Liverpool draw with Tottenham: Five things we learned as Reds title hopes take a major hit

Liverpool v Tottenham: Pictures

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Luis Diaz rescued a late point for Liverpool in Saturday night’s 1-1 draw with Tottenham – but their title hopes are now hanging by a thread. The result means the Reds have once again nudged ahead of Pep Guardiola’s team, but Manchester City can now open up a three-point lead over their rivals with a win over Newcastle on Sunday.

Neither side could break the deadlock during a frenetic, action-packed first half on Merseyside before Son Heung-Min finished off a slick Tottenham move to nudge the visitors into the lead in the 56th minute.

But just when Liverpool’s title hopes were fading, Diaz struck to rescue the Reds with a deflected strike in the 74th minute to ensure the hosts stole a share of the spoils.

Despite managing to pinch a point, the result leaves Liverpool’s title hopes hanging by a thread, while Tottenham’s hopes of pipping Arsenal to a top-four finish were also dealt a major blow. Express Sport takes a look at the major talking points from the big match…

Kane blows the title race open – again

Harry Kane blew the title race wide open back in February when his stunning last-gasp strike downed Manchester City. And the England captain was at it again at Anfield – only this time it was City themselves who benefited from the 28-year-old’s genius.

It may have been Son who bagged the vital goal to hand Tottenham the lead on Merseyside, but Kane was instrumental in the goal. He showcased his impeccable vision and composure to pick out Ryan Sessegnon in oceans of space on the left flank, allowing the young full-back to tee up Son with an inch-perfect ball to break Liverpool hearts.

Manchester City were left frustrated after coming up short in their pursuit of Kane last summer, but that hasn’t stopped Kane from nudging them even closer to another Premier League crown after producing another big moment on the biggest stage against City’s title rivals.

Diaz shows Tottenham what they’re missing

Liverpool pulled off a massive coup by luring Luis Diaz to Anfield in January, pipping Tottenham to a £37million deal for the Colombian winger. The 25-year-old has breathed new life into Liverpool’s title bid in the last three months – and he showed Spurs exactly what they missed out on with another dazzling display.

It was Diaz who sparked Liverpool back to life late in the match, netting his fourth goal of the season to rock Tottenham and ensure the Reds just about stay alive in the race for the title.

Luckily for Liverpool, Diaz’s impressive start to life at Anfield has coincided with a rare dry spell for Mohamed Salah, who has now mustered just three league goals in his last nine games. If the Reds are to rebound quickly after dropping points, then they’ll need Diaz to be at his best in the coming weeks.

European hangover for Liverpool

Liverpool headed into another must-win clash in the Premier League off the back of booking their spot in the Champions League final with a gritty win over Villarreal in midweek. But they couldn’t repeat their European heroics when it mattered in the race for another domestic crown.

The Reds bossed proceedings in the first half but failed to take any of their chances, testing Hugo Lloris just twice from the 11 attempts they managed before the break. They almost paid the ultimate price when Son stabbed home – only for Diaz to salvage a point.

Liverpool are still on the verge of greatness and have just five matches standing between them and history – but although they look primed for more European success, Saturday night’s stumble could see them pay the price domestically.

Conte effect in full flow

Not many teams have been able to hang with Liverpool this season, but despite their struggles this season, they’ve managed it twice under Antonio Conte. The Italian has made a major impact since he was appointed by the club late last year, and he was unfortunate not to guide the Londoners to a shock win over Liverpool in the 2-2 draw back in December.

This time, Tottenham almost went one better after riding out a sustained spell of pressure throughout the match, only to be denied late by Diaz.

Conte has made it clear on more than occasion that the club have to back him with substantial funds in the transfer market if he is to get Spurs challenging for major honours again. Based on this evidence, Daniel Levy would be missing a trick if he doesn’t grant the Italian’s wish in the summer; regardless of whether or not Tottenham finish in the top-four.

Title race may not go the distance

After Liverpool and Manchester City played out a 2-2 draw at the Etihad last month, the Reds were relying on a City slip-up and favours from elsewhere to help them clinch their second Premier League title in three years.

That hasn’t yet materialised – and Liverpool are now relying on City making more than one mistake during the run-in. While that can’t be ruled out, especially after City’s gut-wrenching capitulation in their Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid, it feels like a tall order.

It was beginning to feel like these two sides were destined to take their tussle for the title right up until the final match of the season – but Liverpool could now be relying on a miracle to achieve their ambitious quadruple dream.

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