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Tottenham 2-1 Liverpool: Joel Matip scores 96th-minute own goal after nine-player Reds lose at Spurs amid VAR error

Report and highlights as Liverpool have Curtis Jones and Diogo Jota sent off at Tottenham and then see Joel Matip divert Pedro Porro's cross into his own goal after Cody Gakpo's strike cancels out Heung-Min Son opener; PGMOL later apologise for offside call to disallow Luis Diaz strike

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Tottenham’s win against Liverpool in the Premier League.

Liverpool had a goal incorrectly ruled out and then, after being reduced to nine players, saw Joel Matip concede a 96th-minute own goal as Tottenham triumphed 2-1 in a Premier League thriller to go second in the table above their rivals Arsenal.

But it all could have been different and Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp had already slammed "the most unfair circumstances, crazy decisions," before referee body PGMOL officially apologised for Luis Diaz's first-half strike being disallowed for offside.

It was later revealed VAR mistakenly believed that the on-field decision had been to award the goal. This resulted in VAR Darren England, despite realising that Diaz was onside, relaying a message of 'check complete' and the goal being ruled out.

Their statement on Saturday night read: "The goal by Luis Diaz was disallowed for offside by the on-field team of match officials. This was a clear and obvious factual error and should have resulted in the goal being awarded through VAR intervention. However, the VAR failed to intervene."

Reacting to the admission, Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville said: "That is unbelievable. It is a really, really, bad one. That is very significant. I've been asking 'have we got the right cameras at these stadiums?' - we never seem to be in line anymore.

"I've defended VAR as being a matter of fact but there's been two or three in the last few weeks where I've felt behind the scenes the angle wasn't right."

Player ratings

Tottenham: Vicario (8); Porro (7), Romero (7), Van de Ven (7), Udogie (7); Bissouma (8), Sarr (7), Maddison (8); Kulusevski (7), Son (8), Richarlison (7)

Subs: Solomon (6), Davies (6), Skipp (6), Veliz (N/A)

Liverpool: Alisson (8), Gomez (7), Matip (5), Van Dijk (7), Robertson (7), Mac Allister (7), Jones (4), Szoboszlai (7), Salah (6), Gakpo (7), Diaz (7).

Subs: Jota (4), Endo (6), Konate (6), Alexander-Arnold (6), Gravenberch (6)

Player of the match: James Maddison (Tottenham)

Liverpool suffer final minute heartbreak

Liverpool's players were crushed as the ball hit the net in the very final seconds of an epic encounter. Some flat on their back. Some down on their haunches. Matip with a look of despair as Alisson tried to find some words of comfort for the defender who had inadvertently diverted Pedro Porro's last-gasp drilled cross into his own net.

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The contrast with the celebrations around them couldn't have been more stark. Porro tore away into the corner to celebrate with the delirious home fans. Another incredible win for Spurs to savour. The best one since the last home game against Sheffield United, when two injury-time goals grabbed the three points. Ange Postecoglou was serenaded at full-time. The new manager already adored for what he has done to this club.

For over 20 minutes Liverpool had held out against wave after wave of Tottenham attacks with just nine players, after Jota's quickfire bookings had seen him follow Curtis Jones back to the dressing room.

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PGMOL acknowledged a significant human error with regards to Luis Diaz's goal being disallowed for offside, as Gary Neville feels something doesn't feel right with VAR at the moment.

Jones' red card on 26 minutes was a major talking point in itself.

Going into a tackle with Yves Bissouma, Jones got in first but his foot rolled over the top of the ball and his studs planted into the Spurs man's shin. It looked bad on the replays watched by Hooper, although his decision was criticised by the Sky Sports pundits.

"It looks worse than it actually is," said Neville on co-commentary. "His foot slips, it is not a red." Jamie Redknapp called it "extremely harsh".

A fine Spurs move soon after Diaz had seen the flag go up when he broke through and found the net was finished by Heung-min Son (36) and rubbed salt in the wounds. Richarlison almost made it two, hitting the far post as Spurs tried to press home their advantage.

But Liverpool struck back deep into first-half stoppage time, with Cody Gakpo spinning and shooting home an equaliser to set up an intriguing second half.

Two stunning fingertip saves from Alisson kept Spurs at bay early in that second period and when he was eventually beaten by Son the offside flag went up again.

In something of a 5-3-0 set-up, the Reds - the comeback kings this season - thought they'd pulled off their gutsiest display of the lot. But at the final moment it all went Spurs' way. Liverpool were left in fourth, their unbeaten start gone and with the apology from the officials of little comfort.

