Liverpool went eight points clear at the top of the Premier League table yesterday as they beat Leicester City 2-1 with an injury-time penalty.
James Milner’s spot kick deep into stoppage time made history for the Reds as it gave them their eighth victory in a row, equalling their best start in the 1990/91 season.
Sadio Mané had given the home side the lead five minutes from the break, but James Maddison thought he had salvaged a point for the visitors with an equaliser in the 80th minute, only for Milner to grab all three points from the spot.
The home side should have opened the scoring in the 13th minute when Trent Alexander-Arnold reacted the quickest after the ball hit the corner flag. The English international nutmegged his marker and found Milner, but he blasted his volley into the stands.
Mané then had a chance to put his side ahead midway through the first half after referee Chris Kavanagh waved play on for advantage after Milner was fouled. The Senegalese international’s shot from 18m went straight towards goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel but gave the Dane no problems.
Five minutes from the break, Mané went one better giving Liverpool the deserved lead as he beat Schmeichel in the far corner for his 50th Premier League goal for the club.
Former Liverpool coach Brendan Rogers, now in charge of Leicester, brought on Ayoze Perez in the 72nd minute and the Spaniard gave the assist with 10 minutes to go for the equaliser as he played a wonderful through pass to Maddison, who edged the ball past Adrian.
Three minutes into injury time, Leicester’s Marc Albrighton took the ball back into his own area and, after some confusion with Schmeichel, he lost the ball to Mané, who went down after contact with Albrighton.
Kavanagh pointed to the spot, but the players then had to wait several minutes as the decision was looked at by the video assistant referee (VAR), but in the end – much to the delight of the Anfield Road crowd – it was not overturned.
Milner stepped up and gave Schmeichel no chance with a well-taken shot into the left corner.
He said it was never easy to take a penalty after waiting for a VAR decision: “You just try to keep your concentration and wait for the final decision. It is always tough to take a penalty when the game is level and it is in the last minute.
“But I think it was a very important win for us as, even though we are not playing so well, we are getting the results. That gives us a massive boost and we are gaining confidence as a result.”
READ: Who are the Premier League's best of the rest?
The win sees Liverpool continue their unbeaten run at home in 43 league games. Their only run that was better was between 1979 and 1980, when they went 63 matches unbeaten before losing to Leicester City.
Manchester City have a chance to cut Liverpool’s lead to five points if they beat the Wolves at home this afternoon.
In the early game, Tottenham’s woes continued as Mauricio Pochettino’s team went down 3-0 at Brighton, who scored twice through Aaron Connolly after Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris gifted Neal Maupay the opening goal.
The French goalkeeper suffered a freak injury in the process and had to be stretchered off with an arm injury, compounding a miserable week for Spurs that saw them also lose 7-2 at home to Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
. Meanwhile, a 72nd-minute volley from Jeff Hendrick gave Burnley a 1-0 win over Everton in the Premier League at Turf Moor yesterday, condemning Marco Silva’s side to a fourth straight defeat.
The result leaves Everton languishing in 17th place, a point above the relegation zone, while Burnley extended their unbeaten run to four games and moved up to fourth place ahead of today’s games.