Liverpool were forced into a dramatic 2-2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday at Anfield, with three goals being scored in the final 10 minutes as pandemonium ensured with some contentious decisions and comical errors the major talking points.
Mohamed Salah had given the hosts the lead early on, before a Victor Wanyama screamer in the 80th minute levelled proceedings.
Harry Kane would then win and miss a penalty before Salah scored a magical second to seemingly win the tie for the Reds but a second spot-kick was awarded to the visitors and Kane made amends for his earlier miss to ensure both sides went home with a point apiece.
The Statesman has taken the liberty of assessing the players’ performances from the rollercoaster ride that unfold at Anfield below:
Goalkeeper and Defence
Karius was pretty solid all game long, pity about the late goals as a clean sheet would have done wonders for his confidence.
First penalty was a bit harsh, on another day the referee could have ruled in his favour.
Saved it anyhow to redeem himself, but the weak punch in the build up to Victor Wanyama’s strike highlights his lack of authority in the box.
In the first-half, like the rest of his teamamtes, Robertson was a bright figure as he harried the visitors to no end.
His duel with Kieran Trippier was fun to watch but more is expected of the Scot, especially with his offensive contributions. Some of the crosses left a lot to be desired.
Jurgen Klopp made a big call by selecting the error-prone Croatian for a high-profile game such as this, especially with what had happened in the first leg, but Lovren ultimately failed to vindicate his manager’s faith. Marshalled Kane well, but what’s the point of playing well for 80-odd minutes and then losing your head towards the end?
Swipe at Dele Alli’s pass intended for Kane was comical at best. And ironically, had he not gone for the ball, the official would have flagged the Spurs striker for offside.
Virgil van Dijk
Did little wrong on the night, but did give away a penalty which gifted Spurs a chance to equalise.
The incident with Erik Lamela was not a blunder, but definitely a foul as the Dutchman didn’t get the ball.
Bright with the ball and held his own for the most part, but in modern football, fullbacks are supposed to do more than just defend. Forays into the opponents’s half have to make difference to the scoreboard. Got booked for a dangerous foul in the first-half and was lucky not to get sent off for the same.
After a string of impressive performances, the burly German went missing in a big game and while he didn’t do much wrong, didn’t do much right either. Got needlessly booked for his protests after Kane’s equaliser.
When he came off, Liverpool were still leading 1-0 and perhaps the Englishman’s absence hurt the. Might have closed down Wanyama before the African scored, but we will never know.
Needs to start finishing games now as Klopp’s side clearly lack quality in the middle of the park without their skipper.
Not the best of games for the veteran, who is unlikely to start too often now with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain waiting in the wings. Booked for a rash foul on the hour-mark.
Liverpool need to find out what the Egyptian is eating and feed it to their entire team. While the second goal was an excellent finish, the second will definitely be a contender for goal of the season.
With 20 league strikes and more to come, the former Roma winger is channeling his inner-Lionel Messi with alarming ease and comparisons between the two don’t seem so far-fetched anymore.
The standout performer of the tie, in case there was any doubt.
As Mane and Firmino have picked up the slack in Philippe Coutinho’s departure, Mane has almost disappeared. Consistently makes the wrong choices in the final third, often ruining promising moves. Oxlade-Chamberlain replaced him near the hour-mark but the change should have come sooner, in all probability.
A typically-hardworking performance from the tireless Brazilian, who continues to prove his worth even when he doesn’t score.
Could he do more? Probably, but with Salah in such sensational form, everyone has to play second fiddle.
Replaced Mane as Klopp hoped the Englishman would find a second goal that would kill the tie. It was not to be as Chamberlain struggled to break down a resolute Spurs defence.
Where was the closing down for the Wanyama goal? The Dutchman’s future at the club is under risk for he’s no longer a confirmed starter and probably wouldn’t have even played had Henderson been fully fit.
Brought on in place of Milner as Klopp sought to see the game out only for Wanyama to score a screamer. Not really at fault for any of Spurs’ goals or penalty incidents.
Goalkeeper and Defence
Despite Liverpool’s dominance in the first-half, didn’t have an awful lot to do. Could have closed down the angle for Salah’s first goal and definitely should not have conceded the second from such an tight angle.
Sent in quite a few crosses, but none were put away by a Spurs player. Despite his obvious lack of speed, held his own on the wing.
Most days Sanchez displays composure and tenacity that belies his young age, but his performance at Anfield wasn’t quite top-notch, unfortunately. Could have done better to cover for the first goal, arguably.
Not a spectacular game from the classy Belgian, but at least not a calamitous one too. Led the defence well, but clearly Spurs are missing the services of Toby Alderweireld.
Was a willing runner on the flanks and gave his winger ample support, but without much to show for it in the end. Defensively did well for the most part.
Dembele at his best, can wreak havoc in the best of teams but the talented Belgian definitely didn’t bring his A-Game to Anfield. Like Dier, struggled with Liverpool’s intense pressing in the first half but became more influential as the game progressed. Replaced by Wanyama in the 79th minute.
The Englishman is an excellent utility player, but what is his best position? Certainly not central midfield. At fault for the first goal as it was his wayward back-pass/touch that effectively assisted Salah. Struggled to cope with Liverpool’s intensity in the first half but did improve after the interval.
Correctly booked for diving, Alli looked sluggish in attack even if it was his pass that set up the first penalty incident. The former MK Dons player has been cautioned for simulation for the third time this season and needs to weed the dark arts out of his game.
Always positive, looking for a run of a teammate, but not enough quality on the ball from Spurs’ creative maestro. Alli and he have a job of supplying Kane with ammunition to fire, but they weren’t up the mark for once.
The Korean’s form has dipped a bit in recent weeks, but he was full of graft at Anfield on Sunday and certainly better than most of his teammates, without doing too much, however.
Struggled against the central defensive pairing of Lovren and van Dijk, missed a late penalty, but showed remarkable resilience to convert his second spot-kick of the night. Not his best game, but a momentous one as the striker reached the milestone of 100 Premier League goals in dramatic fashion.
Came on and was generally bright as he managed to win a second penalty, just when hope was fading fast.
Scored a golazo of the first order within seconds of his introduction. Not sure if Pochettino sent him on with that intent, but nobody from the Lilywhites camp will complain!
Came on in injury-time as Spurs threw everything at Liverpool. Didn’t get the ball enough to warrant a rating.