PGMOL's VAR apologies listed

Tottenham 2-1 Liverpool, September 30 2023

Luis Diaz has a goal ruled out for Liverpool after being incorrectly ruled offside, with VAR Darren England failing to intervene.

Man Utd 1-0 Wolves, August 14 2023

Andre Onana recklessly challenged Sasa Kalajdzic inside the Manchester United box but VAR Jonathan Moss failed to instruct on-pitch referee Simon Hooper to check the pitchside monitor for a penalty.

Tottenham 2-1 Brighton, April 8 2023

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg appeared to foul Karou Mitoma in the Tottenham box but referee Stuart Attwell declined to award a penalty and VAR Michael Salisbury supported the decision.

Everton 0-1 Man City, February 26 2023

Referee Paul Tierney and VAR Chris Kavanagh missed a handball from Manchester City midfielder Rodri, failing to award Everton a penalty.

Arsenal 1-1 Brentford, February 11 2023

Ivan Toney’s offside equaliser was allowed to stand despite a VAR review overseen by Lee Mason, who failed to spot Christian Norgaard standing in an offside position.

Crystal Palace 1-1 Brighton, February 11 2023

VAR John Brooks drew an offside line in the wrong place, denying Brighton’s Pervis Estupinan the opening goal at Selhurst Park as a legitimate goal was ruled out.

Brighton 2-1 Liverpool, January 29 2023

Liverpool’s Fabinho escaped with only a yellow card after a studs-up challenge on Evan Ferguson.

Aston Villa 3-1 Man Utd, November 6 2022

Lucas Digne scored a free kick but a post-match review concluded the United wall was set too far back, giving the Villa full-back extra room for the set-piece.

Forest 2-2 Brentford, November 5 2022

Brentford were awarded a penalty despite replays showing Dean Henderson made minimal contact with Yoane Wissa.

Fulham 3-0 Aston Villa, October 20 2022

Douglas Luiz was sent off for Villa despite Aleksandr Mitrovic perpetrating a bust-up.

Man Utd 3-1 Arsenal, September 4 2022

Gabriel Martinelli’s goal for Arsenal was disallowed by VAR after Martin Odegaard was incorrectly deemed to have fouled Christian Eriksen in the build-up.

Newcastle 0-0 Crystal Palace, September 3 2022

An own goal by Palace’s Tyrick Mitchel was disallowed after Joe Willock was wrongly ruled to have impeded goalkeeper Vicente Guaita.

Chelsea 2-1 West Ham, September 3 2022

Jarrod Bowen was wrongly judged to have fouled Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, ensuring West Ham’s late equaliser was disallowed.

Crystal Palace 3-1 Aston Villa, August 20 2022

Andy Madley changed his mind on a Crystal Palace penalty after consulting the pitchside monitor, despite Lucas Digne handling the ball.

Klopp on the controversial moments

On the Jones red card: "The first red card, Curtis steps on the ball and goes over. Not a bad tackle. It looks different in slow motion. He steps full throttle on the ball and goes over the ball. That is unlucky."

On the Jota red card: "[For Diogo Jota] first yellow was not a yellow. Then he gets a second and to defend with nine players is tricky."

On Diaz's ruled out goal: "The offside goal. That is not offside when you see it, they drew their lines wrong. The ball is between Mo's legs, they drew the line wrong and didn't judge the moment when Mo passed the ball right. It is so tough to deal with it."

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Gary Neville and Jamie Redknapp felt Liverpool's Curtis Jones was unfortunate to be given a straight red card for his challenge on Yves Bissouma.

Nev: It's unbelievable, a really, really bad one

Sky Sports' Gary Neville:

"At the time I thought that was onside. Then all of a sudden I heard in my ear 'check complete' from the VAR officials to the referee. There was no lines. It was so quick. Something was obviously wrong.

"That is unbelievable. It is a really, really, bad one. That is very significant. I've been asking 'have we got the right cameras at these stadiums?' - we never seem to be in line anymore. The groundsman never get the lines wrong on the pitch, the accuracy is incredible. I've defended VAR as being a matter of fact but there's been two or three in the last few weeks where I've felt behind the scenes the angle wasn't right."

How the drama unfolded...

This Saturday night headline contest was hotly anticipated given the form and style of play of both sides this season and it did not disappoint.

Liverpool were on the front foot in the early moments, forcing Guglielmo Vicario into a superb double-save from Cody Gakpo and Andy Robertson. But on 26 minutes the nature of the match changed.

