London: As Liverpool have pushed Manchester City at the top of the Premier League, Tottenham have slipped far from title contention.
Toby Alderweireld’s 90th-minute own-goal helped Liverpool beat Tottenham 2-1 on Sunday and regain a two-point lead over second-placed City.
Snatching three points so late at Anfield kept the Liverpool faithful dreaming of a first title since 1990 — even with defending champions City having a game in hand.
Tottenham aren’t even part of that trophy conversation anymore after a three-month slump that thwarted the London club’s bid for a first league title since 1961.
When Tottenham completed five wins in a row in December, Mauricio Pochettino’s team were only six points behind Liverpool in second place. Now the gulf has grown to 18 points and Tottenham are in third spot, in a scrap to finish in the four Champions League places.
Manchester United are only behind Tottenham on goal difference. London rivals Arsenal and Chelsea are a slender one point behind.
Like Liverpool, Chelsea also left it late to win Sunday — coming from behind to beat Cardiff 2-1.
At Anfield, Roberto Firmino got in between the Tottenham centre-backs to head in from Andrew Robertson’s cross in the 16th minute.
It was a second half short of clear-cut chances but Tottenham began to apply more pressure on the Liverpool defence and made the breakthrough after 70 minutes.
Harry Kane hit a perfect ball forward from a quick free-kick to find Kieran Trippier and the defender steered the ball into Christian Eriksen, who squared for Lucas Moura to level.
But with the points looking like being shared, Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris couldn’t hold a header from Liverpool forward Mohammad Salah, instead sending the ball onto Alderweireld, who then diverted it back into his own net.
“It was a lucky punch, the header and the ball rolls in,” Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said. “But I told the boys after the game, there are 500,000 different ways to win a football game and that was rather ugly. No problem, we take that.
“Without a bit of luck you cannot be in the position we are in. It’s not possible. The boys work so hard, I think they deserve a bit of luck.”