.

“It is not easy to play in this moment against an amazing team in an amazing atmosphere,” said Tottenham boss Antonio Conte.

“They have a lot of energy despite playing every three days, it is incredible. They are deserving of everything they are reaching this season.

“To have a good result is positive but we have to be disappointed because we had the chances to win the game.”

Twenty-one points separate the sides, but Spurs have made a habit of saving their best for the big occasion.

Conte’s men are unbeaten in all four meetings with City and Liverpool this season.

Liverpool did not start like a side fatigued by reaching the Champions League final in their 57th game of the season against Villarreal in midweek, as the intense press from the home side penned Tottenham in.

But their best effort came from a corner as Virgil van Dijk hit the crossbar.

Spurs also hit the woodwork in the first-half when Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg took aim from long range.

The second-half followed the same pattern, with Liverpool camped in the Tottenham half, but this time Spurs did pick them off on the counter-attack.

Harry Kane was given time to assess his options and played in Ryan Sessegnon who slid the ball across the box for Son to tap in his 20th Premier League goal of the season to move within two of Mohamed Salah.

It was the first time Liverpool have trailed at Anfield in a league match since February. Spurs could have doubled their lead had Son controlled another Sessegnon cross moments later.

Salah did his best to extend his advantage in the race for the Golden Boot and rescue the Reds’ title challenge only to be denied by a brilliant block from Ben Davies.

Diaz swung the match and the tie in midweek as Klopp’s men came from 2-0 down on the night to win 3-2 against Villarreal and reach a third Champions League final in five seasons.

The Colombian has been a sensational signing since arriving in January and made another contribution with a slice of fortune.

Diaz’s shot from outside the box took a huge deflection off Rodrigo Bentancur to wrong-foot Hugo Lloris.

But Liverpool will have to settle for a shot at cup glory unless City stumble as Tottenham held firm in the closing stages.

Klopp’s men, who have already lifted the League Cup, face Chelsea in the FA Cup final next weekend and then Real Madrid for the European Cup in Paris on May 28.

Hornets relegated

Elsewhere, Manchester United’s torrid season continued as they were thrashed 4-0 by a vibrant Brighton side.

Chelsea blew a two-goal lead in front of prospective owner Todd Boehly as Wolves snatched a dramatic 2-2 draw, while Watford were relegated from the Premier League after defeat at Crystal Palace.

Burnley wasted a chance to boost their survival chances as Aston Villa cruised to a 3-1 victory at Turf Moor and Brentford crushed Southampton 3-0 at their Community Stadium, with the goals coming from Pontus Jansson, Yoane Wissa and Kristoffer Ajer.

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