[Liverpool 1 – 1 Tottenham]

Giant killer and party spoiler, aren’t they? Spurs this season beat City twice and drew with the Reds twice. If they could be more consistent against the weaker teams, they would certainly be fighting for the title. As it stands, they are staking a serious claim for the final Champions League spot next season. Bully for them, I suppose.

This game was a tough one to watch.

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Yes, Spurs played a good game, but it wasn’t that good. They made some awful mistakes coming out of their box, and on any given day, one or more of them would have cost them a goal; today their luck held, and the ball didn’t fall in quite the right way for Liverpool to capitalize. In combination with their one extremely well-worked hit, it was enough for the visitors to steal a precious point. Otherwise, Liverpool more or less dominated throughout.

In a nutshell, the Reds deserved to win but didn’t.

Well, Why Didn’t we win then?

Was it a matter of nerves? Tiredness? Or simply rotten luck? A combination of all three, most likely, but it is ultimately what makes this game of football so mesmerizing and bewitching. Because so few goals are scored for the game time played, surprise outcomes are relatively frequent. The jitteriness is perhaps best exemplified by one stat line: Liverpool had 22 attempts to Spurs’ 8, but both teams had only 3 on target.

And Liverpool needed a deflection to score.

Conte set his team up well, and Eric Dier played a magnificent game in the back, doing more than any other white shirt to frustrate the Liverpool front line. Tottenham was still overwhelmed a number of times, giving away cheap balls in dangerous areas. One big problem Liverpool faced today in converting these into chances was an unusual one: Trent Alexander-Arnold was solid in defense, but off in the attack, and his passes were not of their typical godlike quality. Salah was also off with his passing, and when these two aren’t clicking, it shuts down much of the team’s creativity.

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Thank goodness for Luis Diaz, who took the game by the scruff of the neck and rescued a draw. Both he and Hendo played a terrific game, and either one would be a worthy candidate for man-of-the-match, but Diaz gets it if only because without him and his single-minded purpose, the visitors would have walked away victorious. As it is, a draw keeps the title race alive and some pressure on City. Even if the giant killer and party spoiler (Spurs) had their day, it can still be our year.

Over to you, Magpies.

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