A three yard tap-in from Mario Balotelli gave Liverpool the win in an excellent game. The match was open throughout and had the feeling of a cup tie at times.
Liverpool took the initiative from kick-off and soon had the lead. A quick kick from Mignolet found Sturridge, who passed to Markovic; he was able to advance to the edge of the area without any Spurs player getting close to him. The shot was not the cleanest strike, but found its way into the net. The lead was deserved, as Lloris had already made some good saves from Sturridge. Spurs were not helping their cause by giving the ball away in the midfield to Sturridge several times.
Spurs were able to level ten minutes later. A good passing move finally reached Harry Kane, who made no mistake; he took the ball out of his feet with his first touch and powered it through Mignolet with his second.
The attacking play continued for the rest of the half, although no further goals were scored. The second half picked up where the first had left off and Liverpool added to their score eight minutes after half time when Sturridge was fouled by Danny Rose in the penalty area. For a long time, it looked as though the referee, Phil Dowd, was not going to give the penalty; it was finally given with the assistance of the linesman. The penalty was taken by Steven Gerrard, who put it to Lloris’ left.
Liverpool’s lead lasted for eight minutes before Spurs levelled for the second time. Eriksen’s free kick was saved by Mignolet, who pushed the ball away. Kane picked the ball up and put it across the six yard box, where Dembele was on hand to put the ball into the net. Liverpool were not happy with the goal, claiming the free kick was a harsh decision and that Kane was offside (replays showed he was).
The chances continued, with Mignolet producing a fantastic save from a fierce effort from Lemella. However, with seven minutes left, Liverpool found the winner; a cross from Lallana allowed Balotelli to tap the ball into an empty net from three yards. Spurs piled the pressure on late, but Liverpool were able to hold on and take the points.
With both teams being in the mix for Champions League football, I was concerned that the teams might look to keep things tight and cancel each other out. The first few minutes showed that this was not going to be the case, with both teams committed to attacking and trying to win the game. Referee Dowd booked eight players throughout the game, some of which seemed harsh bookings. However, I think this actually helped the game in some ways because exciting attacking players were being encouraged to take defenders on and try to win the game. This was an excellent match between two teams looking to win. A draw would probably have been the fairest result, but Liverpool will be delighted by the win, which will greatly help their run for a top-four finish.