Kane rescues late point for Spurs, Liverpool wins
Liverpool is now a point clear of Tottenham on 45 and one behind Southampton.
LONDON - Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane stoked controversy with a goal six minutes into added time to rescue a 2-2 home draw with West Ham United while Liverpool's top-four hopes were boosted by a 2-0 win at Southampton on Sunday.
Kane's status as the Premier League's man-of-the-moment looked fully justified when he burst into the box to win a last-gasp penalty at White Hart Lane and stepped up to convert on the rebound after his initial effort was parried.
As well as sending the home crowd into raptures, it completed a superb comeback for the hosts who had trailed 2-0 to goals from Cheikhou Kouyate and Diafra Sakho, before Danny Rose's scrappy effort heralded a late cavalry charge.
There was no need for late heroics by Liverpool, who took the lead after three minutes at St Mary's through Philippe Coutinho's stunning curler that caught the underside of the crossbar on its way past Southampton keeper Fraser Forster.
The match was dripping with controversy, however, as the hosts had three penalty appeals turned down in the driving south coast rain while Liverpool keeper Simon Mignolet handled outside the area and escaped a red card.
The three points that lifted Liverpool into sixth above Tottenham were wrapped up when Raheem Sterling converted from close range with 17 minutes remaining.
Liverpool are now a point clear of Tottenham on 45, one behind Southampton and two off fourth-placed Manchester United who occupy the final Champions League qualifying spot.
After a bright start at White Hart Lane, Spurs fell behind, as they have done frequently this season, when Kouyate drilled his header past Lloris midway through the first half.
The visitors doubled their lead when Sakho arrived at the far post to squeeze Mark Noble's cross back across goal and into the net after 62 minutes.
Spurs, however, have now recovered 16 points from losing positions this season and the fight back began when Adrian fluffed a punch clear, allowing fullback Rose to send a bouncing effort looping into the net.
Spurs were rewarded for their late siege when Alex Song put his arm on Kane as the forward burst into the box, giving him the chance to tumble for a penalty, which he dispatched at the second attempt.
The controversial part of Tottenham's leveller was that it arrived after the allotted five minutes of injury time, leaving West Ham manager Sam Allardyce to fume.
When asked if referee Jonathan Moss should have blown for full-time as soon as Kane missed the initial penalty Allardyce told reporters: "The answer to that is yes. But he wouldn't be brave enough to do that."
Dubious penalty decisions were the order of the day at Southampton where Liverpool got the benefit of three contentious calls.
Filip Djuricic was twice felled in the area either side of Coutinho's sublime opener while the sense of injustice among the home fans intensified when Mignolet appeared to handle outside his box and yet survived unpunished.
The game had not needed any extra spice as Liverpool started with former Southampton players Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren, who both left in acrimony in the close season and whose every touch was loudly booed.
A third penalty appeal, this time for handball by Liverpool's Emre Can, was turned down before the break and the game was wrapped up when Sterling made the most of a Matty Targett slip to drill low into the net, allowing Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers to heap praise on his players.
"To win the game was a giant step," he said on Sky Sports. "We've beaten Southampton home and away, that's a sign of how well we're playing."
Earlier, bottom club Leicester City came painfully close to pulling off a surprise comeback win at Everton but were pegged back to draw 2-2 when Romelu Lukaku's header was deflected in by Matthew Upson with two minutes remaining.
Steven Naismith had given 12th-placed Everton a second-half lead before goals from Leicester's David Nugent and Esteban Cambiasso turned the match around but they could not hold on and are now four points adrift at the foot of the table.