Liverpool’s willpower is keeping their Premier League title hopes alive, admitted manager Jurgen Klopp after his side moved back top of the table in dramatic fashion with a 2-1 win over Tottenham at Anfield on Sunday.
Toby Alderweireld’s own goal a minute from time moved Liverpool two points ahead of title rivals Manchester City.
Klopp’s men still need City to slip up in their remaining seven games as the champions have a game in hand.
However, Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris’s error to parry the ball in off the unfortunate Alderweireld was reminiscent of Jordan Pickford’s mistake to also gift Divock Origi a late winner against Everton earlier in the season, suggesting Liverpool’s luck may be in this year.
“I told the boys after the game there are 500,000 ways probably to win a football game. Today it was rather ugly, but without a bit of luck you cannot be in the position we are,” said Klopp.
“If we are top of the table after the last matchday it would be a championship of will.”
Liverpool’s hopes of ending a 29-year wait to win the title looked set to be dealt a massive blow as Lucas Moura’s strike 20 minutes from time cancelled out Roberto Firmino’s early opener.
And the visitors will be left to regret Moussa Sissoko missing a huge chance to inflict Liverpool’s first home league defeat in nearly two years five minutes from time.
Spurs are now in serious danger of crashing out of the top four as they remain level on points with Manchester United and could be usurped by north London rivals Arsenal into third should the Gunners beat Newcastle on Monday.
“Overall I think we were better than Liverpool,” said Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino. “It is difficult to explain, but at the same time I am proud of the performance.”
Pochettino’s men remain without a Premier League win since February 10. However, the Argentine wants to set that record right at the opening night of the club’s new 62,000 capacity stadium against Crystal Palace on Wednesday.
“The new stadium must be a big boost for everyone,” said Pochettino. “I was telling the players in the changing room we have seven games and we are in top four and we need to compete. It’s a mini-league and, playing the way we played today, I think we can achieve the top four.”