Son Heung-Min deals hard blow to Liverpool’s quadruple dreams as stubborn Spurs frustrate Klopp



CNN

chasing the perfect season, Liverpool perfect break-in required. Tottenham Hotspur he had other ideas.

A stubborn defensive performance earned Spurs a 1-1 draw at Anfield on Saturday, a result that propelled Liverpool to the top of the table Premier League on goal difference. Yet, with the final day of the campaign coming, it could be considered the day the title slipped away at Manchester City.

With Liverpool already needing City to lose points in their last four games, Sunday’s home win against Newcastle will see City take a three-point lead at the top as they try to defend their crown.

If successful, Liverpool’s dreams of becoming the first team ever to win the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup will die out.

Coming on the heels of 13 wins in their last 14 league games – the only exception being a 2-2 draw at City – Liverpool were definitely the favorite to overwhelm a Spurs side fighting to reach the top four, but despite dominated possession, he found himself frustrated by a resolute wall of white.

Italian Spurs coach Antonio Conte forged a brilliant career from a combination of defensive solidity and counterattack dynamism, a philosophy that reaped its rewards in the 10th minute of Saturday’s second half.

A quick climb onto the pitch saw Harry Kane find winger Ryan Sessegnon free on the left of Liverpool, who selflessly teamed up with Son to beat at home.

His 20th league goal of the season – the only player to reach the finish line without penalties – the South Korean superstar once again wowed for Spurs this year despite a mixed season for the team.

A deflected shot from the fit Luis Diaz with 15 minutes left seemed destined to trigger an inevitable attack and goal from Liverpool; yet the Spurs held out and could have even sneaked into a dramatic winner with better overdue decision making.

“Having a good result was positive,” Conte told reporters after the game, with Spurs now within a point of rivals Arsenal in fourth place.

“On the other hand, I think maybe we should be a little disappointed. I saw disappointment in the eyes of my players because we had the chance to win the game. ”

Diaz levels for Liverpool.

Reflecting on “one of the hardest games” he had ever played, Son explained the need for a more defensive approach.

“Liverpool are one of the best teams in the world at the moment, so sometimes we have to defend,” Son told BT Sport.

“We did well today, this was our game plan.”

Son and Conte’s ratings marked a stark contrast to those of Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, who slammed the Spurs approach.

Citing 35% ownership of the visiting team, Klopp said the “it wasn’t me” approach.

“I’m sorry, I’m the wrong person to ask [about Spurs’ defending] because I don’t like this kind of football, “said Klopp.

“We play with a world-class team, they sit down … the game plan works for these games, but I’m still 5th.

Klopp was critical of Spurs tactics.

“Of course they work for everything, time wasters, this kind of thing… smart, but it doesn’t make it any easier for us.

“Absolutely fine, I just can’t. I respect everything they do. But it’s not me, ”Klopp added.

Klopp and Liverpool are now hoping Newcastle can pick up something from City on Sunday before heading to Aston Villa on Tuesday.

An FA Cup final and Champions League final later this month leave Liverpool with a chance to secure a historic hat-trick regardless of the Premier League.

“If you ask me, my favorite situation would be if it stayed that way, on the same points because City and we lose the rest of the Premier League games,” said Klopp.

“That would be great. But we all know this is not going to happen.”