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  • By Yann Tear at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

Tottenham show some flair of old to hold Liverpool in a breathless encounter

Tottenham (1) 2 Kane 13, Son 74

Liverpool (1) 2 Jota 35, Robertson 69

Spurs summoned up a dynamic performance to cherish as they held Liverpool to a thrilling draw.

They will regret the many spurned chances which cost them a famous win, but this was still the sort of display which would have been unthinkable under Nuno Espirito Santo.

Covid-disruptions there may have been in the past week and a half for Antonio Conte and the small matter of three postponements, but this was a Tottenham side showing so much more flair, energy and organisation. The Italian is already starting to work his magic.

Spurs led, then trailed, but rather than feel sorry for themselves for the glut of missed chances, they recovered to claim a share of the spoils and might even have gone on to win it as Liverpool ended the match a man short.

The pace of Conte’s men on the counter-attack was a big feature and we saw some of the excellence of old from Dele Alli.

The first half in particular was a marvellous, helter-skelter 45 minutes, full of incident and breathless football almost from the word go, when Andrew Robertson ghosted into the box to meet a chip from Trent Alexander-Arnold to nod just wide.

Liverpool were soon into their pressing and passing stride and Hugo Lloris had to drop onto a James Milner drive and spring athletically to his left to keep out a stinging drive from Alexander-Arnold.

But Spurs raised their game and Emerson Royal danced into a dangerous channel before feeding Kane for a shot on the turn that was blocked.

Moments later, Tanguy Ndombele threaded a beautiful through-ball for Kane to tuck into the bottom corner after the striker had out-paced Ibrahima Konate.

And it should have been 2-0 not long after when a rejuvenated Kane tore down the right before clipping a ball into the middle for his partner-in-crime Heung-Min Son. The Korean stretched but could not get enough purchase to guide the ball home.

Son then had an even better chance when he was released by Kane for a one- one with Alisson. The keeper did brilliantly to execute a grab at the ball, though an offside ruling might have come.

Alli had even greater reason to curse his finishing when, from another lightning counter-attack, Son played him in with a pass which begged to be put away – but the final effort was just touched around the post by Alisson.

The temperature was high and got higher when Kane was carded for a lengthy lunge on Robertson that looked reckless, even if home fans howled in displeasure at ref Paul Tierney’s call.

Jurgen Klopp would later lament - rightly - that if VAR intervened to get one of his men sent off, it really should have done so to pass judgement on the England captain's challenge.

It looked every bit as worthy of a red as the one that would be given later on to Robertson.

The first half was riveting to watch. Liverpool kept going and drew level 10 minutes before the break.

Sadio Mane began it with a dash into the box and Robertson picked up the pieces after the ball was blocked to hang the ball

up for Diogo Jota to head home at the near post.

Spurs were perhaps lucky that a barge from Emerson Royal on Mane was not punished with a penalty not long after. Klopp’s protestations earned the Reds boss a yellow card from Tierney.

Before the half was out, Liverpool might have been the ones in front but Lloris stuck out his left peg to block a goalbound volley at the far post from Alexander-Arnold.

If Spurs were left to rue their profligacy, they did not quite leave it behind in the dressing room after the restart, as Kane missed two gilt-edged chances – first after Alli gave him an apparently simple tap-in – Alisson smothered – then with a close-range header which cleared the bar.

There was bound to be punishment for all those misses and it came in the 69th minute when Robertson stooped to get his head on the end of a flashing drive across the box from Alexander-Arnold – the result of an attack that almost brought a goal for Mo Salah, but which also had a hint of hand-ball from the Egyptian.

Undaunted, Spurs hit back straight away and when Alisson made a hash of clearing a long ball up to Son, the Korean was left with the simple task of rolling the ball home.

With 12 minutes to go, Liverpool found themselves down to 10 when VAR upgraded a yellow handed to Robertson for a wild touchline challenge on Emerson Royal. But Spurs were not quite able to cash in by grabbing a late winner.

Spurs: (3-4-2-1) Lloris – Sanchez, Dier, Davies – Emerson Royal, Ndombele (Skipp 64), Winks, R Sessegnon (Reguilon 86) – Alli (Moura 81), Son – Kane. Subs not used: Austin, Doherty, Rodon, Lo Celso, Bergwijn, Tanganga

Reds: (4-3-3) Alisson – Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Konate, Robertson – Morton (Firmino 60), Keita, Milner – Salah, Jota (Gomez 90), Mane (Tsimikas 82). Subs not used: Kelleher, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Minamino, Gordon, Williams, Quansah


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