WHAT a game and what an advert for the British Premier League.
Liverpool versus Tottenham or what will now be remembered as when Harry met Salah!
The two top forwards in the league did not disappoint on a chaotic and crazy afternoon full of mind-boggling skill, a saved penalty, yet another Dele Alli dive, controversy and drama.
Mo Salah scored twice – one an incredible solo effort – and Harry Kane brought up his century of Prem strikes in the 2-2 draw at Anfield.
The third world-class frontman plying their trade on these shores is Sergio Aguero and with 17 goals he is hanging onto the coat-tails of Salah (21) and Kane (22) in the race for the Golden Boot.
With 79 minutes gone the Reds were winning 1-0 thanks to Salah’s first – a gift from a terrible Eric Dier back pass.
Victor Wanyama came on and within a minute had smashed in a goal of the season contender – a strike so powerful and pure it had neutrals and of course Tottenham fans leaping to their feet and probably a fair few Liverpool fans grudgingly appreciating the magnificence of the shot.
Then Kane took over. His first spot-kick was contentious as he was off-side when the ball was played and was interfering with play – his presence made Dejan Lovren attempt a clearance.
But the law states “A player in an offside position receiving the ball from an opponent who deliberately plays the ball (except from a deliberate save by an opponent) is not considered to have gained an advantage.”
To say Kane did not gain an advantage in this instance is wrong as had he been two yards back and on-side Loris Karius would have easily beaten him to ball and he would not have had the chance to tumble over the German’s fingernail.
To add to the intrigue viewers also heard the exchange between referee Jon Moss and his assistant where Smart asked ‘all I need to know is did Lovren touch the ball’. Moss replied “I don’t know”. Smart answered “If he’s not touched the ball it is offside, so you’re chalking off the penalty. It has to be offside’. Moss then bizarrely answers “I have no idea whether Lovren touched the ball. Martin have you got anything from TV. I’m giving the penalty.”
Now quite why he’s asking for TV clarification when VAR wasn’t being used is one thing. But if BOTH officials admit they don’t know if Lovren touched the ball then they have to err on the side of caution and not give it.
Luckily for Liverpool fans Karius had done his homework – noting Kane tended to go down the middle when given the chance from 12 yards in big games – so he stood firm and made the save.
Anfield erupted and the feeling of elation among home fans went through the roof went Salah twisted and turned and scored a sensational solo goal in the first minute of injury time.
But this breathless match was not done ripping the emotions from the souls of supporters of this beautiful game.
Virgil van Dijk had his eyes on the ball and was just about to swing his leg to clear, then from the corner of his eye he saw Erik Lamela jump in front of him.
The Liverpool defender drew his leg away and lightly brushed the Spurs man on the backside who promptly collapsed from the knees downwards. Because there was minimal contact Spurs fans insist it was a penalty and Kane did the rest with the final kick of the game.
Both penalty incidents highlighted rules that need changing.
Lamela drew the contact, some may say cleverly but he made no attempt to play the ball and it was his creative cunning that won the day. Even the Devil sat back and admired his work.
BUT if Liverpool fans thought they were hard done by this week, spare a thought for supporters of Chelsea.
After losing 3-0 at home to Bournemouth under fire boss Antonio Conte was looking for a vote of confidence, instead he could only watch as his 10 men capitulated 4-1 at Watford.
The dreadful Tiemoue Bakayoko gave the ball away seven times before being sent off for two fouls after half an hour, although the latter was less offensive than his all-round performance and was harsh to say the least.
Still Eden Hazard levelled the game with eight minutes to go and the feeling was Chelsea would finish the game stronger. That feeling was probably collective wind as the Hornets destroyed the reigning champions.
Hazard can be a wonderful player – when he decides to play. The Belgian, along with Cesc Fabregas and the departed Diego Costa, were accused of downing tools and contributing to Jose Mourinho’s second sacking at the Stamford Bridge club.
Are the boys in Blue shirts doing it again? They did not look like a team busting a gut for their manager.
In fact apart from that one majestic swing of his right peg Hazard did little all game. If the FA did awards for laziness, he’d send someone to go and pick it up!
AND finally Sam Allarydce was smacked in the face – wet kipper stylee -with a huge dose of karma this week.
After arrogant remarks about the state of Arsenal these days – managed by a man who has won 21 pieces of top-flight silverware in three countries to his zero in one – he changed his winning Everton team and promptly got stuffed 5-1.
Allardyce brought in five players and then publically criticised them for not listening to him and did not in any way blame himself.
Ordinarily people live and learn, but Big Sham, he just lives . . . usually with a pint of wine in his hand!