Own goal seals Spurs win over Liverpool as refs admit ‘significant human error’

Referees' body PGMOL later admitted "a significant human error".

Tottenham snatched a controversial 2-1 win against nine-man Liverpool as Joel Matip’s last-gasp own-goal ended the Reds’ resistance and the visitors had a goal disallowed that the referees’ body admitted should have stood.

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Liverpool had Curtis Jones and Diogo Jota sent off as Ange Postecoglou’s side shattered Liverpool’s unbeaten start to the Premier League season and extended their own thanks to the gripping climax in north London.

Jones was dismissed in the first half before Luis Diaz’s goal for Liverpool was incorrectly disallowed for offside by VAR.

Referees’ body PGMOL later admitted “a significant human error”.

It said in a statement: “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.”

Tottenham took the lead through Son Heung-min’s opener and Cody Gakpo equalised just before half-time, but Liverpool were reduced to nine when Jota saw red after the interval.

It seemed Liverpool would hold out against the odds until Matip accidently diverted Pedro Porro’s cross into his own net with just seconds left.

Furious Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp said: “I never saw a game like this with the most unfair circumstances, crazy decisions.

“The offside goal. That is not offside when you see it, they drew their lines wrong.

“The first red card, Curtis steps on the ball and goes over. Not a bad tackle. For Jota, first yellow was not a yellow.”

After a dismal run of one win in their previous 23 meetings with Liverpool in all competitions, Tottenham could finally savour a rare success against the Anfield outfit.

It was Tottenham’s first win against Liverpool since 2017 when Spurs were using Wembley as their temporary home.

Postecoglou’s men moved above Liverpool into second place, just one point behind Manchester City after the champions’ surprise loss at Wolves earlier on Saturday.

Liverpool, beaten for the first time in nine games in all competitions, are one point behind Tottenham in fourth place.

For Postecoglou, it was an especially sweet success after he grew up in Australia idolising legendary Liverpool boss Bill Shankly as a childhood fan of the Reds’ great 1970s teams.

The former Celtic boss has done a remarkable job reviving Tottenham following their woeful campaign under his predecessor Antonio Conte.

While it is too early to label Tottenham as title contenders, they have already beaten Liverpool and Manchester United, as well as drawing with Arsenal, to underline Postecoglou’s impressive impact.

“We’re still a team in its infancy in terms of the way we want to play, the age and experience of the group,” Postecoglou said.

“Particularly the manner in which it happened, it leaves the real impact and impression on everyone involved.

“We had to cope with a fair few things and show a different side of our game. Second half I thought we were really good.”

– Spurs late show –

Postecoglou’s latest memorable result was kick-started in the 26th minute when Jones’ raised boot caught Yves Bissouma on the ankle.

Referee Simon Hooper initially gave a yellow card but after being told to consult the pitchside monitor he upgraded the punishment to a red.

After Diaz was wrongly denied by the offside flag, Spurs took the lead in the 36th minute.

James Maddison’s sublime pass picked out Richarlison’s run down the left flank and the Brazilian’s cross was perfectly weighted for Son to flick home from close range.

In first half stoppage-time, Dominik Szoboszlai’s cross was headed back across goal by Virgil van Dijk and Gakpo took a touch before firing a powerful shot past Guglielmo Vicario from 10 yards.

Jota was needlessly dismissed after 69 minutes for a sliding challenge on Destiny Udogie just 90 seconds after the Portugal forward was booked for clipping the same player.

Spurs kept pushing in the face of Liverpool’s massed defence and finally got their reward six minutes into stoppage-time.

Porro’s low cross forced Matip to block but his out-stretched leg flicked the ball past Alisson to spark wild Tottenham celebrations.