Tottenham 2 Liverpool 1
The Professional Game Match Officials Limited admitted “a significant human error” saw Liverpool attacker Luiz Diaz’s opener wrongly ruled out for offside in an eventual one goal defeat at Tottenham.
The Colombia international was played behind by Mohamed Salah to fire into the corner of the net shortly after Curtis Jones’ controversial red card.
The referees’ body said in a statement: “The PGMOL acknowledge a significant human error occurred during the first half of Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool.
“The goal by Luiz 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.
“PGMOL will conduct a full review into the circumstances which led to the error.”
Tottenham celebrated another jaw-dropping 2-1 stoppage-time victory as Joel Matip’s own goal finally broke nine-man Liverpool’s resistance.
Saturday evening’s box office battle pitted together exciting, resurgent sides that had both begun the new Premier League season unbeaten having bounced back from chastening campaigns last term.
Jurgen Klopp’s men were seconds away from leaving north London with a fantastic point after Cody Gakpo cancelled out Son Heung-min’s opener in a match which saw the visitors have two players sent off.
Curtis Jones and half-time introduction Diogo Jota were sent off at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, where Spurs finally beat Liverpool at the fifth time of asking.
Just like in their last home game against Sheffield United a fortnight ago, Ange Postecoglou’s men triumphed thanks to a stunning stoppage-time conclusion.
This time it was Liverpool defender Matip providing the key touch, inadvertently turning home Pedro Porro’s cross to spark wild celebrations in the sixth minute of added time.
It was a fitting end to a breathless encounter, which had started in an intense, open fashion.
Luis Diaz and Alexis Mac Allister had attempts for Liverpool before Dejan Kulusevski failed to reach Richarlison’s tantalising cross at the other end.
Spurs were looking dangerous but Liverpool were getting more shots aways, with home goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario receiving an ovation after denying Gakpo and Andrew Robertson.
The helter-skelter theme continued before the dynamics shifted on a VAR review in the 26th minute. Jones had been booked after attempting to drag the ball back his studs rolled down into Spurs midfielder Yves Bissouma’s shin.
Referee Simon Hooper was advised to watch the challenge back and, after reviewing it, upgraded the card to red. The referee was shown a still image of the final contact by his colleagues as he first approached the screen.
James Maddison then saw a shot held and Richarlison lasered over as Tottenham attempted to capitalise on their numerical advantage, only for the Reds to seemingly make the breakthrough.
Mohamed Salah did well under pressure to slip through Diaz to strike across Vicario and into the far corner of the net, sparking wild celebrations in the away end that continued long after offside was incorrectly called.
The travelling support eventually realised it had been ruled out, and to add to their disappointment, then had to watch the home fans around them go wild as Spurs took a 36th-minute lead.
Maddison slipped Richarlison behind with an excellent pass and the former Everton forward’s smart first-time squared pass was turned home from six yards by skipper Son.
In the fourth minute of stoppage time however Liverpool equalised after Virgil van Dijk’s header back across goal was controlled by Gakpo and struck home on the turn.
The goalscorer hurt himself in the process and did not return for a second half that Liverpool could have started in the lead, had Diaz met Salah’s exquisite pass just before the break.
Postecoglou’s outfit returned with the bit between their teeth and it looked a case of when rather than if they would score as they laid siege to Liverpool’s goal.
But Alisson was in inspired form between the sticks, stopping Maddison finding the top left-hand corner from 20 yards in the 49th minute before tipping over Son’s volleyed snapshot two minutes later.
The Liverpool goalkeeper also dealt with a Pape Matar Sarr strike down the throat and was saved by an offside decision when Maddison fed Richarlison to cross for what would have been Son’s second goal of the night.
Liverpool however remained a serious threat on the counter attack but the incline on the visitors’ uphill battle increased in the 69th minute.
Half-time substitute Jota had just been booked for fouling Destiny Udogie – although replays appeared to show the Spurs left-back tripped over himself – and was soon handed a second yellow for trying to win the ball back with a lunging tackle from the ground.
Klopp made a triple change in a bid to tighten up against a Tottenham side struggling to break down the visitors.
The away end was making more noise than the frustrated home faithful as the Reds looked set to hang on for a fantastic point in trying circumstances.
But Spurs were ultimately gifted a breakthrough which had otherwise looked unlikely in the sixth minute of stoppage time.
Cristian Romero played wide to Porro on the right and his driven ball was slammed into his own goal by Matip under little pressure.