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Liverpool: Steven Gerrard rocked Tottenham as the Liverpool captain’s late penalty clinched a 3-2 win over the Champions League hopefuls at Anfield yesterday
Tottenham, who scored twice through defender Jan Vertonghen after Luis Suarez’s opener, would have opened up a 10-point gap on rivals Arsenal in fifth place had they held on to their lead.
Instead, Gerrard won it for Liverpool, who had equalised through Stewart Downing, and the Reds climbed above Merseyside rivals Everton into sixth place on goal difference.
Tottenham remain third, two points ahead of fourth placed Chelsea, who have a game in hand.
It was in-form Gareth Bale who commanded the most attention, and the crowd waited in anticipation as he addressed a free kick for the first time.
The Welshman’s aim was true enough and goalkeeper Brad Jones, deputising for the injured Pepe Reina, was forced to concede a corner.
However, it was Suarez, Bale’s main rival for the Footballer of the Year award, who drew first blood after 21 minutes to put Liverpool ahead.
The goal, his 29th of the season, was fashioned by a smart exchange of passes between Coutinho and Jose Enrique down the left.
Enrique’s final pass to Suarez as the Uruguayan sped in behind Tottenham’s defence allowed Liverpool’s leading scorer to flick the ball past Lloris at the near post with the outside of his right boot.
Bale’s response was a wayward shot high into the Kop and moments later he set up Gylfi Sigurdsson with a clever backheel for a shot that went just past a post.
The Wales midfielder was hurt in an aerial challenge with Gerrard and needed treatment before continuing, but Bale soon recovered to provide the far-post cross for Belgian centre-half Vertonghen to head Tottenham level on in first half stoppage-time.
Vertonghen struck again on 53 minutes to put the visitors ahead.
Bale flighted a free kick from the right and although Jamie Carragher won the header, the ball was not cleared and the alert Vertonghen deftly shot into the bottom corner.
However, the visitors presented Liverpool with an unexpected lifeline on 65 minutes that the hosts gratefully accepted.
Kyle Walker played a long back-pass that Lloris came out of his area to clear but missed, leaving winger Downing to equalise past Vertonghen on the line.
Michael Oliver pointed to the penalty spot soon after when Suarez was bundled over by Benoit Assou-Ekotto, and Gerrard made no mistake to win it for Liverpool with eight minutes left. AFP