Football: Luis Suarez edged the battle of the player of the year contenders today as he scored one goal and earned the match-winning penalty to eclipse Gareth Bale and keep Liverpool's slim top-four hopes alive.
The Premier League's leading scorer drew first blood with his 29th of the season - and 22nd in the top flight - and, although his opposite number had a hand in both of Tottenham's goals, the Uruguay international had the last laugh by winning the late spot-kick from which Steven Gerrard scored.
Centre-back Jan Vertonghen scored twice after Suarez had put the home side ahead only for calamitous misjudgements by Kyle Walker and goalkeeper Hugo Lloris to gift Stewart Downing the equaliser.
Suarez showed again how sharp he is in the penalty area with an instinctive first-half finish and while Bale's danger was restricted to crosses he could not match his rival's threat in the penalty area.
The Wales international drilled in a swerving free-kick which Brad Jones, back in the side because of Jose Reina's calf injury, batted away unconvincingly. But Bale then had to cede centre-stage to Suarez.
Philippe Coutinho, who impressed last week at Wigan and had already curled a shot over, combined well down the left with Jose Enrique, starting the move with a cheeky backheel.
The pair exchanged passes before Enrique, holding off Walker, slid a pass for Suarez to run on to and surprise Lloris at his near post with the outside of his right foot.
Bale's response was to plant a left-footed shot into the Kop and then drive an angled right-footed effort wide.
Gylfi Sigurdsson, who rejected a summer move to Anfield, missed an even better opportunity from Bale's flick as he shot wide of Jones's right-hand post with only the goalkeeper to beat.
Bale provided a left-footed cross over the head of Jamie Carragher for Vertonghen to get in front of Glen Johnson and head inside the far post.
Bale played a part in Spurs' second just after the break when his free-kick was weakly headed down by Carragher to Vertonghen who fired home.
A trademark driving run by the Wales international saw him pick out Sigurdsson in acres of space at the far post but his shot was deflected onto a post by Johnson.
Liverpool had lost all their composure and their disposition was not helped by Jones flapping at a Moussa Dembele shot but it was Tottenham's nerves which faltered next.
Walker attempted an inexplicable back-pass across field from the right touchline which succeeded only in drawing Lloris out of his goal to clear.
When he failed Downing nipped in to advance on goal and drill a shot through the legs of Vertonghen on the line.
Sturridge headed into the side-netting and Bale nodded wide before another dreadful backpass, this time by Jermain Defoe, forced Benoit Assou-Ekotto to barge into Suarez.
Gerrard, so often Liverpool's big man for the big occasion, stepped up to slot home his ninth of the campaign.
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