Liverpool took the spoils in an entertaining encounter at Anfield to keep alive their slim hopes of finishing in the top four, while denting Spurs’ charge for third.
Spurs looked comfortable after taking a 2-1 lead, but their European hangover kicked in with two mistakes gifting Liverpool the victory.
Luis Suarez drew first blood after 21 minutes, latching on to Jose Enrique’s through ball to stab the ball past Hugo Lloris before the Frenchman had a chance to set himself.
Jan Vertonghen, fresh from his man of the match performance against Arsenal and goal against Inter Milan, equalised for Spurs on the stroke of half time, getting his head to an exquisite Gareth Bale cross to nod the ball in to Brad Jones’ bottom right hand corner.
Eight minutes in to the second half, the Belgian defender struck again, with Bale again the provider. The Welshman crossed an in-swinging free kick from the right and the ball eventually dropped to Vertonghen, who fired in a cool left-footed strike that Bale himself would’ve been proud of.
Tottenham were cruising and it looked as though they could go on to win by a bigger margin, but a suicidal back pass from Kyle Walker presented Stewart Downing with the opportunity to round Lloris and slot the ball in to the net despite the best efforts of Vertonghen on the line.
Fifteen minutes later, Jermain Defoe’s efforts to stretch to control the ball resulted in the striker inadvertently playing Suarez through on goal. Benoit Assou-Ekotto had to make the challenge, but he did so unfairly, and Suarez made the most of it by going down in a heap and the referee pointed to the spot.
Steven Gerrard stepped up to take the resulting penalty and coolly slotted it home, sending Lloris the wrong way.
Spurs made some late substitutions, bringing on Lewis Holtby and Tom Carroll to freshen things up, but it was in vain as Liverpool held on to inflict Tottenham’s first league defeat since December – ironically against city rivals Everton.
Jones, Johnson, Carragher, Agger, Jose Enrique, Lucas, Gerrard, Downing, Suarez, Coutinho (Allen, 59), Sturridge (Henderson, 88).
Lloris, Walker, Vertonghen, Dawson, Assou-Ekotto (Carroll, 90), Parker, Livermore (Holtby, 84), Bale, Dembele, Sigurdsson, Defoe.
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