Luis Diaz rescued the Reds in their Premier League game against Tottenham Hotspur
Liverpool‘s hopes of winning the 2021-22 Premier League title were dealt a huge hit by Tottenham Hotspur, who secured a 1-1 draw at Anfield on Saturday, 7 May. Son Heung-Min gave Antonio Conte’s Spurs a shock lead in the 56th minute. Luis Diaz then restored parity with a deflected effort off Rodrigo Bentancur in the 74th minute.
The Reds were the dominant side on the night, attempting 22 shots and enjoying 66 percent possession. However, the Merseyside giants could only muster three attempts on target. This was matched by Spurs, who only attempted eight shots but had the better chances on the break.
Despite the comeback, the damage was already done to Jurgen Klopp’s Reds, who have now conceded the advantage to Manchester City in the title race. Pep Guardiola’s side are level on points with Liverpool (83) and also have a valuable game in hand. They face Newcastle United at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday, May 8.
The Reds are currently top of the table thanks to their narrowly superior goal difference (+64 to City’s +63).
The result didn’t help Antonio Conte’s Tottenham Hotspur side in their quest to qualify for next season’s UEFA Champions League either. Spurs will finish the campaign unbeaten against the league’s top two teams. However, they are a point behind fourth-placed Arsenal. Mikel Arteta’s men are on 63 points and have a game in hand over their London rivals.
On that note, here are five talking points from a high-octane clash at Anfield that ultimately left both teams unhappy:
#5 Both sides hit the woodwork in a goalless first-half
Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk came closest to breaking the deadlock in the opening 45 minutes
The Reds dominated a lively first-half that saw Klopp’s men enjoy 65 percent possession and attempt 11 shots. Although Sadio Mane and Luis Diaz went close, it was big centre-back Virgil van Dijk who nearly broke the deadlock for the hosts.
The Dutchman rose high to meet Trent Alexander-Arnold’s corner kick and was unfortunate to see his attempt cannon off the bar. Spurs, though, posed a threat of their own and nearly punished Liverpool late in the first-half. Pierre-Emile Hojberg’s shot from distance struck the outside of the left post.
#4 Son Heung-min continues to punish Liverpool
Son Heung-min (L, #7) and Emerson Royal (R, 12) celebrate Tottenham Hotspur’s goal
Son Heung-min is undoubtedly the man for the big occasion and the Tottenham Hotspur forward continued his good individual record against Liverpool. The 29-year-old South Korean forward scored in the first league meeting between these two sides earlier this season, as Spurs held the Reds to a 2-2 draw.
He was back at it again on Saturday, scoring a second-half opener and ultimately helping Conte’s side grab another draw. It was Son’s fourth league goal in 12 games against the Reds, although he has finished on the winning side just once.
With that goal, Son also hit 20 league goals for the first time in his Premier League career. He now has 21 goals and nine assists in 42 appearances across competitions.
Interestingly, the Spurs forward has also played a crucial role against Liverpool‘s title rivals Manchester City. The Korean star scored the only goal in a 1-0 Spurs win earlier in the season. He then assisted Harry Kane during another 3-2 Tottenham win in the reverse fixture against the Cityzens.
#3 Luis Diaz continues to impress in a Liverpool jersey
Luis Diaz has been incredible for Liverpool since arriving in January this year
It has only been a few months since Liverpool signed 25-year-old Colombian winger Luis Diaz from Porto for £40.5 million. However, he is already turning out to be one of the best winter window signings in recent memory. The Colombia international has slotted seamlessly into the Reds’ attack and hasn’t missed a step since arriving at Anfield.
He netted a crucial equalizer for Klopp’s side against Spurs on Saturday, cutting in from the left and letting fly from distance. Although his shot took a fortunate deflection, Diaz was deserving of a goal and was the home team’s best player on the night.
He now has six goals for the Merseyside giants and continues to be a revelation while keeping Diogo Jota out of the lineup.
#2 Tottenham Hotspur lose valuable ground in UEFA Champions League race despite positive performance
Antonio Conte and Harry Kane face an uphill task to qualify for the 2022-23 UEFA Champions League
Tottenham Hotspur turned in an excellent performance against Liverpool and might even be disappointed that they didn’t come away with a win. It was a terrific performance from Conte’s men, who were only undone by a deflection and arguably had the better chances of the game.
Despite the good display, it wasn’t a good result for Spurs. They lost further ground to fourth-placed Arsenal in the race to qualify for next season’s UEFA Champions League. Tottenham trail the Gunners by a point despite having played one game more than Mikel Arteta’s side.
The two teams are set to face off against each other on Thursday, May 12.
For now, it seems Spurs will miss out on a top-four finish. It is remarkable considering they are unbeaten in four games against the two best teams in the division.
#1 Is this the end of Liverpool’s quadruple hopes?
Jurgen Klopp and Mohamed Salah (R) during a Liverpool game
On one hand, Liverpool’s comeback against Spurs saw them preserve their astonishing unbeaten league record at home. Coming into the game against Tottenham, the Reds hadn’t suffered a defeat at Anfield since March 7, 2021. Klopp’s side were on a 21-game unbeaten run that saw them pick up 55 points out of a possible 63.
Thanks to Diaz’s equalizer, that record is still intact and the Reds are top of the league table, for now. But the advantage is well and truly with Pep Guardiola and Manchester City. They are level on points with Klopp’s side and have a game in hand.
With the Carabao Cup already won, Liverpool are yet to play in the FA Cup final against Chelsea on May 14. The Reds will also face Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League final. But their hopes of an unprecedented quadruple may have taken a fatal blow.