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Liverpool 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur: Three talking points from Anfield

Rob Meech brings us three talking points from Anfield as Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur played out an enthralling 2-2 draw.

Rob Meech

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Photo: Reuters

Harry Kane’s dramatic 95th-minute penalty rescued a point for Tottenham Hotspur in a pulsating Premier League clash with Liverpool at Anfield.

The England striker slotted the ball past Loris Karius after the referee’s assistant had flagged for a foul by Virgil van Dijk on Erik Lamela.

It was a contentious call but Kane, who had missed a spot-kick only minutes earlier, took full advantage to reach the 100-goal mark in England’s top-flight.

Liverpool thought they had won the game when Mohamed Salah netted his second goal of the afternoon, a delicious solo effort, in the first minute of injury time.

It restored their lead after Victor Wanyama had restored parity with an unstoppable thunderbolt just moments after coming on as a second-half substitute.

The upshot is Liverpool leapfrog Chelsea into third, but their advantage over fifth-placed Tottenham remains two points.

Here are three talking points…

Spurs are rewarded for an impressive display

Much has been made of Tottenham’s record against fellow top-six clubs since Mauricio Pochettino took charge, particularly away from home.

They were below-par on their travels against Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal earlier in the campaign, losing all three games with barely a whimper.

This was a different story. Spurs made a tardy start and struggled to assert themselves in the first half. However, the interval came at the right time, after which they were transformed.

Pochettino’s side dominated possession and created more opportunities than the hosts.

In a grandstand finish, it seemed as though they would once again leave empty-handed. That was until Kane had the final say from the spot.

Defeat would have been a huge blow to Tottenham’s Champions League aspirations, but this hard-earned and merited point has kept them in the hunt.

Pochettino’s celebrations upon the final whistle indicated just how big a result this was in the context of the season.

Magical Salah has the Midas touch 

Amid the bizarre denouement, another stunning performance from Salah that culminated in a magical second goal must not be overshadowed.

The Egyptian has been accused by some of being overly one-footed, but when he left is so good why should that matter? It certainly hasn’t done Lionel Messi any harm.

Salah’s first goal, which arrived as early as the third minute, was a trademark finish as he brushed the ball past Hugo Lloris.

It took until added time for him to have another defining impact.

Salah appeared to be surrounded, but with a drop of the shoulder and superb close control, he somehow he weaved his way past three Spurs defenders and chipped the ball over the onrushing Lloris.

As it transpired, it was not to be a match-winning goal. However, Salah now has 21 for the season and was briefly level with Kane at the top of the goalscoring charts before the Spurs marksman’s last-gasp intervention.

Landmark afternoon for hotshot Kane

This fixture had been billed as a battle between Kane and Salah, the two leading scorers in the Premier League.

For all but the last minute of the game, it looked as though the Egypt international would win the bragging rights.

But you can never count out Kane, who showed great composure and courage to score a penalty having seen his previous once saved by Karius, which snatched a draw from the jaws of defeat.

It took Kane to 100 Premier League goals. By doing so in just his 141st appearance, he is the second-quickest player to the milestone, after Alan Shearer.

Comparisons with Shearer have been made for some time and if the 24-year-old maintains his current scoring rate, he will surpass the legendary striker’s total of 260.

Modest as always, Kane is not getting carried away with himself and will be happy to have contributed to an enterprising Tottenham performance.

Rob is a freelance writer, specialising in football, who previously worked as a sports journalist at the Dorset Echo. A long-standing AFC Bournemouth supporter, Rob can often be found on the terraces at the Vitality Stadium. Follow him on Twitter - @RobMeech

English Premier League

Rhian Brewster deserves shot at Liverpool first-team next season

The Liverpool teenager deserves a shot ahead of Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi.

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Liverpool fans were rightly excited about England under-17s World Cup win in India last summer. Firstly, it was great to see the English national team doing well at some level. Secondly, one of their own players, Rhian Brewster, was on fire.

The teenage striker won the Golden Boot prize at the competition after scoring eight goals for his nation, including hat-tricks against both the USA and Brazil.

His performances rightly had Liverpool fans excited for the season ahead, but it came too soon for the youngster. Brewster then suffered an ankle injury in January that needed surgery.

(Photo credit should read DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP/Getty Images)

However, despite his setback, it was reported last month by The Telegraph that Brewster will be promoted to the Liverpool first-team next season after his recovery period is over.

Rightly so. Liverpool should be ready to give the teenager his chance in the first-team at Anfield, as he has all the talent available to him to become a club goalscoring sensation.

