Man United dent Liverpool title hopes in chaotic 2-2 draw as Tottenham Hotspurs crack EPL top four with 3-1 win

James Robson
Press Association
3 Min Read
Mohamed Salah saved Liverpool from an embarrassing loss to Manchester United with a late penalty goal.
Mohamed Salah saved Liverpool from an embarrassing loss to Manchester United with a late penalty goal. Credit: Michael Regan/Getty Images

Having ended Liverpool’s quadruple challenge, Manchester United may have delievered a serious blow to Jurgen Klopp’s hopes of bowing out at the end of the season with a second Premier League title.

Time will tell how damaging a 2-2 draw at Old Trafford on Sunday will be to the Merseyside club in the three-way fight at the top, but it could have been so much worse if not for Mohamed Salah’s late penalty equaliser.

On a day Ange Postecoglou’s Tottenham moved into fourth spot - the Champions League qualification zone - with their 3-1 win over Nottingham Forest, all eyes were on the Manchester venue for the battle between English football’s most bitter rivals.

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Klopp’s team had totally dominated by raining down shots on United’s goal in a mismatched first half, but only managed to lead 1-0 at the break through Luis Diaz’s goal.

The atmosphere totally changed when Bruno Fernandes struck a stunning equaliser from inside the centre circle after a Liverpool mistake and Kobbie Mainoo curled a superb shot into the top corner to give United the lead.

After victories for Arsenal and Manchester City on Saturday, Liverpool were heading towards a second defeat to United, after losing in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup last month.

That was until Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s reckless lunge at Harvey Elliott led to referee Anthony Taylor pointing to the spot and Salah converting in the 84th minute.

The draw moved Liverpool level on points with first-placed Arsenal, but behind on goal difference. Champions City are a point behind in third in an ever-tightening title race.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 07: Bruno Fernandes of Manchester United celebrates scoring his team's first goal during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Liverpool FC at Old Trafford on April 07, 2024 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Bruno Fernandes celebrates Manchester United’s first goal. Credit: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Klopp said he was “absolutely fine” with Liverpool’s situation after they dropped two points in the title race which kept Arsenal top of the Premier League on goal difference.

The Gunners are due at Old Trafford on the penultimate weekend of the season, but the Liverpool boss does not hold out much hope of a helping hand.

“If we are still around then it would be great, but Arsenal is a good football team and if (United) play like they did today Arsenal will win that game, I’m 100 per cent sure,” Klopp said.

“I’m really sorry to say it, but we should have won both games (against United) and didn’t. That’s our fault.”

“I’m happy with a lot of parts of the game - being 1-0 up at Old Trafford and having a 15-0 shooting stat (in the first half) is incredible.

“We are fine with our situation. I wish we had more points, but I’m absolutely fine - over the moon, actually, that these boys brought us into that situation.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 07: Pedro Porro of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates scoring his team's third goal during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Nottingham Forest at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on April 07, 2024 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Pedro Porro celebrates Tottenham Hotspur’s third goal. Credit: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Later, Spurs moved above fifth-place Aston Villa on goal difference - and also with a game in hand - against Forest.

An own-goal from Murillo put the hosts ahead at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium before Chris Wood levelled for Forest in the first half.

But two goals in the space of six minutes from Micky van de Ven and Pedro Porro after the break sealed the win for Postecoglou’s team.

On Thursday, it was Chelsea pulling off a late comeback to stun Manchester United, but on Sunday Mauricio Pochettino’s team were on the wrong end of stoppage-time drama as last-placed Sheffield United fought back to earn a 2-2 draw at Bramall Lane after Ollie McBurnie’s equaliser in the third minute of added time.

Chelsea twice squandered the lead after opening the scoring through Thiago Silva and going in front again through Noni Madueke.

Jayden Bogle equalised in the first half before McBurnie’s late effort earned the Blades a point.

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