Joel Matip’s own goal deep into stoppage time gave Tottenham Hotspur victory over nine-man Liverpool in an eventful and contentious Premier League encounter.

The Reds were compromised by two controversial red cards, the first given to Curtis Jones for a foul on Yves Bissouma after just 26 minutes following a VAR intervention, before half-time substitute Diogo Jota followed him down the tunnel with more than 20 minutes remaining after picking up a quickfire double booking.

In a game in which the Reds were clearly nursing a sense of injustice, they had an opening goal by Luis Diaz ruled out by another controversial VAR decision, as the officials quickly ruled the Colombian offside without showing the customary offside line graphics.

PGMOL has sinceĀ issued a statement admitting that a “significant human error” took place, calling the decision to rule out Diaz’s goal “a clear and obvious factual error”.

They say VAR should have intervened, and failed to do so, adding that a “full review” will be conducted to find out why it did not.

Captain Son Heung-min then slid Spurs in front from Richarlison’s pass nine minutes prior to half-time following good work from summer signing James Maddison.

But the visitors responded with an equaliser in first-half stoppage time when Cody Gakpo scored on the turn from Virgil van Dijk’s header down, but the Netherlands forward was injured in the act of scoring and did not come out for the second half.

Spurs, understandably, had the better chances in the second half and Liverpool keeper Alisson kept the Reds on terms with outstanding saves from Maddison and Son, and it looked like their resolute rear-guard would earn them a battling draw until the drama of the final seconds.

As Spurs mounted one last attack, Matip could only turn Pedro Porro’s cross high past the helpless Alisson to spark scenes of jubilation and relief among the home support, inflicting Liverpool’s first defeat of the season and maintaining manager Ange Postecoglou’s unbeaten Premier League record.

Spurs’ patience rewarded by slice of fortune

Spurs knew they were under pressure to to find a winner against a side who have joined them as one of the early Premier League pacesetters.

It is to their credit that there was no sense of panic in their approach even as the seconds ticked away and Liverpool’s red wall of defensive defiance kept them at bay, helped by keeper Alisson proving such a relentless barrier.

Spurs showed their new-found belief throughout the game and, despite some groans when Dejan Kulusevski played the ball back to Porro at the end of six minutes of stoppage time, their patience was rewarded with a large slice of good fortune as Matip’s attempted clearance deflection carried such power that even Alisson was rendered powerless.

It was a climax which sparked wild scenes around Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, where the atmosphere has been transformed since Postecoglou’s arrival.

Maddison was once again pulling the strings, playing a key part in Son’s opener, while the intensity and determination is bringing roars of approval from Spurs fans who have suffered under the stodgy styles of previous bosses Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte.

This may only be a pretty fortunate late victory against nine men, but a three points swing over this increasingly formidable Liverpool team will send confidence soaring even higher at Spurs.

Kesh Awefada

Kesh Awefada

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