In fact, if Liverpool want to be serious about him, they should ensure there are no blockages in his pathway.

The likes of Daniel Sturridge, currently on loan at West Brom, and Divock Origi, also on loan but at German side Wolfsburg, should no longer be considered ahead of Brewster in the pecking order.

Getting rid of the injury-prone Sturridge and Origi, who has struggled in the Bundesliga, will leave Brewster firmly in the mix for the striking position at Liverpool.

(Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Roberto Firmino obviously remains the first choice. But Liverpool also have England’s under-20 goalscoring sensation from the summer in Dominic Solanke. With the hard-working Danny Ings also present, Brewster fits in nicely to the Liverpool striking fold.

Some might say he is too young. But people said that about Michael Owen and Robbie Fowler. The fact is, nobody will know until he is thrown into that position.

Liverpool fans are some of the more supportive and understanding in the country when it comes to young talent, and would have all the patience in the world for the young striker.

It is time to cut the deadwood and make room for the future to blossom.

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Bolton Wanderers

Trent Alexander-Arnold World Cup push is deja-vu for Jon Flanagan and Liverpool

The Liverpool defender has had his problems on and off the pitch but is performing well at Bolton Wanderers.

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Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold has emerged as a late challenger for the England World Cup squad this summer. The teenage defender has been in incredible form for Liverpool in 2018.

His performances against Manchester City in both legs of the recent Champions League win earned mass praise and plenty of Liverpool fans are of the belief that Alexander-Arnold should be in the England squad.

It seems a bit like deja-vu from four years ago. Back then, England were again preparing for a World Cup – this time in Brazil. Once again, Liverpool were in fine form toward the end of that season and narrowly missed out on the Premier League title to Manchester City.

One of the main reasons for their excellent season was the form of young full-back Jon Flanagan. The then 21-year-old defender came in and solved Brendan Rodgers’ left-back problem with aplomb.

He featured in 25 games that season and pushed his way, much like Alexander-Arnold, into England contention.

(Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)

In the summer, he was named on the England standby list for the World cup and made his debut in a warm-up game against Ecuador. This should have been the start of something brilliant for the young man.

But the four years since have been a disappointment for the Liverpool man.

That summer a build-up of fluid on his knee led to investigations which in turn led to corrective surgery. Flanagan went on to spend what should have been his crowning years on the treatment table. After spending 18 months on the sidelines he eventually returned, but to a new Liverpool.

Under Jurgen Klopp, first-team football was hard to find. He headed to Burnley on loan last season but found himself not able to break into the first-team at Turf Moor either.

Since that near World Cup miss, football has continuously kicked Flanagan while he has been down and he has also had well-documented problems off the pitch as well.

But there is now a glimmer of hope. In January the defender headed to Bolton Wanderers on loan, to try and help the Trotters fight off relegation to League One and put his recent problems behind him.

Now established as a first-team regular he is getting back to fine form.

Whilst it may come too late to salvage his Liverpool career, there does appear to be a future for Flanagan in the game.

A lot of bad luck has hit the defender so far, whilst his off-field issues have also not helped matters. But, hopefully, he can turn things around and build a career Liverpool fans thought he might back in 2014.

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Liverpool

Liverpool identify Sevilla defender Clement Lenglet as Virgil Van Dijk’s perfect partner

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Photo: Getty Images.

After signing Virgil Van Dijk in January to begin a rebuilding project in defence, Liverpool could now look to Seville for the next addition and a long-term partner for the Dutchman, with that man being Clement Lenglet.

According to Spanish newspaper SPORT, Liverpool have entered the race to sign the Frenchman alongside Barcelona as interest in the youngster hots up.

The reports indicate that the defender has a release clause set as low as €30 million (£26.1 million) and as such would be a bargain addition in the summer, particularly given the price tag that other players of a similar quality would demand.

(Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images)

In his first full season in Spain, Lenglet has established a reputation as one of La Liga’s finest defenders, immediately becoming one of the first names on the Sevilla team-sheet under the management of both Eduardo Berizzo and Vincenzo Montella.

At 22-years-old, Lenglet has huge potential and already has four seasons of experience at first team level in France with Nancy and now in the south of Spain.

Good on the ball and strong in the tackle, he is exactly the mould of defender that Jurgen Klopp has looked for previously by signing the likes of Van Dijk and Joel Matip.

Whether a deal is realistic may be another matter given Barcelona’s interest, but it would certainly be one worth pursuing for Liverpool if they do have hopes of mounting a title challenge in the Premier League next season.

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