Harry Kane converted a controversial late penalty to snatch a point for Spurs in a dramatic 2-2 draw at Anfield.

Liverpool rapidly grabbed the lead, with Mohamed Salah calmly slotting past Hugo Lloris for his 20th league goal of the season.

A spectacular thunderbolt from substitute Victor Wanyama levelled things up before Loris Karius saved a tame, and wrongly-awarded, spot-kick from Kane.

Salah looked to have won it in magnificent fashion after dancing through the Spurs defence, but Kane denied the hosts from 12 yards at the last after Virgil van Dijk was adjudged to have brought down Erik Lamela.

Poor refereeing denies Reds three points

Jon Moss has proven to be Liverpool’s mortal enemy this season. The man who gave Sadio Mane his marching orders for inadvertently taking out Ederson back in September, condemning the Reds to defeat at Manchester City, faltered once again at our expense.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – Sunday, February 4, 2018: Assistant referee Eddie Smart tries to impose a penalty for Tottenham Hotspur onto referee Jonathan Moss during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The inconsistency was troubling. First, Moss dismissed his linesman’s legitimate protests to award Spurs their first penalty, with Kane clearly in an offside position before Karius brought him down, and then he was willingly overruled after waving away Lamela’s appeals.

Replays showed that, whilst Virgil van Dijk did make contact, the Argentina melodramatically threw himself at the floor in a desperate attempt to trick the referee, who predictably fell for it.

READ MORE: Liverpool 2-2 Tottenham – Player Ratings

Fury rightfully took hold at the final whistle, with the hapless officials booed off the pitch. Agony for Liverpool and grave concern for the FA, whose much-maligned referees continue to crack under pressure.

Another good result in agonising circumstances

This game seemed to encapsulate the emotional turbulence of supporting Liverpool. On a number occasions this season, most notably our 3-3 draws from winning positions away at Sevilla and Arsenal, Klopp’s men have picked up ostensibly good results in excruciating fashion.

Fans will have been immensely frustrated to see three points slip from their grasp at the death, but defeat, which looked likely for a few moments, would have been a significantly more damaging outcome.

When the smoke clears, Liverpool will be reassured by their two-point cushion over their chief top-four rivals, who are by no means guaranteed maximum points at the weekend when they face a resurgent Arsenal.

The status quo has been maintained, and so, refreshingly, our fate remains in our hands. With a trip to Southampton, followed by home ties against relegation strugglers West Ham and Newcastle, to come, we could yet find ourselves with some welcome breathing space come the end of the month.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – Sunday, February 4, 2018: Liverpool’s goalkeeper Loris Karius looks dejected as Tottenham Hotspur score the first equalising goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Mohamed Salah a legend in the making

Moss’ blunders might well dominate the post-match discourse, but they should not be allowed to overshadow Salah’s brilliant double.

The first was opportunistic, yes, but the finish was characteristically composed, and the second was simply phenomenal. The suitably-named Egyptian king showcased mind-boggling footwork and frankly absurd strength as he left Spurs’ revered defenders for dead before expertly dispatching. It was one of two goal of the season contenders over the course of the 90 minutes.

The statistics are scarcely believable. Salah has reached 20 league goals faster than any player in Liverpool’s Premier League history – a history written by the likes of Robbie Fowler, Fernando Torres and Luis Suarez. It’s February and he needs only two more goals to reach 30 for the season.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – Sunday, February 4, 2018: Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring the second goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The wingers who match his goalscoring capacity elsewhere are considered among the world’s best, and very soon Salah will join that elite caste. This is a player who, if he remains at Anfield, can become one of the club’s all-time greats.

A new centre-back partnership for Liverpool?

There was no clean sheet this time but the Reds, generally speaking, impressively repelled the consistent waves of Spurs pressure. In the end, they could do relatively little about the two goals they shipped.

Virgil van Dijk looked a commanding and calming presence in the first half in particular, demonstrating impressive composure as he played the ball out from the back and offering a consistent aerial threat.

Alongside him was not Joel Matip, who, when fit, has started virtually every game, but Dejan Lovren. The Croatian, you’ll remember, was hooked very early after a nightmarish first half at Wembley back in October but arguably did enough to redeem himself.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – Sunday, February 4, 2018: Liverpool’s Dejan Lovren looks on in disbelief as a second penalty is awarded to Tottenham Hotspur in injury time during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Yes, he missed the through ball which led to the first penalty, but Kane was offside regardless. Lovren’s Liverpool career has been defined by his errors, but fans must accept that he delivers in nine out of every ten games.

Rotation is likely, but Lovren, and indeed Ragnar Klavan, have done enough to give the manager a selection headache for the very biggest matches.

A game of two halves

Did Liverpool deserve to win, or was a draw a fair result on balance? The latter assessment seems more appropriate.

READ MORE: Klopp: “I cannot believe some of the decisions today”

We were excellent in the first half as we employed our trademark pressing game and harassed Spurs from the very first whistle. They struggled to cope, repeatedly forced all the way back to ‘keeper Hugo Lloris.

If anything, we looked to run out of steam slightly in the second period as the visitors applied relentless pressure. For once, our opponents dominated the ball, and an equaliser certainly looked more likely than a Liverpool second.

Nonetheless, we were able to go toe-to-toe with an excellent Spurs side and battle our way to a point. The Reds typically thrive on the big occasion but now they must grind out results against lowly opponents and, in doing so, confirm that the post-City stutter was nothing more than a blip.

About The Author

South African Liverpool fan and freelance writer.

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