Spurs hold Gunners; Liverpool face first defeat under Klopp

London, November 9

Premier League leaders Manchester City’s nearest challengers Arsenal were held to draw on Sunday as Liverpool suffered their first defeat in seven games under new manager Jurgen Klopp.

Arsenal, who kicked off later on Sunday, knew that if they beat arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the North London derby they would leapfrog City. But instead they had to make do with a 1-1 draw and are second in the table on goal difference.

At the Emirates, Arsenal fell behind to a 32nd-minute goal from Spurs’ Harry Kane, who beat the Gunners’ offside trap before shooting past Petr Cech. At that stage, Arsenal hadn’t managed a single shot on target and they had to wait until the 77th minute to equalise when substitute Kieran Gibbs bundled in a volley at the far post from Mesut Ozil’s cross, although Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris should have saved the shot.

“Tottenham bossed the first half,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger told Sky Sports. “I must give credit to players, they refused to lose the game. We now gain two weeks’ treatment for 10 players who are not available and I hope that we do not lose more.”

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino, whose side moved up to fifth place, was proud of the visitors’ display. “The level we showed and the commitment was fantastic. It’s the way we want to carry on,” he said.

Before kick-off, Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of Britain’s main opposition Labour Party and the MP for the local constituency of Islington North, joined a protest outside the Emirates calling on football clubs to pay all their employees the National Living Wage. “We think, by the way, the players already get the Living Wage,” joked firebrand left-winger Corbyn, wearing an Arsenal scarf.

In the mid-table clash at Anfield, visitors Palace went ahead when Yannick Bolasie scored from 12 yards in the 21st minute. Liverpool equalised shortly before the interval through Brazil playmaker Philippe Coutinho’s close-range effort. Palace bounced back to score the winner eight minutes from time when Liverpool-born Scott Dann saw his header from a corner blocked by goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, only for the Eagles defender to nod in the rebound. “Today is a bad feeling — it was not necessary to lose this game,” said Klopp.

For boyhood Liverpool fan Dann, getting a goal at Anfield was the realisation of a cherished ambition. “I have

had dreams of scoring here — and I had a feeling before the game that I was going to score,” he said.