Team news

  • Tottenham made one change from the north London derby, with Richarlison coming in for the injured Brennan Johnson. James Maddison and Heung-Min Son were fit to start.
  • Liverpool reverted to the team which beat West Ham last weekend, except for Cody Gakpo – who scored in the Carabao Cup in midweek – starting up front instead of Darwin Nunez.

Jones was initially shown a yellow card for his challenge which left Bissouma writhing on the floor. But when referee Simon Hooper was sent to the pitchside monitor he saw replays which showed the Liverpool midfielder's boot rolling over the top of the ball and his studs connecting with his opponent's shin.

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Curtis Jones sees red for a tackle on Yves Bissouma. But Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville disagreed with the decision

Jones' punishment was increased to a red card and those images which had convinced Hooper drew loud boos from the Tottenham fans when they were played on the big screen. Neville was sympathetic to Jones but regardless of intent, it was a challenge Jones would have been fortunate to get away with.

Liverpool thought they had gone ahead regardless of their one-player disadvantage just after the half-hour when Diaz converted clinically but the offside flag went up and VAR ruled he had gone too soon. It was a narrow margin and with no lines shown on the VAR replays it was another call which could be contested. It was later proven to be wrong, with a miscommunication between officials in the stadium and in the VAR control room proving costly.

Within two minutes, it was Spurs who instead broke the deadlock. And it was a move becoming typical of their football under Postecoglou, with James Maddison threading a fine pass through for Richarlison to square for Son to score his sixth goal of the season.

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Tottenham took the lead against Liverpool courtesy of Heung-Min Son

As half-time approached, Richarlison was inches away from making it two, with his shot across goal coming back off the upright. But it was Liverpool who would land a big blow before the break.

In the fifth minute of six in first-half injury-time, Dominik Szoboszlai's cross was nodded down by Virgil van Dijk for Gakpo to swivel and score. The forward was injured in the process and ultimately forced off at the interval but had pulled his side level.

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Cody Gakpo's half-volley brings things level for Liverpool.

Incredibly the Reds should have gone in ahead, with Diaz just unable to get enough on a low cross into the box in the final seconds.

There was more drama at the same end at the start of the second half as Alisson produced two stunning saves in quick succession to deny Maddison and Son.

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Save of the season contender from Alisson denies Son from restoring Spurs' lead.

He was eventually beaten on 59 minutes when Spurs copy and pasted their move for the first goal - but this time Richarlison was well offside and the flag went up.

Ten minutes later, the red card was out again. Jota clipped Udogie as he was breaking away in central midfield for his first booking. One minute and 27 seconds later, he got his second yellow, lunging a slide tackle at the defender again as he tried to pull away. On both occasions contact was faint but the second action was foolish given the situation. "Stupidity," Neville called it.

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Jota is shown a second yellow as Liverpool are reduced to nine against Tottenham.

Liverpool had remained a threat on the counter with one player less. But without two they were pushed back to their own box - but Spurs couldn't capitalise on the wide open spaces on the pitch. They struggled to fashion any real meaningful chances. The away fans cheered the relatively low number of six added minutes. But in the fifth of those, Spurs finally broke through with the help of the unfortunate Matip.

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Heartbreak for Liverpool as Matip scores own goal in 96th minute

The celebrations will be treasured by Spurs supporters, players and their manager, who has had a magical start to his tenure. But for Liverpool there was plenty to discuss…

Ange not a fan of VAR

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Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou was thrilled after Joel Matip's late own goal saw his side pick up the three points at Liverpool's expense.

Spurs head coach Ange Postecoglou: "You might have to dig up some research on me. I am on record saying that I have never been a fan of it.

"Not for any other reason than it complicates areas of the game that weren't before.

"The biggest problem that we have or fail to grasp is that no technology is going to make the game errorless.

"We all used to accept that mistakes were part of the game. People got the misconception that VAR was going to be errorless."

Klopp "never more proud" of his players

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was frustrated with the decisions that went against his side, as they had two player sent off and a goal disallowed against Tottenham.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp to Sky Sports:

On his team's performance: "I was never more proud of the team than today. I never saw a game like this with the most unfair circumstances, crazy decisions. We scored an own goal, that is really tough to take, but I am really proud.

"You want to build something you need players with mentality and I saw them today, they fought. Pretty special tonight."

What's next?

Liverpool are in Europa League action on Thursday when they host Union Saint-Gilloise at Anfield; kick-off 8pm.

They are back in Premier League action on Sunday October 8 when they travel to Brighton, live on Sky Sports; kick-off 2pm.

Live: SNF

Up next for Spurs is a trip to Kenilworth Road to face Luton on October 7; kick-off 12.30pm.

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