Roberto Firmino’s last-minute header broke Tottenham’s stubborn resistance at Anfield and sent Liverpool to the top of the Premier League table.
An entertaining encounter looked set to end in stalemate before – with the game entering stoppage time – Firmino soared to flash a header high past Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris from Andrew Robertson’s corner.
Liverpool flew at Spurs in the opening exchanges and went ahead when Mohamed Salah’s shot took a big deflection off Eric Dier and looped over Lloris.
Spurs had barely left their own half but struck with a counter punch seven minutes later when Son Heung-min raced clear to slip a composed finish past Alisson.
Spurs actually had the better chances in the second half, with Steven Bergwijn firing wide then hitting a post when clean through and Harry Kane heading over from point-blank range.
Manager Jose Mourinho was left to regret those missed opportunities as a late Liverpool surge ended with Firmino’s winner to send the defending champions three points clear at the top of the table and inflict Spurs’ first Premier League loss since the opening weekend home defeat against Everton.
This was the night Anfield paid tribute to former manager Gerard Houllier who died aged 73 this week.
There were poignant moments with a minute’s applause before kick-off and those fans gathered on The Kop sang the songs they used to sing to celebrate the Frenchman’s success.
Liverpool’s players paid their own tribute with a display that started in blistering fashion as a succession of chances were created, then showed grit and resilience to fashion the three points as Spurs threatened after the break.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was animated, even by his standards, raging at the officials on numerous occasions before celebrating wildly with his players and The Kop at the final whistle.
After a lacklustre performance at Fulham, this was the perfect response as they returned to familiar territory at the top of the table.
Spurs were left bitterly disappointed and deflated as they were sunk by a late goal at Anfield once again – their frustration made even more acute by the golden chances they missed to secure a statement victory and end a Liverpool unbeaten home sequence in the league that now stretches to 66 games.
Bergwijn squandered two opportunities to score with only Alisson to beat then Kane somehow directed a header down and over the top at The Kop end, holding his head in disbelief.
When the dust settles, Mourinho will feel Spurs showed why they are currently one of the top two sides in the country as they survived that Liverpool assault to open up the opportunities to actually win.
The last time Mourinho managed a side at Anfield, a 3-1 defeat when he was in charge of Manchester United in December 2018 saw him sacked 24 hours later. Here at Spurs, he is in charge of a developing side that will certainly contest places at the top end of the table this season.