Liverpool beat Tottenham 3-2 in English soccer’s Premier League as the London team faltered in its quest for a top-four place and Champions League qualification. Newcastle defeated Stoke 2-1.
Steven Gerrard got Liverpool’s winning goal from the penalty spot with eight minutes left at Anfield yesterday. Stewart Downing had tied it after Jan Vertonghen scored twice to put Spurs 2-1 ahead following Luis Suarez’s opening goal.
Liverpool climbed up two places to sixth in the standings, seven points behind fourth-place Chelsea, after ending Tottenham’s 12-match unbeaten league run. Spurs stayed in third.
“Today was a stringent test and they came through it,” Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers told reporters. “We know where we want to be eventually but this is another marker for us in terms of our growth.”
Suarez opened the scoring in the 21st minute, poking the ball in from close range following Jose Enrique’s pass. It was his 29th goal of the season and seventh in the past four games.
Vertonghen scored in the 45th and 53rd minutes with a header and shot as Tottenham took a 2-1 lead, Gareth Bale playing a part in both goals.
Misjudged back-passes by Kyle Walker and Jermain Defoe led to Spurs losing the game. Downing made it 2-2 for the Reds in the 66th minute, then Gerrard converted an 82nd-minute penalty after Suarez was fouled.
“We lost control of the game when things looked to be going our way, which was more down to a couple of mistakes we did rather than to Liverpool’s merit,” Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas said.
Stoke took the lead at Newcastle in the 67th minute with a penalty kick by Jonathan Walters. Yohan Cabaye tied the game with a free kick five minutes later and Papiss Cisse grabbed the winner in the second minute of stoppage time.
Manchester United leads the standings with 71 points, 12 more than defending champion Manchester City. Tottenham, which has played one more game than the other teams in the top five, has 54 with Chelsea two points further back. Arsenal has 47.
Liverpool has 45 points in sixth. Stoke and Newcastle, who both have 33 points, are 11th and 13th, respectively.
Two days ago, Aston Villa moved out of the three-team relegation zone with a 2-1 win at Reading. Last-place Queens Park Rangers beat Sunderland 3-1, West Brom defeated Swansea 2-1, and Norwich and Southampton drew 0-0.